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Post Info TOPIC: How does everyone feel about e-book readers?


High Mookish Shaman

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How does everyone feel about e-book readers?


I do like the feel, smell, and security of a good book, but the practicality of the Kindle is beginning to sway me...

I don't like the idea of the kindle replacing a library in a few years, or having a kindle instead of a bookshelf, and also not everything is available on them. AND I get an unexplainable stab of irritant whenever I see someone with one, but they're starting to look more appealing.

It would also really take down the weight of your suitcase when you go on holiday xD

Do you think, if you have a kindle, that it's possible to fin a balance between downloading books and buying the hard copies? Or do you find yourself using your kindle point blank.

I however, have no problem with downloading music and using my ipod though, this seems different somehow. Maybe it's because books are timeless and the technology of music is constantly changing?

What do you think? Whether you own one or not, I'm interested in your thoughts :3



-- Edited by Irilar on Saturday 14th of January 2012 01:17:38 AM

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Lush Guru

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RE: How does everyone feel about the Kindle?


My mum has one and honestly, it's perfect for her. She has books all over the house - too many to fit on the gazillion bookcases we have, there are stacks of books by her bed, by the sofa, by her desk etc etc etc. There has ALWAYS been a book in her handbag. She recently started a course and textbooks are generally heavier, and 'dip in and out' books, so having them on the Kindle is absolutely perfect, because she can read a page or two at a time, when she's got a couple of minutes spare in the day, without weighing her bag down. She and my stepdad are a big holiday fan as well and she usually takes 4-7 books away with her for a 10 day hol (she's the Speedy Gonzalez of reading), now she can just take the Kindle. Especially as they're usually 'holiday reads' rather than something you want to read again and again and you don't want that sort of fluff taking up space on your bookshelf!

So basically, yes to Kindles, yes to books. She's not going to curl up on the sofa on a Saturday afternoon with her Kindle, it's going to be some tattered novel she's read 6 times already, or brand new spine-cracking murder mystery. Kindles will never replace books for booklovers, and I think there are enough book lovers out there to keep us going.



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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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I love my e-book reader, however it is NOT a Kindle. With a Kindle you are pretty much stuck with e-books from amazon -which sucks big monkey balls if you are reading a lot of books in small obscure languages, since they do not exist in amazon shops. Not to mention that the format used by libraries (at least hereabouts) is .epub. Also, my e-book reader got a touch screen, got a few more nifty features and still was cheaper than a Kindle....

Anyway, I think that products intended to monopolize the market and stop the consumer from buying media from other shops should be boycotted on principle.


But back to e-books vs paper copies: It doesn't stop me from buying books, it enables me to fill my bookshelves with a few lovely hardbacks (sometimes special editions) instead of heaps of manky paperbacks that dissolves after a few years anyway.



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Honoured Mook

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I used to be pretty against the idea, and still doubt I'll be getting one any time soon, but I can definitely see the appeal. If I wasn't sure about a new author, or needed a book just the once I'd prefer to get it on the Kindle, just to save myself space and money, which are things my book collection rapidly eats up. On the other hand, I much prefer a hardcopy for stuff I'm going to be using a lot, or really love. I have hardcopies of Ovid and Homer because they get used pretty much constantly and I enjoy reading them, whereas I get other more obscure stuff online. It's not worth forking out the money for things I'm obliged to read but don't care about and have limited use. Books like that are just clutter after they've finished being useful.

The main problem I have with Kindles is that I tend to get headaches from screens if I use them too long, so they're not especially comfortable for me to use over long periods of time. Books are much better for bedtime reading and that sort of thing. There's also a lot of book borrowing and lending that goes on on my course at uni, which you obviously couldn't do with Kindle copies.

In short, Kindle for necessary and particularly bulky books that I'm not overly fussed about owning, and proper books for comfort reading, longterm reference stuff, and things I love.

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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^ The main point with Kindle and other e-book readers is that they don't use backlight like other screens. They should be no more headache inducing than books printed on paper.

As for borrowing and lending books at Uni -that is why you should get a e-book reader which isn't Kindle. One that handles .pdf better and lets you take notes more easily. Provided your University library is keeping up with the times, you can borrow course books and download scientific articles for free, read them and take notes on your e-book reader. Saving quite a heap of money.

