Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead Trees

I will confess, here and now, that I love my nook and Kindle devices. I knew that I would not like the look or feel of a tablet, for reading – though many do –  so I bought the eInk versions and invested in nice, leather covers for both of them, so that the sensation of holding a real book would still be there. Over time, the leather has taken on the smell of the real books it’s kept with when I’m not using it. It has absorbed oils from my hands. And if the story is good enough, I can forget – just for the moment – that it is an electronic device.

It’s an author’s job to “suspend disbelief.” Not to make the fantasy so convincing that people will argue over whether it’s factual or implausible or downright impossible, but to make the reader “suspend their disbelief” long enough to simply enjoy a good story.  And that’s what a leather cover on an eInk version of an eReader does. It will never replace a book.

But it is nice to peruse the stacks or buy books while lying in bed, curled up under the covers, at two o’clock in the morning. It is nice to shop from the comfort of a recliner, while sipping tea. I have the wifi, 3G versions. It is nice to have free, two-day shipping on the hard-bound editions, and to have them gently tossed onto my doorstep or tucked into the mailbox…

Yes, I am contributing to the downfall of the economy and civilization as we know it. This is WalMart for introverts who panic at the thought of being greeted by somebody’s grandpa at the whoosh of an automatic door.


And I confess: I love it.

Paper-and-ink books are, nevertheless, important. They are essential. I fear that anyone who doubts it lacks imagination; that, or their imagination is a blessedly sweet place where unicorns frolic and nothing bad ever happens.

Children’s books ought to be physical books – and eBooks, where it makes sense for them to be. Imagine Pat the Bunny as an eBook. And who wants to leave their eReader in a crib? My parents left books in my crib, convinced that would help to make them friendly, familiar objects as I grew older, and turn me into a lifelong reader. Who am I to quibble? It seems to have worked! My book, A New Leaf for Lyle, is fine as an eBook, but Trockle? I think it depends on when and where you’re reading it. As its author, I selfishly hope that you are reading it at bedtime, with your toddler tucked under one arm and the book in the other, while helping each other to turn the pages. But if you are traveling, packing as light as you can, and your toddler wants to re-read Trockle on the airplane as it soars 35,000 feet above the Atlantic, an eBook version – which, by the way, isn’t yet available – might make sense. Better yet – what if every paper-and-ink version of a book included the eBook? Amazon does this, now, for selected titles – or makes the eBook version available for just a dollar more. I think that’s a bargain.


Enduring literature ought to be printed on good paper in quality ink, as should useful historical facts, philosophy, and technical knowledge. Why? Because we can still read that, three thousand years from now. Try reading a file you saved on a 5¼” diskette in 1990. If you own a newer notebook PC, does it even read CDs or DVDs? Where are your bookshelves? Who keeps them well stocked for you?

You might say, “What does it matter? Who cares that we can read some dusty, crumbling old text written thousands of years ago? Knowledge evolves so fast – nobody’s got time for that!” What about learning the lessons of history direct from the minds of those who lived it? What about The Bible, The Qur’an, The Torah? What about the works of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates?

Every author hopes you’ll want to read and reread their novels, their thoughts on life, their motivational scribbles. We realize that in a throw-away society, most of them will end up in second-hand, half-price bookstores; library fundraisers; or landfills – sooner, rather than later. Paper makes great compost, and most inks are vegetable based, these days. But there are important reasons not to rely solely on the convenience and portability of eBooks and eReaders.

Imagine a day when the power goes out, and someone’s forgotten how to turn it back on. Imagine a dystopian future where books contain the knowledge – not to mention the motivational support – needed to reboot civilization. There may come a day when we need to teach high schoolers how to grow food, or to teach computer geeks how to sew clothing – a day when writers must learn to build a house and teachers will need to create light to learn by. Imagine a time when all the knowledge that took man to the moon is lost – and must either be read from books and stacks of documentation or rediscovered the hard way.

Or, imagine a darker future in which those who control knowledge control power. Read Fahrenheit 451. Read 1984. And imagine the day your eReader only serves up state-approved reading material. All libraries are gone; they’ve been replaced by computers run on servers run by an organization like Erudite.

Or just imagine a day when the entire Internet has crashed. It was designed to withstand thermonuclear attack, but was it designed to run out of funding?

