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How do you feel about ebooks? [merged]

Old 11-17-04, 12:43 PM
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How do you feel about ebooks?

I have a Sony Clie, which i bought about a year ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but i hardly ever use the thing. I decided to get some more use out of it, and downloaded an ebook reader the other day. I have to say, I am really enjoying this. I downloaded a couple ebooks and enjoy the convienience of being able to read just about anywhere without carying around a paperback.

I have been using, but would like to know if anyone could recommend any better sites.
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Old 11-17-04, 03:52 PM
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For some interesting resources, check out these excellent threads:It may be that someone would like to check the links within those threads and maybe annotate some of the information.

Among other notable contributors to those threads, where oh where are the erudite Messrs. RDYoung, Startide, darkside [still posts, I know] and pagansoul!? Their regular presence in Book Talk is definitely missed.
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Old 11-20-04, 11:30 PM
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I really like eBooks, and must have a hundred or so titles on my laptop/tablet PC. They're great for reading while travelling.

Tried Mobipocket and Adobe Reader but they didn't work for me. I now use Microsoft Reader which works well with the laptop in "portrait/tablet" mode.

I do a fair amount of "last minute" travel and it's great to be able to download a couple of books for a trip at the last minute (especially now Amazon doesn't take 6 hours to make the things available after they've been bought. )

Probably the three most annoying things about eBooks are
1. Not being able to "stumble across" eBooks - I generally have to know that an e Version is available before buying.

(Amazon is extremely poor in this respect. I've mailed and asked why they can't use my hardcopy purchases to make ebook Recommendations - I mean, it's still me, right?, but they don't seem to be listening)

2. Things not being available in e format for no apparent reason.
For example - I just finished parts 1 and 2 of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle in e Format - but part 3 isn't available in e format. This is Neal "Snow Crash" Stephenson we're talking about.*
Some of Joe Lansale's work is available in eFormat, some isn't.
and so on.
3. Lack of decent software to manage eBooks, but maybe that's an MS reader shortcoming.

The first two of the above are the things most likely to stop me from continuing to prefer this format, and the ones that tell me that eBooks are not yet "mainstream"

But I will persevere, I was moving stuff around recently and I manhandled a box containing about 40 books up a ricketty ladder to the attic, I came down, picked up my laptop and decided whether to started in on "Choke" or finish up Wilde's essays. It was at that point I figured out what my library's going to look like in future.

*update - I lied I checked and it just became available. That's my weekend taken care of.
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Old 11-22-04, 01:41 AM
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My stepdad is frustrated about the limited selection of ebooks too. His vision isn't very good anymore, so he likes to be able to read large font with a high contrast on his tablet pc.
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Old 11-25-04, 01:37 AM
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I love the physical feel of reading a book. I do like the concept of an e-book though. I like the ability to search for words (maybe to see where a character popped up before or for an event). I also like the idea of a built in dictionary to click on a word and see it defined. I do still see myself reading normal books first and foremost though and using e-features as reference.
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Old 11-26-04, 09:09 PM
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I think ebooks are great, but I spend too much time looking at a computer screen as it is I have got to give my eyes a break.
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Old 12-04-04, 12:20 AM
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grrrrrr. Give me a real book please. The thought of trying to read a book on a computer screen frankly disgusts me. I have one, but never made it through. Yeeech!
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Old 12-08-04, 10:57 PM
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I don't see how its easier to read on a laptop. Books are smaller. I download movie scripts to read on my laptop but that's only because they're free.
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Old 12-18-04, 12:15 PM
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I really thought that by now ebooks would be all we had - I still think I was right but my timing was off by about 20 years. Other places, like China, will be way ahead of the US. We still haven't harnessed the power of the handhelds. When they are fully integrated with phone and net service they will become indispensible tous and ebooks will finally take off
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Old 12-18-04, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by NeggShmellow
grrrrrr. Give me a real book please. The thought of trying to read a book on a computer screen frankly disgusts me. I have one, but never made it through. Yeeech!
Reading on a LCD PDA screen is a totally different experience. I've been reading ebooks since 1999 and I love them. I have a library of around 300 ebooks most of them purchased at places like and

The LCD screens in PDAs are very easy on the eyes and you can blow up the font to whatever size is comfortable for you. I usually read at night, so having a backlit color screen is excellent. You can change the color and font to anything you are in the mood for and its easy to place bookmarks and make notes while reading. I also have a College Dictionary on my PDA so I can double check definitions if I run across a work I'm not familiar with by simply highlighting the word. The greatest thing is I can always carry dozens of books with me for whatever I'm in the mood to read in a very small PDA.

I have owned several Clie's over the years though now I have a Tapwave Zodiac. The Clie is a great PDA for ebook reading with its jog dial.

