Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Books Technology

Poll Shows That 75% Prefer Printed Books To eBooks 312

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-us-dead-trees dept.
Attila Dimedici writes "In a new Rasmussen poll, 75% of American adults would rather read a book in traditional print format than in an ebook format. Only 15% prefer the ebook format (the other 10% are undecided). The latter is a drop from the 23% that preferred the ebook format in Rasmussen's 2011 poll. In addition, more say they buy their books from a brick and mortar store than say they buy books online (35% from brick and mortar, 27% online). I suspect that the 27% who buy online buy more books, but these results are interesting and suggest that the brick and mortar bookstore is not necessarily doomed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Poll Shows That 75% Prefer Printed Books To eBooks

Comments Filter:
  • I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:45AM (#44342543)

    For casual reading, e-books are fine but for technical materials I prefer hard copy that way there's no fear that the distributor won't change their TOS and I wind up losing a ton of C++ reference material or my favorite books on Roman History.

    Spoiler alert: If you're wondering about the Roman History part, the empire collapsed.

    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Funny)

      by iggymanz (596061) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:04PM (#44342679)

      The Roman Empire still here, but the seat of power moved around a bit since the 400s. It's currently in Washington, D.C.

      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Funny)

        by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:15PM (#44342759) Journal

        The Roman Empire still here, but the seat of power moved around a bit since the 400s. It's currently in Washington, D.C.

        The tin-foil is strong with this one.

      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Informative)

        by jkflying (2190798) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:16PM (#44342765)

        No, it's currently in Vatican City.

      • Re:I agree (Score:4, Funny)

        by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:43PM (#44342953) Journal

        The Roman Empire still here, but the seat of power moved around a bit since the 400s. It's currently in Washington, D.C.

        I agree. The Dune Encyclopedia is an incredible book.

        Atomics were first used to resolve a feud between House Nippon and House Washington.

      • by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @02:15PM (#44343753)

        Actually, I think Moscow has a better claim to it.

        As we all know, the Roman empire was split circa 400AD (1100AUC). The Eastern portion became the Byzantine Empire, which lasted essentially until 1200AD. By that point the Byzantine Empire was heavily connected to Eastern Orthodoxy, and in that role, at least, the Empire was succeeded by the Russians (Mehmed II, the Ottoman conqueror of Byzantium/Constantinople, tried to claim the title as well, but that didn't last much beyond his lifetime). Tsarist Russia fell to the Bolsheviks, who formed the Russian SFSR, which joined the USSR. When that eventually collapsed, we ended up with the Russian Federation we have today.

        As for the Western half, that also ended up in Russia. The title laid dormant for a few centuries after the fall of Rome, until it was revived for Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire. That also eventually fell apart, until Otto the Great. While this territory never included Rome itself, it did include parts of Italy. In any case, the Empire was formally dissolved during the Napoleonic wars; however, both Austrians and Germans laid claim to being its successor state. In either case, those states ended up wrapped within Nazi Germany, which was conquered mostly by the Soviets in WW2.

        So yep. All hail Caesar Putin I, Emperor of the Roman Empire (I think we're up to the Fourth or maybe Fifth Roman Empire by now, but I'll let him decide what he wants to call it).

        • by iggymanz (596061) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @02:48PM (#44344025)

          But the Russian empire has fallen apart, the United States is the sole remaining superpower, itself derived from the British Empire. Thus the seat of power has moved to Washington D.C.

          Amazing the parallels to and influences of Rome we have. Our government structure & laws, our alphabet, our engineering and sciences, philosophies, our "bread and circuses" all have echoes of the Roman Empire in them.

    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Funny)

      by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:08PM (#44342701)

      If you're wondering about the Roman History part, the empire collapsed.

      Good. Listen, the only people we hate more than the Romans, are the f*cking Judean People's Front!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:09PM (#44342713)

      I like both printed books and ebooks. They both have strengths and weaknesses, they complement each other rather than replace either in my view.

      I like to have heavy to carry around technical books (DRM free) and vendor documentation on ebook reader. eBook also more convenient not causing problems to breathe compared to a 3000+ large page monster on you chest when you lay on couch, hammock or bed while reading. But then often reading experience on table or while sitting on good armchair with good lighting etc. often nothing comes near real printed book.

      IMHO, eBook is great especially for short lived stuff, manuals that are updated few times a year with the product they describe and of course magazines, but printed books anything I expect to have more value over let's say 5 years.