I’m not worried; it’s not likely to happen in my lifetime.

Or is it?

 

 

HollyJahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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10 thoughts on “Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead Trees”

  1. Then there was this Swedish lady who had several hundred ebooks, on some gizmo. Well, the company that either owned the thing, or the books, said she did something they did not like, and they reached out and wiped them all out. So her investment was gone. Trashed. She could not even find out what she did wrong, or why, or appeal their decision or anything.

    WHY? Who knows. Because, as you know, huge USA corporations never make any mistakes, and are perfect. Moreover their justice, well, not even SCOTUS comes close. Besides, have you evvver met a Swede you could trust? I mean they are all descended from Vikings, and nevvver changed their evil ways. GO USA! USA! USA!

    A few years ago, I spent a fruitless 2.5 days trying to get one set up for a local senior. Well, first, I had to teach myself how to use it. Hard to do since user manuals do not exist. THEN I would have had to teach her how to use it. And although they all connected to her Brand New HP, Win 7 laptop, the 2 would not talk together. My idea has been to search for books using the laptop, which had a real keyboard. (The keyboards on these gadgets, SUCK!) Then I would download the books to the laptop, and thence to the CD. Well, altho THEORETICALLY one could do that, I never found the right spell. Perhaps my Eye of Newt was no good…. And I discovered that while “there are millions of FREE books on the web”, they are not locate-able. One finds a list of books, which leads to a directory, which leads to a list, which leads to a description…. But round and round you go, never to find a “real” book. And when you DO Find one, it is in a format that is not compatible with the gizmo! We went through 3 gizmos, and a thousand bucks. (Which were all eventually returned.) Her daughter, who works at a high tech co in Ottawa, managed to download 1 book, onto one of the gadgets. Which then, of course, the old lady hated it, but we could not figure out how to get the book OFF the thing. Not even the e-expert at WalMart.

    Finally, I asked her: Why do you want to do this? You can go to the Sally Ann, Jarret’s, Value Village, and buy GOOD used books for a buck! Or get them free from the library! Why do you not want to read real books? “Because there is no light in my room by my bed, and I like to read in bed, and fall asleep.” I went and looked. Night table, outlet, bed, and a silly useless decorative lamp — totally unsuitable for reading. The light was a ceiling light, controlled by a switch at the door.

    Solution? Canadian Tire, wall mounted, reading lamp. $35. Building Super, and 1/2 hour. Problem solved.

    Yah. I’ll stick to something simple, thanks.

    These things may become a consumer product someday. But they had better get simplified. And more useful. And while we could have bought LOTS off books off the net, the problem was still downloading and uploading, and file formats. And most of the ebooks were $12 to $25 each. Well, e-ink is dammed expensive as you know.

    I know a lady, who controls computers around the world. She manages money accounts for rich people. I suggested an ebook thing for her once. She still threatens to run me over in her Honda. But then, after knowing me 40 years, can I blame her? NO!

    1. Oh, my. We’re back to exchanging “books” of our own in comments, aren’t we?

      First, it was a Norwegian woman, Linn Jordet Nygaard, and the issue seems to have been resolved with as little explanation as she was given on what policy violations supposedly prompted them to close it, though there was some speculation about regional rights and her using a friend’s account to buy books that were not supposedly available in Norway (per the publisher’s terms). The thing to remember, with eBooks as with music and video, is that when you buy one, you are buying a LICENSE to personally consume the content. You don’t get to use it in ways that violate the terms of agreement – you do not OWN the music, you own a license to use ONE COPY OF IT in a limited sort of way. If you don’t like the rules and work to deliberately circumvent the rules, you are not the innocent victim in the case. In this particular case, Amazon reversed its actions and re-opened the woman’s account. I believe that’s the end of the story. But this is exactly on point with regard to this blog post – you do not control the content unless you own a physical copy of the book. And even as an author, I’d suspend the rules of copyright in the event of Armageddon, in the name of quickly getting back up to speed on things like transportation, home building, food production, and space travel.

      With a paper-and-ink book, the metaphor is straightforward and easy to understand: You can loan the book to a friend or read it together in the same room, but you cannot stand at a photocopier and make a copy and give it to your friend. Of course that would be silly – the time, labor, and materials costs of doing that are generally higher than simply buying your friend their own copy of the book as a gift.

