12 comments on “Embracing The E-Book?

  1. I feel the same way, Gary. Nothing compares to the feel of a book in my hand. The texture, smells, creases in the pages, and all the things you mentioned make it somehow more… personal, I suppose, and easier for me to connect. All those things give the book character and help bring the story to life.

    Nothing wrong with the technology, but I prefer the books too.

    Good topic!

  2. I agree 100%. I just can’t get along with them.

    I’m fine with writing and reading online, whether it’s blogs and forums or full-length manuscripts. And I can do it all without pain since I made peace with the voice recognition software.

    But when I want to relax with a book, that exactly what I want in my hands: a real book.

  3. I feel much the same way. I love not only stories, but the books themselves. I like turning pages and visibly marking my progress through the volume. I like rereading and finding old bookmarks, essentially old memories.

    I’ve read several ebooks, trying it out to see if I might be prejudiced. I always feel like I’m cheating, like I still need to go back and re-read from a print copy.

  4. I find that when I use my Sony Reader, I actually read more, and faster. It has become a comfortable feel for me and because there are so many books and not enough hours in a day to read, I make very good use of mine. It’s also most excellent for traveling.

    But I’d never “give up” my hardcovers. For one thing, they look too nice on the shelves! Since acquiring the e-reader I find myself making an even bigger distinction between reading and collecting.

  5. Giles: Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is…it has no texture, no context. It’s there and then it’s gone. If it’s to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um, smelly.

    (Quote from the Buffy episode) ‘I, Robot – You, Jane’.

    Sums up how I feel about books but then I am someone who worked in a second hand bookshop and who would wonder about the history of the really old books we would get in:)). You mention cover art too Gary. More than once I’ve been drawn to a book by it’s cover art flicked through it and thought it looked like a book worth reading. Well ended up having a couple of favourite authors that way. Love technology don’t think I could ever replace printed books with e-books though. Trying to have a book cull at the moment. Damn it’s difficult:(

  6. Lottie: thank you! I don’t think I have anything to add to that. You’ve about covered it. 😉

    David: you’ve hit on something that I’ve missed, actually. I too write and read online, and with the advent of LCD screens it doesn’t bother me the way it did with the old monitors. I never read my manuscripts on paper, and, oddly, I’m quite comfortable with that.

    Voice recognition software is wonderful, isn’t it? Do you have RSI-related problems? (If that isn’t too personal a question.)… I’ve just had a quick look at your blog. Looks like we are very much in the same boat, writing wise. In the name of writerly solidarity, you’re going in my feed reader and on my blog roll!

    The Eighth Art: it does feel like cheating! Isn’t that peculiar?

    draabe: the funny thing is, I should actually find using an e-book reader more convenient (I have a physical disability that makes it difficult for me to “manhandle” large books.) I can certainly see a number of advantages, but I just haven’t been able go that extra yard and find it as satisfying as I would want it to be. Maybe one day 🙂

    Lou: books as a limbic stimulant! So true! I don’t think I completely agree with Giles, however. Knowledge gained from the computer might not have texture, but it does certainly have context. It’s not a fleeting thing at all.

    Books are really hard to get rid of, aren’t they? All those memories…

  7. Thanks, Gary. I’ve added you to my blogroll too.

    Not precisely RSI, but I think the symptoms are propbably identical. I have severe Fibrmoyalgia & ME. During a long & deep relapse the winter before last, my arms and hands just stopped working as typing tools.

    Took me about a year to get the money together for VR and about three months to learn a way I can use it efficiently. I didn’t find it easy, but we’re on good talking terms now. 🙂

  8. I see — I can certainly relate to that, David. I have Type II spinal muscular atrophy (the mild end of the spectrum, but still classed as “severe” ) and can’t type using a conventional keyboard anymore. I have movement but limited strength.

    Which software are you using? I’m using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9… quite reasonably priced and extremely effective.

  9. I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9, too. I had to pay extra for the Preferred Version so I can work remotely with a dictation machine when I can’t sit at the computer. And then I had to buy a compatible dictation machine. But before I did any of that I had to buy a new computer, because my old one wasn’t powerful enough to run Dragon.

    All together I didn’t get much change out of £1000, but it’s money well spent and I’m very happy with the set-up now.

  10. I got the version with digital voice recorder but I must admit I haven’t tried using it, yet. There will be times when I need it, though, so I’m not sorry that I spent that bit extra.

    I actually thought that I might have to upgrade my RAM from 1 gigabyte to two but even with a number of background apps running it still works perfectly.

    Glad it’s working well for you, too, David. Pretty incredible, isn’t it? When I was a kid, I never would have imagined that this would have been possible. It just shows to go you 😉

  11. Have yet to fully get to grips with my Sony Ereader as just out the box. However the benefits as i see them are that i will be cutting down on the 10 books that fill my suitcase and also reduce time waiting for books to be delivered from Amazon. I buy lots of books from Amazon and think they have missed a trick by not introducing the Kindle to the UK yet.

  12. I think it’s something I really will have to try more seriously soon, Richard. There would be real benefits for me in using something like the Sony Ereader (juggling lots of books is physically quite difficult for me… pretty impossible, in fact.)

    I’ll be interested in hearing how you get on with it — whether it feels like reading a traditional book, shortcomings etc.

    Have you any experience with Kindle? Any good?

    Thanks for dropping by. It is appreciated.

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