The selection of Ebooks is actually very good now and many of the new release books that are $25 at book stores can be bought for $10 as ebooks.

Check out and sign up for their newsletter. You get 10% off of their books using the code in the newsletter. They use the eReader software which you can download for free from their site. They also have a better Pro version which is $10, but comes with several free books. During Christmas they are giving away a different Classic Book every day on the site.

Another great site is They are frequently running promotions where you can get big rebates on the books you buy. Sometimes 100%. The support all different types of ebook software including Mobipocket and eReader. They also give a way a few classic books every week.

Ebooks will never replace paper books, but for those of us with PDAs it is really a great way to read. I haven't read a paper book other than the Daily Show America book in years.
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Old 12-21-04, 05:10 PM
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I would rather read a book printed on paper than on a screen.
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Old 12-22-04, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DoogieHowser
I would rather read a book printed on paper than on a screen.

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Old 12-22-04, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
And where does plastic and cpu's come from? Hmmmm?
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Old 12-23-04, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DoogieHowser
And where does plastic and cpu's come from? Hmmmm?
Texas Instruments?
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Old 01-01-05, 03:46 PM
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Well, I'm a traditional printed book guy myself and don't see myself going the e-book route. Then again, when CNN first started up I thought a 24-hour news network was a stupid idea.
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Old 01-01-05, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DoogieHowser
And where does plastic and cpu's come from? Hmmmm?
From Trees? Do elves make them in trees? I'm really lost on that reference.

I agree ebooks are a niche thing and not for everyone. If you have a PDA or laptop though its worth trying out. You can build an entire library of classics for free. I'm much happier with my entire library on a single CD-R instead of all over my house like they use to be. I just don't have the room. My DVDs took over all the bookshelves.
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Old 01-01-05, 09:35 PM
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Well, since most everything that I read are old classics, it would be a pain in the ass to find the annotations, which greatly assist in reading. Is there an effective method for this on PDAs?
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Old 07-18-05, 11:10 AM
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Do you read E-books???

Just wondering if anyone read e-books?? I might give it a try, but it seems like you would strain the heck out of your eyes.

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Old 07-18-05, 12:33 PM
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Yeah, all the time. I read Dracula, Alice in wonderland, and a bunch of others as ebooks. No strain at all but that would depend on your pda. It might be even better for your eyes because of the color screen and changeable font size. Its not like reading a computer screen. My eyes will start to hurt if I read on a computer to long.
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Old 07-18-05, 12:47 PM
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I've got a bunch of them for my PDA & Laptop, but in don't generally read them. For some reason I like having the book in my hand. Perhaps a dedicated device would make things different. I know Toshiba had an intriguing device coming out, but I don't know if it ever actually hit the market.
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Old 07-18-05, 01:26 PM
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I've read some. I'm finding audiobooks are much easier though.
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Old 07-18-05, 01:56 PM
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Huge ebook fan. I've been reading them on PDAs since 1999. As mentioned above you can change the fonts and colors so its actually much easier on your eyes than you would think. I can see how it might not be so good on a CRT, but I always use a 480x320 Palm PDA. Not to mention reading at night is easy with a backlit screen. The only "print" book I have read in the past few years is America the Book. In that same time I have probably read 150 ebooks.

The major downside is no paper feel to the book. Some people like that. And the fact it is digital so you can't sell it later at a used book store.

Upside is you can carry your entire library with you on a memory card, customize the fonts and colors of your books to your liking, read at night with no problems and PDAs are small (many Series 60 phones also work with ebooks) so its easy to always have a book with you.

It will never replace paper books, but it is a great option to have.
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Old 07-18-05, 02:34 PM
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I read E-books on my computer at work and have a physical copy at home for reading there. Helps me get through books a lot faster when I can cover at least a chapter every day during lunch.
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Old 07-28-05, 08:17 AM
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ebooks as a replacement for paper books?

I have whole heartedly embraced e-books. I read about 4-5 books every 2 weeks. This translated into weekly trips to Waldenbooks at the mall for my paperback habit. Back in October of 2002, I bought a book that came with a free CD-ROM with a bunch of e-books on it. By the end of 2002 I was reading 50% of my books as ebooks, and the % has grown to 99.9% now. I still read the same amount, but now use my TREO 650 smartphone with mobipocket reader for almost all my reading for pleasure. Am I unique in this? I have seen a huge growth in availability of ebooks as well as a bunch of new web sites to purchase ebooks from over the last 2 1/2 years, but I dont actualy know anyone who reads ebooks.
Anyone want to comment on this?
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Old 07-28-05, 08:28 AM
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Until I have something less cumbersome than my notebook computer on which to read them, e-books will be just an occasional thing for me. Eventually I can see them being quite popular.
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