      With eBooks, music, and video, the idea is the same – you are GENERALLY allowed to make a personal backup copy; you may be allowed to consume it on all your personally owned digital devices (PC, tablet, eReader, smartphone – maybe). You may not make and distribute copies (for free or for money) for friends and others. You don’t own my words, but you are more than welcome to read my blog and share links to it with others. People want to argue with this, but it’s silly.

      Most of us took DRM off of books and music and videos because not only does it thwart criminals, it’s a massive PITA for the customers and we LIKE real customers. So we risk piracy and loss of income for your convenience, but have no mercy on those who would abuse our trust.

      In most cases, you CAN read your Kindle books on your PC, tablet, and phone. You just need an app for each, and you need to synchronize the content to each device. It could be more seamless, but it should work as you expected it to. That said, beware those sites that claim to be the “NetFlix for Books” – many of them are straight out scams. They do not even HAVE the books they claim to have; they appear to be nothing more than elaborate schemes to get your money out of your credit card. If you missed my sharing it before, read https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2016/01/25/the-problem-with-ebook-piracy-spam/ Buyer, beware.

      Your solution, though, to your elderly friend’s problem is excellent. Supposedly, Henry Ford said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” Quote Investigator’s background on this quotation is here: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/07/28/ford-faster-horse/ but regardless of whether Ford said it, said it first, or said something else entirely, it’s still a good point on gathering the customer’s actual requirements – trying to understand what it is they really want to accomplish, and not just trying to give them what you think they’re asking for, if you don’t understand their objectives. Your answer to the problem was simple, inexpensive and probably something the woman will enjoy much more than what she THOUGHT she wanted. But if I wanted to carry 1000 books in my purse, so I could read fiction, poetry, technical manuals, politics, history – and borrow a book from the library on the go – while commuting or traveling on business, your solution wouldn’t help me at all. An eReader would.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead TreesMy Profile

  2. I put my comments just after yours. Here’s hoping the cost of e-ink, does not go through the ceiling….

    RE: Oh, my. We’re back to exchanging “books” of our own in comments, aren’t we?

    Well, you are an author! You have told me that I should write. So I am giving you a chance to “Auth”… And I am writing, too. Artists Art, Authors Auth, Sculptors Sculpt….

    RE: First, it was a Norwegian woman, Linn Jordet Nygaard, and the issue seems to have been resolved with as little explanation as she was given on what policy violations supposedly prompted them to close it, though there was some speculation about regional rights and her using a friend’s account to buy books that were not supposedly available in Norway (per the publisher’s terms).

    Well, I was in the right place: Scandinavia. And I first read the story about 7 years ago. And the issues were NOT resolved them. I do remember someone saying: “Hah! They should have done that to someone important, like Michele Obama.” I howled laughing at that one. (At the time, this would have been a no-no politically!)

    RE: The thing to remember, with eBooks as with music and video, is that when you buy one, you are buying a LICENSE to personally consume the content. You don’t get to use it in ways that violate the terms of agreement – you do not OWN the music, you own a license to use ONE COPY OF IT in a limited sort of way. If you don’t like the rules and work to deliberately circumvent the rules, you are not the innocent victim in the case.

    Of course, that assumes you know how to, and actually read the EULA. And can then understand it. And the percentage of the population that can do that? Oh, those dammed 1%ers! And let me ask you: Have you read, and do you fully understand them? Well, I don’t bother. I frankly do not give a damm. If some billionaire is unhappy? Well, let him cross our borders! (Tried that in 1812. Got payback in 1814.) I doubt any jury would side with the terms, because you see, they could not comprehend them, either! My generation, views things a bit differently, you see. And, we are soon becoming the majority. Just get a jury full of people over 50….. We all will follow reasonable understandable terms, of course…. We just try to be as honest as we can, and do the best we can. And most of us do not plan on being around much longer. At a certain age, you just do not give a damm any more.

    RE: In this particular case, Amazon reversed its actions and re-opened the woman’s account. I believe that’s the end of the story.

    Well THAT is good. Well, I would not even know how to GET to Amazon, nor how to buy something. I’m a tire kicker, you see. I test drive. I am old fashioned. And I would not trust them, anyway.