      • by readin (838620)
        With a family, I'm finding the advantage for paper books is lack of contention for the limited number of book reading devices. It's annoying when you want to read your book but can't because someone else is playing a game, watching YouTube, watching a movie, reading a different book, etc..
    • by KiloByte (825081)

      Don't buy DRMed ebooks, don't buy from 1984-enabled stores, problem solved.

      I for one use a cheapo ebook reader without Wifi connectivity. Try to remotely delete a book from that.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        What if the e-book is distributed to you with a time-bomb and deletes itself after a specified period of time? Anything
        you can do with software you can do with an e-book, which goes against the grain in terms of printed knowledge.

        • Re:I agree (Score:4, Informative)

          by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:29PM (#44342855) Homepage

          Uhm, here in /., I think people are expected to know the different between executable and non-executable formats, the ability of APIs and such.

          If you buy a PDF or EPUB file and don't allow it to run scripts, there's no way it can "delete itself", or run anything else, for that matter.

          • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Virtucon (127420) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:49PM (#44342991)

            You just put a qualification on your statement "don't allow it to run scripts" Again, if I have a PDF with DRM in it, you bet it can there's more than one way to do it. You have to run your e-book in some piece of software and unless you're willing to write your own e-reader you can assume that it's disposable content. But anything you can do with software you can do to your digital content, even something as mundane as deleting it. Knowledge of executable and non-executable formats my ass.

            • Again, if I have a PDF with DRM in it

              As the doctor in the joke said, "then don't do that". First, buying DRMed content is unethical - you're contributing to the problem. Second, if you happen to run across some PDF with DRM, you can probably take it out and shoot it using a Calibre plugin.

              You have to run your e-book in some piece of software and unless you're willing to write your own e-reader you can assume that it's disposable content.

              There are many Free Software PDF and ebook readers which have no DRM capabilities. I use Zathura, for example.

              But anything you can do with software you can do to your digital content, even something as mundane as deleting it.

              Again, that shows a remarkable lack of understanding of computer security, particularly the notion of privileges. My browser can read /etc/hosts, but

        • by KiloByte (825081)

          How do you do that in a pdf (without javascript), epub, cbz, or most other formats for that matter? Even Turing-complete ones like ps can't do much without being aware of the time.

          And if you want to be really, really sure, Project Gutenberg chosen plain text.

      • by slazzy (864185)
        Personally I buy from where I choose, but the first thing I do is strip DRM from any purchase I make (music or ebooks) and add the files to my backup systems. I consider it an investment for my future. . .
    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by davide marney (231845) <davide.marney@nOSPAm.netmedia.org> on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:13PM (#44342743) Journal

      The irony of eBooks is although they are orders of magnitude more capable of random-access reading, the only comfortable way to use them is for sequential reading. Try flipping back to an earlier part of an eBook, and then returning to your original place. Agonizing. Try looking at two or more passages at once. Impossible. Try keeping notes or a collection of citations, and on most eBooks, it's amazingly lacking.

      The main problem with eBooks is that the user experience is very immature. Developers gave us an easy way to sequentially read, and apparently thought that was enough. You have to go to desktop-based ebook readers to even come close to satisfying the normal use cases for reading books.

      Of course, don't get me started on how less of a value an eBook is compared to a physical book. Amazon's policies on lending ebooks are an insult (you can only lend 'x' times, for two weeks, and you have to give Amazon the email of the person you're lending to.) And that's just Amazon.

      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

        by EdZ (755139) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:47PM (#44342979)

        Try flipping back to an earlier part of an eBook, and then returning to your original place.

        If you can't do that, then the issue is with your software, not the format. Being able to flick back between two (or more) bookmarked positions instantly is one of the really useful features of ebooks. One example I use almost every day is in laptop disassembly manuals: to get to one part (say, the HSF assembly) there are certain other parts that need to be removed in order. The location for that specific part will have a section listing links to the parts that need to be removed to access that part. Clicking one of these links, stepping through that sub-process, then hitting the 'return to last position' shortcut is far faster than flicking through a printed manual.

        • Big deal, I do that on my laptop with HP printer manual PDFs all the time. The thing is, the "other parts that need to be removed" are all links at the start of the section for whatever part I am looking to replace, such as the Engine Controller Unit. Links to removing the right-side cover, left-side cover, rear cover, fuser, etc. Then it tells how to remove the various gears, fans, cables, etc. that are still in the way of the ECU. All clickable and easily navigable.

          But what about when I'm reading a novel,

          • by Zerth (26112)

            Your software sucks, then. Use one that allows for multiple arbitrary bookmarks and multiple windows.