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Honoured Mook

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I can see why they would be useful for some people, but personally I highly doubt I would ever use one.
I did consider getting one for a while because my books are taking over my room and I need to save some space but a few things have put me off of it.

I read in the bath sometimes, and while I've never once dropped a book in the bath before I wouldn't trust myself not to do it with a Kindle which would be loads more expensive to replace than most of my books. I hate the idea of it running out of batteries on long journies too, I always have a book on me as a saving grace incase my iPod runs out of batteries. I'd go absolutely mental if both my music and reading material ran out of batteries. Also, don't many Kindle books cost roughly the same amount as printed copies?

Also, maybe I'm just being a bit sentimental here but I like the weight of a book in my hands and I like actually owning them as opposed to simply having them all stored in a device if that makes any sense.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I have pretty much the same view as you. I have a Kindle, and it was fantastic when we went to Italy (because I didn't have to take books with me, we could fit more stuff in my suitcase!) but I really love my books. My mum said we could sell my books and put them on the Kindle instead and I completely flipped out at her. AS such, my bookcase is now a sacred area that she won't go near in case I attempt to rip out her eyeballs.

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High Mookish Shaman

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Irilar - what kind of reader is yours? Is it just called "ebook reader"? I didn't know amazon kindle restricts you to only amazon products but I suppose that makes sense now :\. Can you buy things off of amazon and use them with another reader? Oh blimey, yes, formats :\ I never thought of that either.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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And as a little side note - should you be so inclined, you can illegally download books onto your Kindle, just like you can music and iPods. Not that I would condone such a thing, of course.



-- Edited by Celtic Mysteria on Tuesday 28th of June 2011 03:38:04 PM

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High Mookish Shaman

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just a thought, is there any chance of a kindle or ebook reader wiping itself?

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I heard my dad say something about certain books being deleted after about two months, but I'm not sure on the details. Don't take my word for it though, I was eavesdropping from upstairs when I was meant to be sleeping and was tired.



-- Edited by Celtic Mysteria on Tuesday 28th of June 2011 07:53:58 PM

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Honoured Mook

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I probably won't be buying one any time soon, but I get their appeal. I'm sure they'd be very useful for people who like to read a lot but simply don't have the room in their house for tons of books. Plus it'd be good for reading in public and during long journeys, because books tend to get ripped and worn out if you have them in your bag for too long. With a kindle or ebook reader you've got a copy that will never get damaged.

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High Mookish Shaman

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At first I was absolutely outraged when I discovered the existence of the Kindle and other e-readers. I eventually came round to thinking that technology changes all the time, that once upon a time, the idea of a book itself was a new-fangled idea. This is just the next step in the evolution of reading really. As someone mentioned, music technology changes more frequently so it somehow seems more acceptable that we've moved from tapes to CDs to MP3s - to me however the move from books to my Kindle is the same thing really.

I got a Kindle for my birthday and to be honest, I love it. However I'm not gonna recommend it for everyone - it only has financial benefit if you're wanting to read certain books. I've downloaded around 20 books so far, all of which have been free, but none of them were published after the 20th century orginally and they're all considered classics of sorts. My boyfriend's mum was considering one so I had a nosy in the Kindle store for the books she was interested in but they were pretty much the same price as buying printed books.

The Kindle does have other benefits though - many have been mentioned already. It's excellent for those who don't have space for a lot of books, it is much easier to travel with and I feel great knowing I'm not going to break any more bags due to the weight of the books I'm carrying.



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Honoured Mook

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Irilar wrote:

^ The main point with Kindle and other e-book readers is that they don't use backlight like other screens. They should be no more headache inducing than books printed on paper.

As for borrowing and lending books at Uni -that is why you should get a e-book reader which isn't Kindle. One that handles .pdf better and lets you take notes more easily. Provided your University library is keeping up with the times, you can borrow course books and download scientific articles for free, read them and take notes on your e-book reader. Saving quite a heap of money.


 Ah, right, I didn't realise that. Makes sense now I think about it that there'd be something different about the screen. As to the borrowing, it's more between students really, because of the limited amount in the library. The uni itself just points us to online resources like Jstor or Perseus rather than having digital versions available. I think it's in the works, but they're nowhere near finished. :/

 



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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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^ That's a reason to avoid Kindle, if you use another e-book reader you can copy files from your friends. Although I think there is some system in Kindle now for borrowing books from friends?