    RE: But this is exactly on point with regard to this blog post – you do not control the content unless you own a physical copy of the book.

    Or the Cd, or tape. Or record. Side note: My friend Felix, was quite the audiophile. He used to buy (Still does, I guess!) REAL records. He had a 3 or 4 thousand dollar system, you see….. He then made quality tape copies. And played the tapes. The albums? A friend actually OWNEd a vault, and stored stuff for people. For $10 a month, and a few favours, Felix had storage. Then he moved up to making lossless Cd’s. Not a fan much of mp3’s! When the tapes/cd’s wore out, why he would merely make another copy!

    RE: And even as an author, I’d suspend the rules of copyright in the event of Armageddon, in the name of quickly getting back up to speed on things like transportation, home building, food production, and space travel.

    I’m not sure it would come to that! But the problem is, the rules are now insane. Holly’s stuff used to be protected up to 5 years after she died. This allowed for estates to be settled, etc. What is it up to now? 25 years? Well, NO! Because if Jahangiri Inc, owned her works, it could last over 100 years….

    THINK OF THIS: So your great grandkid, who nevver sweated over a cold typewriter, while sucking down tepid dollar store instant coffee, in a frigid garret apt, on a blustery February day, could live off your royalties. Nevver knew granny, buuut….

    And Disney? Well maybe 200 years from now, they’ll still be making clams of the Trockle movie rights! (I can see a story here, about a blonde authoress, who dies poor, but her estate [Legacy?] is discovered, and…. But I better shut up, lest cruise missile be headed north.)

    With a paper-and-ink book, the metaphor is straightforward and easy to understand: You can loan the book to a friend or read it together in the same room, but you cannot stand at a photocopier and make a copy and give it to your friend. Of course that would be silly – the time, labor, and materials costs of doing that are generally higher than simply buying your friend their own copy of the book as a gift.

    Especially if bought in a yard sale! But firms are buying up all the rights, and soon… Hello Big Brother! But then, as a kid, I read F451. Scared the craaaap…..

    RE: With eBooks, music, and video, the idea is the same – you are GENERALLY allowed to make a personal backup copy; you may be allowed to consume it on all your personally owned digital devices (PC, tablet, eReader, smartphone – maybe).

    If you can get it to work. If you know how. If they allow you to. If the gizmo will let you. If…. Ah, that wonderful Roger Whittaker song. (Tho not quite on topic!)

    RE: You may not make and distribute copies (for free or for money) for friends and others. You don’t own my words, but you are more than welcome to read my blog and share links to it with others. People want to argue with this, but it’s silly.

    I do share your blog. I’ve even had 1 or two nice comments. If I can get you eyeballs, when that is icing, of course. [Yes, I am weird.] On the other hand, I know a SONGSTRESS, who foolishly gave all HER stuff away for free. Still, it has saved about 12 educational “careers”, and several lives, so the Karma points…. And SHE made out good in the end.

    RE: Most of us took DRM off of books and music and videos because not only does it thwart criminals, it’s a massive PITA for the customers and we LIKE real customers. So we risk piracy and loss of income for your convenience, but have no mercy on those who would abuse our trust.

    Logical. Who wants to be hated? And many people simply boycott DRM stuff. As they said in Lion king…. “There is more in the world…”

    RE: In most cases, you CAN read your Kindle books on your PC, tablet, and phone. You just need an app for each, and you need to synchronize the content to each device. It could be more seamless, but it should work as you expected it to.

    Sadly, except for a small niche of people, it does not. That is not Pierre talking, a small amount of Googling, will get you droves of complaints. Most are boring and depressing. So avoid it.

    RE: That said, beware those sites that claim to be the “NetFlix for Books” – many of them are straight out scams. They do not even HAVE the books they claim to have; they appear to be nothing more than elaborate schemes to get your money out of your credit card. If you missed my sharing it before, read https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2016/01/25/the-problem-with-ebook-piracy-spam/ Buyer, beware.

    Yep. Same for any net media. But Columbia House, on the other hand….. But I should shut up, on that. Texans carry guns.

    RE: Your solution, though, to your elderly friend’s problem is excellent. Supposedly, Henry Ford said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”

    Well, he would not have done that. In any case, what the people wanted was “a horse with no name”…. Crossing the desert. (Google the song!)