            And I can grep for "last time character X was mentioned on the same page as character Y". No need to flip around, but if I did, there is a scroll bar with print version page numbers.

            • While I am glad you have a solution that works for you, it would not work for me. I am sorry that the fact there are people different from you makes you so angry.

              Your software sucks, then. Use one that allows for multiple arbitrary bookmarks and multiple windows.

              You misunderstood. I don't use ebook readers/software. I use service manual pdfs for those particular jobs. For all other reading, I still use printed on paper books.

              And I can grep for "last time character X was mentioned on the same page as character Y".

              And where did I say that the situation I look for was the last time for anything. The search would have to be for all instances. Flipping back a couple hundred pages is quicker. Especi

        • by mangu (126918)

          Clicking one of these links, stepping through that sub-process, then hitting the 'return to last position' shortcut is far faster than flicking through a printed manual.

          How is clicking a menu to add a bookmark easier or faster than inserting anything that's at hand in the page?

          If I want a more permanent bookmark there are a variety of stickers that I can use, using different colors or making annotations if necessary.

          When I'm holding a book and need to follow two different parts at once, the best procedure is often to hold a finger in each page and alternate between them by twisting my wrist, how could any clicking be faster than that?

          I need to move the mouse to a precise p

      • Most dreading software I've used has bookmark and return to last page features.

      • Re:I agree (Score:4, Insightful)

        by RedHackTea (2779623) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @01:45PM (#44343499)
        Yes, disadvantages and advantages. The biggest advantages eBook Readers gave us over the usual arguments of easily readying heavy books and carrying around many books at once are:
        • Search for text; in my eReader, I can search for a word and find all instances quickly
        • Instant dictionary built-in, else, I have to carry around 2 books or (1 book and a laptop/eDictionary)
        • Instantly buy a book from anywhere with Wifi; don't have to drive to the bookstore or order a book and wait 3 business days
        • Notes are harder to type in, but I can keep a lot more notes (not restricted by margin width) and in better organization (not a bunch of post-its)
        • Spill coffee on my eReader... still have all of my books online

        Ultimately, the many books in one book sold me. I love to read 4-5 books simultaneously with auto-bookmarks and only having to carry around one light device. When eInk came out, it was a done deal, as I originally still disliked the idea because of more shining lights into my eyes...

    • Re:I agree (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bfandreas (603438) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:23PM (#44342813)
      I'm currently in the process of moving. Seems like I'm moving shop every 5 years or so. And again I have packed all my media stuff. Guess what? I haven't used my DVDs in ages. Same goes for my books and my CDs. These days I purchase exclusively electonically. My games are on GOG/Steam. My music comes in form of Amazon MP3s. Same goes for my books.

      The very moment I can get stuff dirt cheap(Steam) or I can easily remove DRM so I can take full possession of my purchases I do prefer buying electronically. In that respect I do love this our electonic age. DRM is just teething problems.

      I even find that reading comics is actually very good on a high-res tablet.

      So in the following months I will get rid of most of my books, CDs and DVDs. Should have done so ages ago. There is very little I will hang onto. Time to de-clutter. I like being able to move with only stuff that fits into the trunk of a car. Not quite Fight Club style, but close enough.

      Suprisingly the same does not apply to my GF :P
      • by Virtucon (127420)

        That's why they invented Movers besides every few years I push out my older books and give them away. Let's see S/360 Assembly language, don't need that.
        "VAX/VMS Internals and Data Structures," don't need that. Oh that old copy of "The Road Ahead", I thought I threw that out years ago.

        I have to keep those "Storage Wars" hacks in business you know.

        • I have a copy of the IDSM (as it used to be called back at DEC) and even though its nearly useless (concepts are still good) I cannot get rid of it. its part of history that cannot be replaced and probably won't be found online.

          most others, yes, I think I will get rid of my old comp-sci books. everything in them can be found online so there's no need to hold onto dead tree editions for common things.

      • I like being able to move with only stuff that fits into the trunk of a car. Not quite Fight Club style, but close enough.

        Suprisingly the same does not apply to my GF :P

        You can't fit her in the trunk of your car? That's ok, just leave her on the curb with your books and cd's. Someone will pick her up and make good use of her. ;^)

    • Same with me... PDF manuals are great but I print the sections I need and highlight, or read the PDF while copy/pasting or typing the sections I need and printing my version out.