@ Raspectre: I have a Sony Reader Touch which I like a lot better than friends' Kindles I have tried. There are lots of other e-book readers on the market though, I chose the Sony mainly because the touchscreen makes it easier and faster to take notes in academic articles.

The pro's of the Kindle is that there are lots of books easily available in one place. I do occasionally spend some time chasing down the books I want, and if I were only reading fiction in English I'd probably go for the Kindle (except for the nasty monopoly business). But since I also want to read books in Scandinavian languages, borrow books from the library & friends and work with scientific articles Kindle just doesn't deliver what I need.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Irilar wrote:

I love my e-book reader, however it is NOT a Kindle. With a Kindle you are pretty much stuck with e-books from amazon -which sucks big monkey balls if you are reading a lot of books in small obscure languages, since they do not exist in amazon shops. Not to mention that the format used by libraries (at least hereabouts) is .epub. Also, my e-book reader got a touch screen, got a few more nifty features and still was cheaper than a Kindle....

Anyway, I think that products intended to monopolize the market and stop the consumer from buying media from other shops should be boycotted on principle.


But back to e-books vs paper copies: It doesn't stop me from buying books, it enables me to fill my bookshelves with a few lovely hardbacks (sometimes special editions) instead of heaps of manky paperbacks that dissolves after a few years anyway.





Emphasis mine-I agree totally,Irilar. Proprietary [sp?] formats should be avoided at all costs. I'M LOOKING AT YOU,APPLE. It's obvious e-book readers have pros and cons just like normal books. What I'm worried about is if there ever comes a time when books are only released as e-books with some spurious excuse about it costing too much to do a real book,with proper books only printed for something where sufficient demand is known to exist in advance. It's like music only existing as mp3s without any vinyl of it. There's also the business of theft. Because you can stick any book on it,thieves are far more likely to pinch an e-reader left unattended than a battered pulp paperback. There's far more money to be had from fencing an expensive electronic device than a copy of "I kissed a gardener and I liked it",after all.

So...as an alternative to a book,fine. As the only option,not fine. Take Harry Potter...when Rowling was trying to get the first one published,what if no-one had been prepared to take it? "Nah,no demand for a boy wizard,do a Star Trek novel instead".

Or if it had been only released on e-book? "We don't do real books on spec for new authors. Sorry". It's been said that the Potter series has encouraged a lot of young people to read. Would that have happened if those kids' parents had had to spend £100 on a e-reader instead of £10 on a book? Doubt it.

Also,what of the impact on public libraries? People would have to buy e-readers to lend books then,and they're not affordable for a lot of people especially those on benefits. Would local councils/the goobment then subsidise e-readers for poor people? I wager not,but social exclusion like that is the opposite to what public libraries were founded for. The more I think about it,the more nightmarish a world without books seems.

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I heard my dad say something about certain books being deleted after about two months, but I'm not sure on the details. Don't take my word for it though, I was eavesdropping from upstairs when I was meant to be sleeping and was tired.



-- Edited by Celtic Mysteria on Tuesday 28th of June 2011 07:53:58 PM

Just remembered this seedy little incident. Amazon in 'all your book belong to us' debacle... One-off incident that won't happen again? Or the shape of things to come? It's funny,but it isn't,as he who controls history writes it. Imagine the year 2200,where the World Government decides to suppress books that it doesn't like for alleged sedition. A world where 99% of books are electronic. Censorship is so much easier when it can all be done by remote control...a little software update here,and there,poof,all those naughty books are gone. Orwell would be pleased,but of course,in that future world,no-one would know who he was. Napoleon won. Dave.

-- Edited by skgogosfan on Wednesday 29th of June 2011 11:34:43 AM

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High Mookish Shaman

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I love libraries, there's a chap that goes to mine that looks like Bernard Cornwell (yes, I stare).

I don't own any sort of e-reader. I love books. However, I would buy an e-reader if I had unlimited cash to waste on pointless things (but I don't). For me working/watching a screen and reading paper are totally different things that require different concentration levels and (just guessing here), but maybe different regions of your brain?

And there's nothing like going to the National Archive and browsing through the older documents.

Edit: My brother has a Kindle so I've used/examined one before and it was sort of meh. It's useful if a certain book is not available in your country and you don't feel like waiting a month (here's looking at you, customs), for a book to arrive.