    But why should an 80 year old fight to buy stuff, she can nevver own, and why should I have had to set it all (Aaand, taking a week to do it, had I actually done it!) up for $40 and lunch? Oh, but yes, I am stupid enough to do this, as you well know….

    RE: Quote Investigator’s background on this quotation is here: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/07/28/ford-faster-horse/ but regardless of whether Ford said it, said it first, or said something else entirely, it’s still a good point on gathering the customer’s actual requirements – trying to understand what it is they really want to accomplish, and not just trying to give them what you think they’re asking for, if you don’t understand their objectives.

    Yes, I found that out through experience!

    RE: Your answer to the problem was simple, inexpensive and probably something the woman will enjoy much more than what she THOUGHT she wanted.

    Indeed. She could only read 1 at a time. And commented to me on how “surgical” the ethings were. No smell! No sound! No touch! No taste (I did not ask about that!). And getting the font sizes, and page layouts to work! AUAUAUAUGH!

    RE: But if I wanted to carry 1000 books in my purse, so I could read fiction, poetry, technical manuals, politics, history – and borrow a book from the library on the go – while commuting or traveling on business, your solution wouldn’t help me at all. An eReader would.

    Altho, Why I’d want or need to carry 1000 at once, is beyond me. And even then, that HP laptop had a HUUUGE hard drive. I’d have merely gone with the laptop! (Incidentally, this was in the fairly early stages of Win 7… And the thing ACTUALLY WORKED!!! When HP scrws up, they do so royally. But when they make it work, AWESOM, in sense-surround technicolor! KUDOS!) And it was easier to get and customize software for the HP (Free software, with some esoteric features also available, if you paid! And there were like 50 file formats!) But she did not want to take a computer to bed…. I never understood that one! I’d have merely bought a 2nd battery, and a spare power adapter!

    Anyhow, dammit we agree! On most of it. Must be some dammed miracle or another. Well great minds, you know. Obviously on the “Southern Side”. Mine? Meh. Bad things happened in 60 years. Want some advice? Trying to kill yourself 12 times, in 60 years is a BAD idea. So was smoking banana peels when I was a teen…. NO! Do not ask! Sick, like, a DAWG!

    HollyJahangiri recently posted…Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead TreesMy Profile

    1. Pete, is this a competition, now? If so, I concede – I need to sleep before midnight, tonight, so that I can do a good job tomorrow with work!

      All right, Scandinavia… but I don’t think Norway would be happy with your annexing them onto Sweden.

      Pete, have you read the terms on MY site? (I will grant you, one day the sheer number and volume of EULAs and Terms of Service on all the sites we visit will render the Internet useless, and provide an interesting challenge in contract law when they are well and truly challenged.) But ignorance of the law is no excuse, particularly after all the notices and attempts to educate people on how copyright works – you cannot even watch a legitimate VHS or DVD movie without an FBI warning on the consequences of piracy. And it’s not just the billionaires and “1%” you hurt by ignoring that. It’s actually the authors and musicians and artists who don’t get enough from those entities to start with – or who are unfairly being reviled because those corporations with their deep pockets have been heavy handed with clueless teenagers who really didn’t know better.

      But yes, I have a law degree. I’m not your most empathetic sufferer, if you’re claiming that a simple license agreement is too hard to read and understand. If that were the case, why would you be using an eReader in the first place? It’s pretty straightforward, truly.

      All you really have to remember is this: Don’t copy it. Don’t give copies to your friends. If you have to get a friend to buy it because it says you can’t buy it where you live, well – protest that, but don’t circumvent the rules. Nobody owes you that book, that song or album, or that artwork. You have no special claim on it. When you buy a book, you buy that physical copy – NOT the content IN the book.

      Anyway…

      I have never had any problems getting my Kindle content on my desktop, my laptop, my work PC, my Windows phone, or my Android phone. Are you really telling me that I’m THAT special? I don’t think so. And it’s never been any more difficult than: Install the app; log in to Amazon; sync libraries. Easy peasy. I have not tried borrowing from the local library, but I know many who have.