      Same deal with when I do remote starts. So much easier to have a hard copy on hand than messing with a PDF or website on a damn laptop or handheld

    • by wmac1 (2478314)

      I guess that's because:

      - Tablets and ebook readers are still not comfortable (to hold, to read, ...)
      - DRM makes you worry you may lose the ebook you have obtained
      - It is not easy to mark the book (Most available software have awkward, incompatible, hard to use marking features and some need Stylus etc.)
      - The battery life, charging and maintenance of the device bothers.
      - The device is easier to drop, break etc.

      Otherwise it is just fabulous to be able to have a library in your hand and read whatever book you

    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      True if if the book requires you flip back and forth between pages a lot.

      But you're talking _novels_ to biographies, I prefer an e-book reader. A big problem with the latest bestseller is the physical size of the book, which can make them unwieldy to hold. I ended up reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs on the Kindle app on my iPad 2 because even the iPad 2 is much easier to hold in your hands than the hardcover version of the book, to say the least.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I like printed books; but, they don't match the convenience of electronic books. I carry an iPod touch and I read everywhere, waiting for a meal, waiting for the Doctor, waiting for the Dentist, waiting for the long query to finish. If I run through the current book, I buy another online. It doesn't matter that it is midnight or 2 a.m.. I have whole bookstores ready to serve me.

    Now sitting down in front of the fireplace with that paper book is pleasant. I'm not waiting until Winter and enough spare tim

    • by pmontra (738736)
      +1 insightful, and me too with the exception of the fireplace. It's summer here, 30 C :-)
    • by MacDork (560499)

      I like printed books; but, they don't match the convenience of electronic books

      Depends on what you mean by electronic books. Not all are the same. A DRM'ed copy of anything is not convenient to me at all. I may want to transfer it to another device or sell it. DRM prevents me from doing legal things that I can do with a paper book. So I won't even consider a DRM'ed book. A simple, unecrypted PDF on the other hand is much better than the printed book IMO. I can easily search a PDF's contents. I can't do that with paper.

  • by melonman (608440) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:52AM (#44342595) Journal

    I'd be interested to see the answers broken down by age. It may well be that most of the people who love paper books will be dead in 20 years.

    I suspect there's also a "fake good" effect, in that people feel they ought to be supporting their local bookshop and therefore say that they do, even if, in fact, they buy a book a year in an airport and every other book on Amazon.

    Personally, I really like paper, even for technical books, but all my colleagues look at me like I'm wearing sabre-toothed tiger skins and wielding a club.

    • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:01PM (#44342659) Homepage
      I suspect there's a big cohort effect. People like what they know, and the vast majority of the book-reading public has been using paper longer than screens. I know I see teenagers who have no problem using a screen for extended reading, which drives me nuts.
    • Personally, I really like paper...

      The thing is, you're not alone. Really most people prefer paper. It's just that there's such a large benefit to eBooks that technical people are inclined to tolerate eBooks over paper because of the convenience.

      But even many people who are not dead in 20 years will like books - look at what kids are reading, although there are many reading books on tablets they also mostly read a lot of paper books. So it's not like reading on paper will be unknown to future generations,

    • by Teckla (630646)

      I'd be interested to see the answers broken down by age. It may well be that most of the people who love paper books will be dead in 20 years.

      Or it might be the opposite!

      I'm middle aged, and have middle aged friends, and work with lots of middle aged (and older) people. One common trend we've noticed is that as you get older, you want less physical stuff. The trend seems to accelerate when you reach your sixties and beyond.

      I can easily see older people not wanting heavy, bulky bookshelves full of books, not to mention the hassle of having to go physically acquire them.

    • Personally, I really like paper, even for technical books, but all my colleagues look at me like I'm wearing sabre-toothed tiger skins and wielding a club.

      If a new "dark age" comes it may be truly dark. The last dark age was lit by paper, parchment, or papyrus of the ancient civilizations, whether to read by fire, or to start or burn on the fire. The shift to e-books will leave nothing once the last battery has died and the last screen cracked.

    • That might be true. I gave advice to a college student about programming recently, suggesting he read a certain book, and he just stared at me. He said, "I feel like any information I need should be available free online."
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:53AM (#44342617)
    When I buy a printed book, I own the book. I can read the book whenever and where ever I want.

    .
    When I buy an eBook, I do not own the book. In order to read the book, I have to hope that some DRM server somewhere will authorize the eBook reader to show me the book I want to read.

    I have books on my book shelves that are over 50 years old, and I can still read them fine. Can the same be said about eBooks 50 years from now?

