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EBooks vs realBook

  1. Aug 27, 2011 #1
    I recently purchased "Space and Geometry" by Sean Carroll. Wonderful introduction to General Relativity!

    I wanted to say what a joy a well made, written and illustrated physical book is. I am not a Luddite, eBooks are useful and fill a need but the physical feel of a beautiful book will never be obsolete (I hope)!

    Is it my age (52) or is something more than that? The book has been with us since the beginning of recorded history (is that a tautology?). There is the feeling of actually owning a beautiful object that an eBook cannot replace.

    What's your opinion?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2011 #2
    I prefer real books over ebooks any time! Actually being able to physically go through the pages and to smell the book. Nothing can beat that...
  4. Aug 27, 2011 #3


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    I prefer hard copy (or paperback depending) for reading, but I like e-books, IF I can extract text or figures.

    I do like pdfs of journal articles from which I can extract text or figures for reports or presentations.
  5. Aug 27, 2011 #4


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    I read books that have beautiful large detailed photos, maps, pages from old books, the books are very large. An e-book wouldn't work for the types of books I buy.
  6. Aug 27, 2011 #5
    I download e-books (mostly textbooks) to see if it is good and maybe it use it on my campus if I don't want to bring them to class.

    So Both.
  7. Aug 27, 2011 #6
    I love a hardcover textbook but since I am 50% blind I prefer a digital copy that I can zoom in 200% .For the same reason I also listen to audiobooks.
  8. Aug 27, 2011 #7
    Both have their advantages. If I had the luxury, I would get both the ebook and the hardcopy of the books. That way I would not have the need to carry extra books if I want to study for some class that is on another day. If I had a class to study for on that day, I would bring my hardcopy. Plus, as micro said, nothing can beat the smell of a new book! :D
  9. Aug 27, 2011 #8


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    And you wouldn't want to use an e-reader to smash bugs.
  10. Aug 28, 2011 #9
    Haha I wouldn't want to use a hardcopy to smash bugs either. x) Books are just too precious! I am reading my Engineering book right now and their is a fly that is bothering me. I had to swing at it with my book because it was irritating me...
  11. Aug 28, 2011 #10


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    I prefer hard copy for textbooks, reference, and even the journal papers I download (I print them off). Nothing beats the flexibility of having the Real Deal in front of you to overlay, compare, flag, mark-up, and so-on. (And occasionally, for tinder, in case of emergency).

    For my recreational reading, I've pretty much switched over to buying eBooks instead of physical books (I can afford it, and I think the authors deserve some compensation for their work, the lions' share taken by the publishing companies not withstanding). While the old problem was carrying around too many paperbacks, the new problem is finishing the books I start (and deciding what to read)--but that might just be a reflection of how much free time I have (or rather, how little).
  12. Aug 28, 2011 #11
    Ebooks are especially help full for engineering and other technical things. This is because authors frequently "refer to Fig.12.in page X", "the equation no. xxx" , "Table No. X in page X", "Appendix .. " etc. You can quickly navigate in eBook, search for particular Terms, and also have multiple instances of them open for cross reference.
    However, I agree that the feel isn't that good, but I think its mostly a habit thing.
  13. Aug 28, 2011 #12
    Many hard-cover books are physically beautiful. On the other hand, many hard-cover textbooks are hideously expensive new. If it's a popular book, it's often expensive used too. I've never liked e-books, but they are usually well priced.
  14. Aug 28, 2011 #13
    Assuming price did not matter, real books by far anyday:biggrin:
  15. Aug 28, 2011 #14
    I can put 3,000 books on my Kindle and last night when the power went out I just increased to font to a ridiculous size and read it by candle light.

    Next you'll be arguing how much better clay tablets are then paper.
  16. Aug 28, 2011 #15
    "Next you'll be arguing how much better clay tablets are then paper. "

    If that's directed towards me i don't think that is at all what I am arguing. I wouldn't know how define "better" in this context. I am simply interested in a conversation about the future of books.

    I agree with the point that current textbooks are horribly expensive. I guess it is understandable in the case of a book like "Spacetime and Geometry". The effort it takes to write and publish vs. potential sales is daunting.

    If real books disappear in a generation or two it will only be the normal progression of technology. No big deal. To me, however, and other people of my generation there is an attachment to the physical object. As another poster said even the smell of a well made book can be cherished.

    Also i simply don't feel i own an eBook the way i do a real book.
  17. Aug 28, 2011 #16


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    Does anyone make a waterproof e-book reader that I can use while I'm soaking in the bathtub, without having to worry about dropping it?
  18. Aug 28, 2011 #17
    http://www.expansys.com/aquapac-waterproof-sony-ebook-case-120190/ [Broken]

    Lol, not a waterproof e-book reader, but rather a case.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  19. Aug 28, 2011 #18
    Already India is preparing to produce the first $30.oo tablet PC and the whole idea of "books" is about to become all but obsolete. Newspapers having been going out of business for years now, magazines have been loosing business, and now bookstores are going bankrupt. Get over it.
  20. Aug 28, 2011 #19
    Well yes sir i will do that! :rofl:

    Why is it that "get over it" fits into "like get like over it dude" so well?
  21. Aug 28, 2011 #20
    Because grandpas sitting in their rocking chairs and complaining about progress and the younger generation don't say "dude".
  22. Aug 28, 2011 #21
    Exactly where did i complain about progress?
  23. Sep 10, 2011 #22
    Depends on what the books are used for. I'm into computer programming, so I like to be able to hit CTRL+ALT to switch between IDE and E-Book pretty quickly. But for casual reading, a real book is easier on the eyes (provided enough light).
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