      “Altho, Why I’d want or need to carry 1000 at once, is beyond me. And even then, that HP laptop had a HUUUGE hard drive. I’d have merely gone with the laptop!” Well, first you give a good example of gathering customer requirements ; here you demonstrate one of the biggest problems in design and support – assuming that all the customers are YOU. They’re not. I read a lot. I have many books. I don’t know what I’ll be in the mood to read while traveling. Why wouldn’t I want to take a number of books? What if I’m a student on vacation – and I have an important exam coming up? Why should I drag all my physical textbooks with me to the beach, just to get some studying done at night? What if I’m visiting a loved one in the hospital? I can read a long novel in about three hours. When traveling, given we have to pay $25/bag each way, why take up the extra room? MY laptop is heavy – the display is 17″. I might not want to drag it with me. (I usually DO, but I might not.) I might have to choose between it and my camera. The point is, I don’t care why you DON’T want to lug 1000 books around with you when I DO.

      Your friend didn’t want to take a computer to bed because she wants to curl up on her side, read a book, and fall asleep without burning the bed down. I get that.

      I’m not going to ask about the banana peels – was it the novel, “Due to Lack of Interest, Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled,” or was it the cookbook? 🙂 What on EARTH possessed you? (I read both and thought, “What a spectacularly bad idea – and what a lot of work for NOTHING!” and didn’t bother TRYING it. You’re smarter than that, Pete!)
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead TreesMy Profile

      1. RE> Pete, is this a competition, now? If so, I concede – I need to sleep before midnight, tonight, so that I can do a good job tomorrow with work!

        No, not a competition, just a reply! But I am long winded tonite! GO TO BED! Sleep tight! Nice dreams (Not nightmares like me!) You can reply At leisure!

        RE: All right, Scandinavia… but I don’t think Norway would be happy with your annexing them onto Sweden.

        Well, consider a 7 year old memory. Not bad. And if I recall, long ago….. The Vikings had it all!

        RE: Pete, have you read the terms on MY site?

        Nope. At my age, I would not live that long. I ignore all that crap, as do most oldsters. I would challenge any court to find someone that has, or a lawyer that would comprehend any of this junk. (A few years ago, there was something like that in a court. I dis-recall what happened!)

        RE: (I will grant you, one day the sheer number and volume of EULAs and Terms of Service on all the sites we visit will render the Internet useless, and provide an interesting challenge in contract law when they are well and truly challenged.)

        QUITE Likely to happen. And even then, the fight will start over a comma…… And it will make for an interesting world…. A sort of a dungeons and dragons, thing! Hum, a cool story. The Day the Net Died. Just like…. The Day the Music Died….

        RE: But ignorance of the law is no excuse, particularly after all the notices and attempts to educate people on how copyright works – you cannot even watch a legitimate VHS or DVD movie without an FBI warning on the consequences of piracy.

        I do not recall pirating anything. And while there are supposedly a zillion zites, where everything is available, I have no idea how to get there or do it. Besides: Human Rights Commish is a Star Chamber.
        So it trumps! (I have an evil plan!)

        RE: And it’s not just the billionaires and “1%” you hurt by ignoring that. It’s actually the authors and musicians and artists who don’t get enough from those entities to start with – or who are unfairly being reviled because those corporations with their deep pockets have been heavy handed with clueless teenagers who really didn’t know better.

        Yep, agreed! But I’ve hurt no one. And the teens and 20 somethings? Well, there is an “army” that you do not want to take on! (Probably all members of “Anomymous”…) Sadly, artists have suffered throughout history. And the corps? The rich get richer! Corporations are people, too! These laws are NOT set up for the little guy. And The Harp Twins get by just fine, without all that crap! So why cannot Own-All Corp? But, you know why.

        RE: But yes, I have a law degree. I’m not your most empathetic sufferer, if you’re claiming that a simple license agreement is too hard to read and understand.

        I am claiming it, and so are a bunch of others. My generation is used to buying and owning. Jesus! They do not want you to even buy a FARM TRACTOR now, and own it. SOFTWARE! “Farmers feed cities.” They should go on strike, and after the fat ones have starved enough, well, there ya go. (That would make for an interesting story. But If I told you the story of my sister (farmer), and John Rodriguez (NDP MP), and the Mulroney Govt, and the GST (Now HST!)….. THAT would give you a future dystopia story!

        RE: If that were the case, why would you be using an eReader in the first place? It’s pretty straightforward, truly.