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      When I buy a printed book, I own the book. I can read the book whenever and where ever I want.

      .

      When I buy an eBook, I do not own the book. In order to read the book, I have to hope that some DRM server somewhere will authorize the eBook reader to show me the book I want to read.

      I have books on my book shelves that are over 50 years old, and I can still read them fine. Can the same be said about eBooks 50 years from now?

      Depends where you buy your books, there are plenty of books on Smashwords [smashwords.com] and other independent eBook vendors that have no DRM. O'Reilly [oreilly.com] publishes their technical eBooks without DRM restrictions.

      Or , you can purchase books with DRM and strip the DRM using widely available tools. It's annoying to have to go through the extra step on content that you "own", but it assures that you'll always be able to read it, and on any device you own. Of course, if you're going to do that, then it becomes almost as convenie

    • by russbutton (675993) <russ.russbutton@com> on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:13PM (#44342747) Homepage
      Several years ago I purchased a hard copy of the Doris Kerns Goodwin book, "Team of Rivals", which is about Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. An extraordinary work, but it's HUGE! I tried taking it with me during my work commute, but it was a real pain to stand on the bus and try to read. So it just sat on the shelf.

      I purchased an e-copy of the book from Amazon. I have a kindle reader on my Android phone that allows me to pull it out and read a few pages whenever I have dead time and now I'm finally getting a chance to read it.

      We own a 92 year old, 1100 sq ft bungalow in California and there really isn't all that much room to store books. I've also pitched out about 2/3rds of my music collection due to lack of space. I'm down to about 600 records and about 600 CDs. I've ripped all of the CDs to digital and now listen to them off of a music server. The records will take a LOT longer.

      Hard copy books are cool, but after a time, stuff you collect is just stuff...

      That being said, I totally agree that tech books have to be hard copy. Can't work with that off of an e-reader.
    • by bitt3n (941736) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:15PM (#44342761)

      I have books on my book shelves that are over 50 years old, and I can still read them fine. Can the same be said about eBooks 50 years from now?

      I doubt it. Your eyesight will probably be considerably worse by then.

      • by Ferzerp (83619)

        But with an ebook, he can increase the font size to help out with that worsened eyesight...

    • I also prefer the Dead Tree Edition books, but ebooks are so much more convenient when traveling, at the Doctor's Office, Waiting for the Wife to finish the shopping and any other place I don't want to drag a hard cover edition along. For those times I carry my eReader which is approximately the size of a paperback and fits in either the back pocket of my Jeans or the inside coats pocket of my jacket, it is also loaded with close to 500 books non of which are DRMed! Oh and on that you don't OWN your ebooks
  • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:54AM (#44342619)

    Maybe things are different now, maybe not.

    Reading and Writing with Computers: A Framework for Explaining Differences in Performance [cmu.edu]

    Most studies have found that reading from paper is faster than reading from computer screens. Muter, et al. [1982] showed that reading from TV screens took 25% longer than from paper, but produced roughly equal comprehension scores. Wright and Lickorish [1983] also found that paper was faster. Gould and Grischkowsky [1984] studied subjects performing an eight hour proof reading task. They found that work was more rapid on paper, with slightly higher quality than on personal computers. Our own experiments verified these results and extended them to positional memory and various alternate computer conditions.

    (I was actually looking for something else this morning and stumbled across this, and the topic came up on Slashdot. Synchronicity?)

    • by Trepidity (597)

      Here's a more recent study [sciencedirect.com] with similar conclusions, studying high-school students in Taiwan. However another study [sagepub.com], testing something slightly different, found that when students were given a quiz after reading a chapter in either a paper or electronic textbook, they did equally well.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      >Muter, et al. [1982] showed that reading from TV screens took 25% longer than from paper
      I don't think there can be any claim that this applies to modern screens without new research, for the following reason - modern screens can display a static image, at least those without flickering backlights can.

      In 1982 TVs were CRT based, meaning only a few pixels were illuminated at any given moment (the phosphor glow faded very rapidly), and the complete image only existed in the minds of the watchers with their

  • The ebook is a different medium and as Marshall McLuhan pointed out the medium is the message. That is the medium dictates how the message is best sent and interpreted. Ebooks can simulate a paper book but just taking a book best formatted for paper is often not going to work well when just stuffed into an ebook. Many times it is simple the diagrams and whatnot being the wrong size for the often smaller screen. But other times (as with a magazines) you want to flick through looking for an article that catches your attention. Some like paperbacks translate well to the kindle with its e-ink and simple page turning formula.

