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Do you like or dislike reading e-books?

  1. Apr 24, 2012 #1
    The library sent out a survey today asking about e-books to the entire university. Now I know it is bound to happen where there will no longer be physical books anymore, but personally I can not stand reading e-books. I absolutely hate when you have to scroll back and forth between pages to look at a figure that is 20 pages back that is referenced on the current page. With a physical book I can easily put my finger between both pages and look at the text+figure at the same time easily. Plus, I simply can not stare at a computer screen for hours on end like I can at a book. What about you?
     
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  3. Apr 24, 2012 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Reading on a screen I'm not partial to (ever since a bout of eye strain a last year that my eyes still haven't recovered from) but from something like a kindle it's fine because it's not a screen; it's static e-paper. Also I have some ebooks where if something is referenced to somewhere else in the book simply tapping/selecting the reference will take you to that page (with a back button to quickly zip back). I admit that whilst I like my kindle it could be a lot better; the interface is poor, it doesn't look good, the "screen" is a slightly off-yellow colour and the experience doesn't rival that of a real book but as ebook adoption is now approaching the start of it's big break I'm sure that in future ebook readers will fully address these problems in a myriad of competing ways.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2012 #3

    Borek

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    Some things are OK on Kindle (and I guess other electronic readers), some are not. Textbooks, or other scientific books are difficult to read - jumping back to see the figure or formula is a nightmare. Novels are OK.
     
  5. Apr 24, 2012 #4
    It's ok on my old Kindle, and better on my daughter's Kindle Fire. I like regular books, but the Kindle is searchable, built in definitions, light, easily carried on trips, and the ebooks are modestly priced and instantly available. The move toward eTextbooks for schools will be great. No more excuses about forgetting the book, so can't do the homework. Hopefully, the future will bring professional journals, etc. to ebooks.
     
  6. Apr 25, 2012 #5
    I like ebooks :)
     
  7. Apr 25, 2012 #6
    I'll probably never get into the whole e-books thing unless it gets forced on me. As long as there are books around for me to read and they don't become expensive or something, then I will be reading regular books.

    I like books, they smell good.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2012 #7
    I was going to say that! :mad::wink:

    But, yeah, if they make a kindle that accurately simulates the smell of real books, I'd buy five.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2012 #8

    Astronuc

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    I like pdfs especially where I can copy and use figures/plots for reference in technical reports, and where possible extracting text to quote in a report rather than retyping it.

    To read, I prefer paper text books.

    With respect to journal articles, I prefer to obtain them electronically.
     
  10. Apr 25, 2012 #9
    E-books have only recently established themselves as a popular alternative. Some publishers are just beginning to play around with hyperlinking them, adding music sound tracks, etc. and if you need to do technical reading there are tablets on the market with dual screens. For novels and magazines though their day has arrived. An $80.oo Kindle can hold 2,000 books, you can download free books online, change the font size at will, and the battery lasts 10 days. Like any other electronic device their price will only continue to drop as they become more powerful and even more compact.
     
  11. Apr 25, 2012 #10
    I like the look and feel of paper. I like the idea of physically owning a copy of a book. I don't read novels, but I can see how something like the kindle would be good for that though.
     
  12. Apr 25, 2012 #11

    Astronuc

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    Hopefully, one can back that up, otherwise, what happens when it dies?

    A local radio personality dropped his relatively new (few weeks old) I-pad on a hard surface. It got hosed.
     
  13. Apr 25, 2012 #12

    DaveC426913

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    I took the plunge into ebooks because of my upcoming vacation. Can't really afford to bring 5 pounds of books. Now I can bring a half dozen books - more than enough to suit whatever mood I'm in, for less than a half pound.
     
  14. Apr 25, 2012 #13
    I think paper books are better. I read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald in a paper copy and I thought it was very good. Then I read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown as an e-book and it was lousy.
     
  15. Apr 25, 2012 #14
    You can back them up anyway you like or just download them again for free whenever you want. It only takes a few seconds per book to download.
     
  16. Apr 25, 2012 #15
    I'm just waiting until you can directly download the book to your brain.

    I'v never used an e-book and never will.
     
  17. Apr 25, 2012 #16

    More likely we'll have augmented reality glasses soon enough that just do it all and double as sunglasses to boot. The ultimate portable solution that can provide an apparent 70" ultra high resolution screen if you want for watching movies, playing games, reading books, surfing the web, etc. All in one cheap pair of glasses connected to the cloud. Microsoft and others are already working on interfaces for them that combine voice, gestures, eye tracking, virtual keyboards, the works, into an intuitive whole. With things like neuromorphic processors the machines can even quickly learn your idiosyncrasies and adapt to your personal communication style and make good suggestions as to how to improve your experience.
     
  18. Apr 25, 2012 #17

    DaveC426913

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    Yeah, but that's all just a fancier way of reading a book. It would still come down to your eyes having to scan words one by one into your brain.
     
  19. Apr 25, 2012 #18
    Being able to just inject information directly into your brain whole hog appears to be possible, but that's likely a long way off yet. These kinds of augmented reality glasses will be coming on the market possibly within five years. However, if you are interested there is already a device on the market that applies small electric shocks to the brain that can cut study times in half. A bit crude to say the least, but beggars can't be choosers.
     
  20. Apr 26, 2012 #19

    Ryan_m_b

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    I think you're getting far ahead of yourself here. AR glasses have been talked about for decades and whilst we have continued to develop technology towards them there is still no confirmed product on the horizon, let alone one with all the abilities that you have proposed. I admit though that I am looking forward to the day where I can wear glasses that are also my general purpose casual computer and phone (so long as the interface is intuitive and well designed).

    However I fail to see why AR glasses would necessarily kill off e-readers. Reason being that e-readers are static e-paper displays that are far easier on the eyes to read. This is why tablets, smartphones and computers aren't totally competing with things like kindles. A personal complication on top of that is that I require glasses to read screens without getting headaches, if my glasses are a screen how will this be achieved? Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone but the number of people requiring glasses to read and read screens is a sizable portion of the demographic.
    Why do you think this? What evidence have you for information being possible to "inject whole hog"? Furthermore any device that shocks the brain to improve study rime is bunk, research in recent years has shown that very specific and direct stimulation of mouse hypocampi improves learning puzzles. The idea that someone has done it in humans and marketed it seems dubious at best.
     
  21. Apr 26, 2012 #20
    I know a way to cut study times in half without electric shocks. Unfortunately, you get failing grades when you use it.
     
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