-- Edited by Arlenmia on Wednesday 29th of June 2011 11:27:01 AM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I'm not a massive reader and only have a few books, so I'm not too fussed on forking out loads for a Kindle.

My mum on the other hand loves reading, more than anybody else I've ever met, she has so many books we don't know what to do with them (whenever somebody new comes round they ALWAYS comment on the amount of books) and when we move house she's planning on turning the room that's supposed to be a dining room into a library so she has enough room for her books.

She's told me that she wants a Kindle and is then planning on downloading some of the cheap/free books so she can read them on the go, which will suit her fine, as I believe my mum enjoys reading if she thinks whatever she's reading is crap. Plus it will save her from the weight of carrying multiple books about.

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Honoured Mook

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I didn't want a kindle at first, but then someone gave me one as a present for my birthday last year and I thought I might as well try it out. There are things about it I don't like, such as the only being able download books from Amazon. Of course, you can buy an ebook elsewhere and then download a converter and convert it to the kindle and then put it on manually, but that can be a pain. Also, when I sniff the kindle it doesn't smell anywhere near as nice as a book.

That being said, I really like the kindle. I have very little space and books are piling up everywhere and I can carry my kindle around easily. Trying to cart the Lord of the Rings omnibus in my bag is annoying as it barely even fits in, so it being on the kindle is just much easier and I can read it on the go. It also saves me a lot of money, especially on older books now deemed classics, that are usually free or cost only 49p, and other books are sometimes cheaper, though not always. I wouldn't pay the full price for a paperback in ebook form- I'd just buy the actual book.

As for the books being deleted after two months, that's not true. None of my books have been deleted and I've had lots of them for over two months. The only time they are deleted is if you delete them, or if all the space is taken up and even then they aren't deleted. If you delete a book from your kindle or all the space is taken up, they are still automatically saved to your Amazon kindle account so you can go in and download them whenever (you can only re-download them up to 10 times I think though). Another thing that's useful for me is that two of my sisters have kindles, so anytime I download a book if they log into my Amazon account they can download it onto their kindle too. So we sometimes go on ebook sprees and can get the books we want and put in a third each. Obviously this only works is you know someone with a kindle well enough to let them on your account or they let you on theirs. Also, the battery life on the kindle (I don't know other e-reader batteries are like), is amazing. It lasts for about 3-4 weeks so I can take it on holiday without worrying about needing to charge it.

So yeah, I like my kindle, but it will never replace books for me. When I want comfort, I still curl up in bed with a book and enjoy turning the pages and I buy a lot more physical books than ebooks and still go roaming in the library, but the kindle is handy.

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Honoured Mook

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I have one sentence to say about the kindle. Its all the same words, I don't care how they are delivered.

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High Mookish Shaman

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^ Ah this is what I was trying to express, instead I just rambled.

As for battery life, I've had my Kindle over a month now and there's still half the battery left and I read for about an hour every day on it...



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Regular Crew

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I am not a person who likes to buy a hard copy of a book unless I have read it before and plan on reding it about ten more times. Also, because I read so fast, it would exhaust my teenager's income to buy a book whenever I wish to read one.

However, I love borrowing books from libraries, because I love the feeling of standing among shelves of books and browsing through the dusty volumes. As a result, I doubt that I will ever need to buy a kindle or e-reader.

I do see how they could be appealing for some people, though. I mean, they do save space, and the book's content is still the same. 


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Honoured Mook

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I was given a Kindle for a birthday pressie in May this year. I was not a book reader.

I have read 7 books since May. Loving Stephen fry and Michael McIntyre's autobiographies.
Love the ability to download so quickly and cheaply. And the spontaneity like when someone mentioned Lorna Doon, I downloaded it for free!
There are so many free downloads available.

I am a convert!

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Booky Mooky (mod)

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Like LoserButtercup, I was very much against them when they were first introduced, but now I can definitely see the practicality of it- my English teacher at college was one of those people who ALWAYS has 3 books on the go and carries them around everywhere, and got a kindle so that her bag was lighter.