    Then with ebooks there are potential advantages such as speed of downloading, massive weight reductions, easy logistics, etc.

    So I would not condemn the ebook so much as we should condemn the near lack of innovation in taking advantage of this wonderful new medium. To me this would be like saying that TV was not an improvement over radio if all people had done with it was to film people reading radio plays.

    If I had to guess ebook improvements would include the obvious such as interactivity and formatting changes. But other things such getting rid of a general purpose textbook covering many subjects at one level and changing it so that each subject is covered from beginning to end and you just move on to another subject when you reach the desired level.
  • It depends on the book, and depends on what you need to do.
    I find eBooks a proper pain if you need to go back and fourth between a select set of pages. Theres no convenient or easy way to 'glance' on one page and then quickly return. In fact, you normally can't return at all. You can setup bookmarks, but the process is much slower and clumsier than done with a traditional book. You also cannot scan pages anywhere near as quickly when using an eBook versus a traditional book - for when you need to find a s
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Indeed. I'm surprised ebook manufacturers haven't added a more streamlined "glancing" functionality yet, I mean it's not exactly a complicated problem, and could be trivially extended to actually be more convenient/functional than with traditional books.

  • This is why (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WillyWanker (1502057)

    I always get a good chuckle out of those that insist gaming will go all-digital and never look back. It's a fad, plain and simple. People hopped on the e-book bandwagon because it was cool, hip, and trendy to whip out your Kindle in the coffee shop or on the train, but now that people have gotten to see all the downsides of having books but not really having books the shine has worn off and they're back to buying hardcopies.

    The same will happen with games. Once the shine of digital-only gaming (especially i

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Actually I think it's DRM that will prove to be the fad. I picked up an second-hand e-reader a couple years ago, but have yet to purchase a single DRM encumbered book on principle. Since I also restrain from illegally making copies that does somewhat limit my options for current literature, though there are plenty of mostly smaller publishers putting out open-format books and magazines. And Project Gutenberg has allowed me a massive library of great literature from centuries past completely for free from

      • That's definitely part of the "shine wearing off" that I was alluding to, when you realize that everything you'd paid so much money for is so tightly controlled that you feel like you never really own or have control over the stuff you buy. But you're right, it's ultimately this kind of control that consumers are going to reject in the long run.

  • by Secret Agent Man (915574) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:03PM (#44342667) Homepage
    Well, more specifically, Amazon did. With a Kindle book, I can read it on any device (Kindle preferred, of course; love its display), can access my books anywhere with an Internet connection, and can even put documents I want to read on my devices onto my Kindle/cloud/etc by e-mail. Their implementation is rock-solid, and their main device feels just like reading a book to me.
    • by phayes (202222)

      The most important part is that between calibre [calibre-ebook.com] & ApprenticeAlfs de drm tools, [wordpress.com] every ebook purchased on Amazon can be de-DRMed in 10 seconds. I buy non-DRMed books whenever possible & remove the DRM on the rest.

      I'd like to buy the DRMed stuff elsewhere like in the apple store to push competition in this amazon dominated marketplace but not being able to remove the junk brings be back to amazon.

  • My wife is a reformed pack-rat. One of my primary clutter-forms is books. So for me getting a Kobo was a form of compromise - the clutter is now electronic, where it doesn't show around the house. I haven't gotten rid of my dead-tree stuff, and some of it I never will. But in the battle against creeping clutter, every bit helps.

    One good point about the Kobo Glow - with the built-in light it's better for reading and less disruptive than external illumination for reading in bed or other dark places.

    • My wife is a reformed pack-rat. One of my primary clutter-forms is books.

      Do you have kids? Do you plan to have kids? (I realize /. trends towards no kids, but I thought I'd ask...) Kids are a great motivator / driver for de-clutterization, particularly when it comes to books. When kids are toddlers they take great pleasure in pulling things off shelves - So books on lower shelves have to go. If you haven't done so already, you also need to anchor your bookcases to the wall when you have kids so the

      • by dpilot (134227)

        KIds in their 20's, on their way out. We went through the toddler phase, with a vengence.

        I've been going through my books with levels of triage:
        Is it available on Project Gutenberg?
        Is it available on Baen or Tor? (DRM-free)
        Is it really a "good book", one that I'll want to pick up again?
        Is it in some other way rare or part of a collection?

    • My wife is unreformed. Plus she is a librarian who brings her work home. I really like books too.