        Which may be why I avoid that junk. Until it works like a toaster… As we were promised, about 230 years ago! Mr Gates?

        RE: All you really have to remember is this: Don’t copy it. Don’t give copies to your friends. If you have to get a friend to buy it because it says you can’t buy it where you live, well – protest that, but don’t circumvent the rules. Nobody owes you that book, that song or album, or that artwork. You have no special claim on it. When you buy a book, you buy that physical copy – NOT the content IN the book.

        Well, I tend to buy REAL Books, Cd’s Tapes. In the store. I actually REALLY like cover art, liner notes, that stuff. Some, I treasure MORE than the music Cd, or tape. So the only stuff I have copied, were songs, I gave away freely, (with permission, for educational purposes) from a Certain Blonde…. And stealing from HER, or making even a DIME, would be High Treason. It has cost me hours. And about $30. Not a problem. As for the Twins, well I found out how easy it is to tell people the link, so they can go see on their own!

        RE: Anyway… I have never had any problems getting my Kindle content on my desktop, my laptop, my work PC, my Windows phone, or my Android phone. Are you really telling me that I’m THAT special?

        YOU? Special? Possibly. NOPE! ARE, ARE, ARE! In my case, the old lady was LOST. Many are. I simply do not have that long to live, or that much time to waste. I have no idea how to use a Kindle, how to get one, how to use one, how to get something on it. And I dare say, that at 60, with my health, it should not be a problem in my lifetime. And everyone I know, is the same. We take, and use what we need. We’ve paid our dues, done our time….

        RE: I don’t think so. And it’s never been any more difficult than: Install the app; log in to Amazon; sync libraries. Easy peasy.

        Well, your mileage may vary. I know too many that can’t and do not have the energy to spend on it. Especially, since a Cd is insert, hit play. A book, is open cover, read. When they get this high tech stuff to be that simple…. But by then, all the kids will be USED to that. And will know how. And will NOT know better. Altho studies are… that the Younger generation, has problems too, and prefers REAL books to ethings. And they apparently learn better, and recall longer. There are competing studies. Obviously, different strokes for different folks.

        RE: I have not tried borrowing from the local library, but I know many who have.

        I do not even know if they offer this locally. I had a run in with the library, some 40 years ago. They lost me as a client. And some 20 years ago, another run in. I did see them waste 20 million on a building, they tore down a few years later. Support my local library? No thanks. My taxes are high enough already. But, they are there, so….

        RE: “Altho, Why I’d want or need to carry 1000 at once, is beyond me. And even then, that HP laptop had a HUUUGE hard drive. I’d have merely gone with the laptop!”
        RE: Well, first you give a good example of gathering customer requirements; here you demonstrate one of the biggest problems in design and support – assuming that all the customers are YOU.

        But many are like me. And that is why, instead of spending $800 on an etoy and a “cover” so it was then safely portable, I’d have used the laptop. Which also allowed you to do email, use Office, play simple games, AND had real working WIFI! And a display, that…. (I actually found the thing sexy!)

        RE: They’re not. I read a lot. I have many books. I don’t know what I’ll be in the mood to read while traveling. Why wouldn’t I want to take a number of books? What if I’m a student on vacation – and I have an important exam coming up?

        For some students, I might see it. But at my age? I have NO use for schools. A waste of more tax dollars. And a waste of time. I’ve seen young people working in stores. CAN’T Make Change for a $20! Cannot recall, or write down, 4 items in a list! YIKES. Of course, they are not all that way. But too many are.

        RE: Why should I drag all my physical textbooks with me to the beach, just to get some studying done at night? What if I’m visiting a loved one in the hospital? I can read a long novel in about three hours.

        To the beach? At night? LOL! I would not do that in Hawaii! They got in trouble arresting tourists recently. Apparently, a policy they must re-think! And a few other places, ran into trouble there, too! As for bringing tech to the beach? Urrrgh!

        RE: When traveling, given we have to pay $25/bag each way, why take up the extra room? MY laptop is heavy – the display is 17″. I might not want to drag it with me. (I usually DO, but I might not.) I might have to choose between it and my camera.

        Well, I don’t travel. Except by car. And well, a laptop allows you to do REAL stuff. And a camera? Hum. I thought all phones did that today? Not that I own such a phone, I simply have no use for one! I tend to buy stuff that I need and can use.

