Etext vs. Print: Preference?

  • Thread starter diogenesNY
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  • #1
diogenesNY
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Just something I have been thinking about lately.

In my own experience, I generally prefer books and paper for the majority of my reading, but with some qualifiers.

I do most of my 'ephemeral' reading (e.g. forums, email, random web articles and news, etc) online and off the screen. If I am going to read a book, I actually like to read a book. Also, articles and papers - I prefer to print them out, especially if I expect to refer to them a number of times, and especially especially if I am likely to scribble margin notes, comments, and the like... as I am want to do. FWIW, I usually carry a clipboard around with me that has a spiral notebook that I take notes in, and also sheets of printout stuffed under the notebook that I will catch a peek at when I have a chance and the inclination.

It also happens that I come across a lot of reading as etexts and ebooks which I need to or would like to read, but first I usually see if I can find a copy of the book in question at the library (thankfully I have access to a really good system) and borrow the actual book if i can. Failing that, I often enough wind up reading something on a computer screen, which I don't like so much as an aesthetic experience.

One big convenient advantage of (openly accessible) etexts is the ability to link to it on a forum or include a link in an email. Very useful when sharing or even citing a source.

No strong moral or practical imperatives here. I am just fumblingly musing on something I have been thinking about lately, and would be interested in other people's takes on the matter.

diogenesNY
 

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  • #2
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I'm still a paper print guy. If I'm going to read a novel, I want to feel the pages.
 
  • #3
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I like my books in dead tree form. If you drop a book on the floor, you don't have to worry about the pages shattering.
 
  • #4
jtbell
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I wouldn't want to risk taking my phone or iPad with me when I soak in the bathtub for a couple of hours.
 
  • #5
symbolipoint
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I wrote a couple of academic reports a few years ago and instead of finding newspaper and magazines or periodical references (as in printed on paper), I found online articles and online reports, which some of them I listed as informative references for my academic report. Several years earlier if I had done the report, I am sure I would have tried to look in (forgot what it was called) 'Periodical Guide' or "Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature' and try to find the relevant articles. The more modern way seemed faster.
 
  • #6
symbolipoint
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Remember, recall, or find, the science fiction episode with Burgess Meredith about preserving and reading books after books became obsolete (from either Outer Limits or the Twighlight Zone).

---

After a brief search, these are not exactly what I thought I remembered:


Probably more relevant ----


Interesting but a little less relevant ----
 
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  • #7
fresh_42
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Remember, recall, or find, the science fiction episode with Burgess Meredith about preserving and reading books after books became obsolete (from either Outer Limits or the Twighlight Zone).
There is also a story by Lem where bacteria destroyed all paper on earth. This was before our modern mass storages, but the idea still works, one only have to add a giant sun storm.
 
  • #8
diogenesNY
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'The Obsolete Man' is one of my all time favorite Twilight Zone eps.

Also, Stanislaw Lem _also_ wrote a later novel that ended with a computer virus (from moon based, human built AI) that infected Earth's power grid and information infrastructure, destroying and decaying them, respectively.

diogenesNY
 

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