      So we have 30 floor to ceiling bookcases in our home. And wish we had room for more. Some of the contents of these are really keepsakes of our lives. For example the First Edition Lord of The Rings boxed set my wife's parents purchased for her from England when she was a young girl.

      A couple of these bookcases contain computer manuals and programming language reference books. I am in the process of weeding these

  • I prefer ebook. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pecosdave (536896) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:07PM (#44342693) Homepage Journal

    I've read lots and lots of books over time, and most of them have been paper format. I'm 35 and was a book worm for about the age of 8 until close to my 30's when I just got plowed over with responsibility. I'm picking up the habit again.

    I prefer ebooks.

    Unlike cheap paperbacks if I fail to hold the thing open right it doesn't snap shut and cause me to completely lose my place. I can buy all the ebooks I want, and when it comes time to move I don't have to give myself a hernia moving the collection. As I continue to collect ebooks I don't have to find more space on the book shelf for them, and I can keep them forever without just giving up my investment if I want to re-read it.

    My house has been robbed (by a deputy sheriff no less) and flooded by the storm surge of Hurricane Ike. Yes I had books stolen when I was robbed and after the hurricane I literally used a shovel to move the pulpy volumes into the trash bags. Even if both of my competing supplier ebook readers get burned up as my home catches fire all of my ebooks will be back in my hands as soon as I buy new later model readers to replace my old ones.

    I still do occasionally buy dead-tree books. Watchmen for obvious reasons, I have the Dark Tower series, both the hard back and Marvel versions for art reasons. I collected comics as a kid, but other than a few adult targeted ones like I just mentioned I'm not into that anymore, still I do look forward to color e-ink, even if it's only 16 color or something crappy like that for comic reasons.

  • Depends on platform (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:13PM (#44342733)
    I prefer ebooks to printed books, but only on my kindle paperwhite. Reading on a backlit display for more than a short amount of time causes me a headache and interferes with my sleep if I read before bed. I would go so far as to say that the act of reading on a paperwhite is a superior experience to reading on real paper (as far as my own two eyes go). As for the question of wether or not my ebook library will still be there in fifty years, we'll have to see, but I suspect we will be downloading books into our head by then anyway.
  • For light reading I prefer ebooks. Also if I'm going to read on a plane or train (which is also pleasure reading - fiction or history) ebooks are the way to go due to the convenience. For professional reading it's all about the printed books. When I read for work I take lots of notes which is much easier and more clear in a paper copy. When I refer back to the book later I then have a summarized version of the material all ready. Notes / underlines are possible with ebooks but it's a bit cumbersome.
  • 75% of American adults would rather read a book in traditional print format than in an ebook format.

    suggest that the brick and mortar bookstore is not necessarily doomed."

    Brick and mortar going out of business suggest otherwise.

    a) some prefer to read paper but prefer to keep electronic

    b) most of the rest buy paper books online -- saves a lot of time

  • No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:23PM (#44342815) Homepage Journal

    They really should have asked the population whether they actually own an e-book reader. Lots of people don't, and would never buy one because they prefer print books. The thing is, I was in that same category myself, before I bought a Nook. I bought it for other things, not to read books on, but after I had it, I did some reading on it, and I was soon hooked. I really do like reading books on the e-reader instead, it's just more convenient.

    Now, I'm a bibliophile and always will be. I won't give up my books, and I still buy paper books when I know it's something I want to keep, or I can get a good deal on the hard cover. What would be really nice if, when I plunk down $25 - $35 for a hardcover book, to have free access to the e-reader version, too. They do this now with music, why not books? Often I would rather read the book on my e-reader, but still have the hardcover for my library, but I don't want to pay an extra $10 for that privilege. I think they would sell a lot more books (and e-readers) if they did that.

  • by Bo'Bob'O (95398) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:26PM (#44342841)

    I think I would prefer real books (something that I can just toss into a bag without worry if it's charged or going to get stolen), but, I'm dyslexic. Being able to change the text size so that I'm reading in small chunks makes me able to read much faster. The other benefits (saves space, able to buy a new book where ever I am) is just a bonus.

  • In 2009 I could buy most books I was interested on at a substantial discount over hardcover (kobo reader) in 2013 the price is often comparable and often higher while ownership rights are lower. Funnily enough I don't seem to be as satisfied with e-books as I used to be.

  • I've been purchasing e-books in the forms of PDF mostly, and when possible I do purchase their printed version, if it doesn't get too expensive. I do prefer to read from a printed book, but I'm slowly adapting to the ebook.