        RE: The point is, I don’t care why you DON’T want to lug 1000 books around with you when I DO.

        And I am NOT stopping you. Indeed. I also do not stop people from owning a Hummer.

        RE: Your friend didn’t want to take a computer to bed because she wants to curl up on her side, read a book, and fall asleep without burning the bed down. I get that.

        I feared the ereader doing THAT “fire”, more than I feared the HP doing it. I feared it overheating more. But with a 3 hour battery life on that laptop…. I knew she’d crash before it died.

        HINT FOR HP: An app that is easy to use, and shuts down your computer, using a simple timer. Before the juice runs out. And is ON The desktop, so one does not have to go hunting for it. With a PLAIN name: HP Shutdown Timer. And an “About this Program”, written in simple English. How to get good karma!

        RE: I’m not going to ask about the banana peels – was it the novel, “Due to Lack of Interest, Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled,” or was it the cookbook? 🙂 What on EARTH possessed you? (I read both and thought, “What a spectacularly bad idea – and what a lot of work for NOTHING!” and didn’t bother TRYING it. You’re smarter than that, Pete!)

        Why we did it? I was young, I had a friend…. At the time, it seemed worth a try. It WAS novel! Creative! What possessed us? 1980. The Cold War. We were gonna get nuked tomorrow?!! WHO CARED?!! And well, it was cheaper than “Mary Jane” and not illegal. And well, young men …. DO things! At least we did not ride a shopping cart down hill! Or Off a Roof! And tobacco gives you cancer. And there WAS NO HOLLY to say anything. Altho, the next day, SICK, my mum (a widow) commented: “Sigh. Serves you right. Don’t puke Orange Stuff on the rug.” And, we DID learn our lesson! And Saint Holly now has another plot idea. DAMM! You have good Karma!

        …. And …. safer than injecting peanut butter into my veins.(Yah, some did that…) My sister worked in a hospital, decades ago. Reasons she quit? Amongst them, obliviots. (R,C,TM This is True!) And holding a lonely dying kid, when no one else would. Holly, you only need to do that once! But, well, I shall not trouble your sweet dreams with that story.

        Take care! LLAP! DO NOT, repeat do NOT smoke anything, except for maybe meat on the barbie. And even then…. And SEE? It is possible to learn NOT to do stuff, EVEN from Pete. Albeit, most people, might be able to know that already….. Sigh.

        HollyJahangiri recently posted…Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead TreesMy Profile

  3. I read both the printed versions and the kindle versions. The former when the price is reasonable. I prefer the printed version primarily I suspect, due to loyalty and habit.

    I have just culled over 300 books from my library which will go to raise funds for the SPCA and Blue Cross of Pune. I am still left with over 150 but these will be books that I will either read or refer to in the future.

    Not to worry, it is not likely to happen in our life time. Yes, most definitely not happen.

  4. I’ve never become attached to the e-Book phenomenon myself. But I do love an audio book or podcast when driving or often even in bed before I go to sleep. Reading a physical book often makes my eyes tired and I find it more challenging to focus. But I’m far from not recommending a real book ever! Some of the best recent memories I have is reading to my daughter, just as you say, “..toddler tucked under one arm and the book in the other,..”

  5. Holly. As always I agree. I also find my kindle useful (I’m traveling this week and brought it with me), but I do find that I retain more that I read in print than I do in an eBook. Keep writing. We’ll keep reading. In whatever format.

  6. I’m sorry, but after reading the comments I couldn’t 1) remember the topic, or 2) think of anything that hadn’t been said.

    And what was that quote about is wasn’t the things you knew that were a problem but the things you knew which weren’t true.

    I read a book today. A paper one. My husband suggested going outside in the late afternoon because it was lovely, and I hadn’t been out of the house in days (takes too much energy).

    So I go outside and read, opening Pride’s Children (which I’m re-reading before digging in to writing Book 2), and find:
    “After all these years, she wondered why her brain had such a hard time making the decision to go outside.” (p. 124). I read it to hubby and we both laughed.

    My Kindle doesn’t have light, so neither it nor the paper book were good when the sunlight went, so I had to go inside.

    Very pleasant – no bugs yet.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted…In training for a writing marathonMy Profile

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