However, I feel that good old paper books are much less risky to read in the bath (you can leave it next to a radiator to dry if you drop it, whereas kindles you're screwed) and dream of one day being able to fill up my living room with books so it's akin to a library. In that sense paperbooks will always triumph.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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As someone who adores books as objects, I had a sort of pet hate for the kindle, feeling it got read of something lovely and replaced it with something cold and techincal for no reason. Then I dated someone who adored it and took it everywhere. For a long time I was absolutely bemused- how could anyone give up books for something that seemed no more convenient, but much less appealing? Then, one time we were reading and ordered chinese. Suddenly I realised the divine function of the kindle- reading whilst eating.

However, with reading-whilst-eating being such a small part of my life, I doubt I'll ever buy one.

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Mookface (mod)

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My mother dearest bought one and adored it, and so decided to buy me one as an early 21st present. I'm mainly looking forward to not having to lug massive course books up and down the M1 - it'd be lovely to just spend some time scanning in the appropriate pages and then have them light and easy to get at and not breaking yet another bag. I think I probably will use it to read some classics that I've been meaning to read for years, but at the end of the day, I will approach it like I do library (and borrowed) books. If I read a book I like, I'll buy my own copy to have on my bookshelf.

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High Mookish Shaman

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I think it's awesome in the sense that it's a hell of a lot more practical with you being able to take thousands of books with you when you go out. However, I think nothing could replace having an actual, physical book in your hands, with all its bends and creases from much use smile



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skgogosfan wrote:

There's also the business of theft. Because you can stick any book on it,thieves are far more likely to pinch an e-reader left unattended than a battered pulp paperback. There's far more money to be had from fencing an expensive electronic device than a copy of "I kissed a gardener and I liked it",after all.

 

^ This.

I read mainly on my commute to and from work as it is a fairly long and boring bus ride. I feel no trepidation whatsoever about getting a book out of my bag and reading it in plain view of the other passengers  (although some of them may wonder what this unfamiliar looking item is). However, the route of my journey does not necessarily go through the nicest areas and I'm pretty sure that within a week I would be mugged for a kindle - this is why I don't listen to my ipod on the bus.

 

Also, whilst I can see the practicality of a kindle for those who travel regularly and don't want to have to pack books I just find them very cold and souless. Nothing will ever beat a book for me.



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High Mookish Shaman

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My Dad recently bought a Kindle. He hasn't actually used it, so I'm not entirely sure what the point of buying it was. His opinion on the matter is that books, music and films are all going the same way: downloadable. So I suppose it makes sense to get a Kindle, as it probably won't be too much in the distant future that the majority of all books are bought in digital form online, and all librarys get closed down. Though, that being said, if anyone tries to close my local library I shall go after them with a rusty pick-axe.

Personally I wouldn't buy a Kindle or any of the ebook readers. I love the feel and smell of books. I love the feeling of opening a new one, and of being able to return it to its place on the bookshelf when I'm finished. In short I just love a good, solid book.

I get most of my books from the library, either buying cheap ones that they are selling off, or borrowing them. It's completely free for me to borrow books from the library, and as I return them afterwards it is a fairly eco-friendly way of book reading as the books are reused by many people rather than new books needing to be made for each person (though the same could be said of Kindles).

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I had this conversation with Critic a while back wandering around a bookshop and taking in all the booky loveliness. He was violently against the idea of e-readers and the like. Tuesday, he turned up at college with one. He doesn't hate himself. In fact, I hated him a little bit when I realised that he had both books we were supposed to be reading for college, plus a number of books about the author and the movements they belonged to AND the books for the rest of the year. Over break he asked the teacher for her recommendations on extra reading for the remaining units and then found them. On a purely academic level, that's bloody useful. Carrying that dinky little thing around in his coat pocket means he'll probably get to read them all whereas I'd have to go and find them in the library, providing no one else got there first, or in a bookshop and then carry them all around at all times to get the same chance.

Again, with the bulk/weight thing. I ended up, on my first day back, lugging ten books home in my rucksack. I'm still cycling to and from college, so the end result was pretty painful.

However, I'm still pretty sentimental about actual books. My room is full of them right now. If they were all on a little device in my bag, my room would be empty. I'm also wondering what this will do to the industry. Less production costs will probably mean that more manuscripts will be accepted, because they're more likely to bring in a profit. Since I hope to be an author myself, I kind of hope that my work won't be swamped in a world where novels are dirt cheap, not given much attention because they're so easy to get hold of and are largely crap because publishers don't care what they're introducing to the world.

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