    I wish there was a tablet designed for PDF which provide an 8.5 x 11 or similar format experience, that would totally switch me over, as long as I can manage and save my files and load them myself. I would invest in such a device.
  • by nurb432 (527695)

    If people used ink instead of reading on LCD then the % of people that prefer e-books will rise. Most people try reading on LCD, which is a dismal compromise at best.

    That and if we had affordable full-sized color ink. Having this would take care of the books that you just need color for, and a larger viewing area. ( like technical manuals.. )

    I used to be in that % that hated e-books, but once e-ink became available, most of my ( several thousand ) paper books got the boot. I will even suffer with LCD for t

    • by EvilSS (557649)
      I suspect that this is my issue with ebooks, or at least part of it. So far all I've used is various tables and I hate it. It's not nostalgia, it's just that I've always found it uncomfortable after even a short time. I think I'm going to pick up a Kindle paperwhite soon and try that.
  • The harsh truth is, the experience of reading eBooks STILL basically sucks. 80% of that reason? They're too goddamn slow for random-access reading of technical books.

    I thought Android-based readers would save us by now. I was wrong, due to a toxic combination of slow flash, large documents, and poorly-performing memory management, compounded by clock speeds that are too throttled when they need to be "balls to the wall 100% full-speed ahead".

    Let's start with flash. Flash is fundamentally a slow, sequential-

    • E-Ink is slow to update, that is the drawback. It's not a problem of processor speed. Even the original Kindle had enough processor speed to update the screen faster than E-Ink could handle.
    • The harsh truth is, the experience of reading eBooks STILL basically sucks. 80% of that reason? They're too goddamn slow for random-access reading of technical books.

      What you say is rather bizarre. I read books in ePub on an iPad. I also looked at how it works. An ePub book is just a zip file containing the chapters of the book as files in in xhtml format. A zip file allows random access to each file. The xhtml is displayed using Webkit. It's just like displaying any old website. Nothing slow about this.

  • ...I like to read it on a e-book reader nowadays.

    Here's the problem: hardback novels are big and unwieldy to carry around nowadays. For example, J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" novels from "Goblet of Fire" on are hard to hold even for an adult given the sheer size of the hardback editions. With the current Amazon Kindle e-book reader, I can hold many novels in a single reader, and the device is easy to hold in your hands.

  • by swm (171547) * <swmcd@world.std.com> on Sunday July 21, 2013 @01:25PM (#44343339) Homepage

    For me, reading a book is a journey through its pages.
    Not in some metaphorical sense, but in a very literal, tactile, visual sense.
    I associate the words in a book with their position on the page,
    and the pages with their (approximate) position within the thickness of the book.
    It helps me keep track of what I've read, and place words and passages in context of the overall book.

    I never thought about any of this until I started reading eBooks and it wasn't there.
    An eBook is just one long (long, long, very long) stream of words.
    Some eBooks paginate the words for display, but that pagination is typically not stable:
    revisit those words another time and they will likely appear on the screen in a different place.
    And those pages--such as they are--have no apparent position within any larger structure.

    This is OK for a dictionary or a reference manual, where I just look things up.
    But for any serious work of non-fiction, it's horribly acontextual: the book just turns into word mush.

    I haven't tried reading any fiction eBooks, so I don't know if they would fare any better.

  • Real books are nicer in many ways - you can flip through pages easier, which is helpful with tech. manuals etc. And when I buy a book, it's mine for as long as I want it - no paper-DRM.

    An ebook is, however, a very convenient way of carrying lots of books around in one go. And if you get your fiction off somewhere like Project Gutenburg, and your tech books from O'Reilly, you have no DRM to worry about.

    I have a Kindle and a Nexus 7. I use both for reading e-books. I never have, and never will, buy an ebook f

  • I like ebools. I don't like DRM, which is why I preferentially buy from publishers like Baen and Tor. I like brick and mortar bookstores. I'd like to browse in a bookstore, go to the cash, pay the money and have them put the corresponding ebok on my computer.

    I'd like to read the books with open-source readers. This doesn't seem to be legally possible with DRMed ebooks, or any of the locked-down epaper devices. But if there were wider applicability for these open ereaders, we'd probably see quite a few

  • ebooks are very convenient. I can fit a thousand of them on my phone which I always have with me anyway, and I can download a new when whenever and wherever I want. Paper books are a better experience. They have a nice tactile interface and good optical properties, and they're easier to navigate. Ask me which I "prefer" and I'll say paper. That doesn't mean that I don't sometimes use ebooks. Consider laptops. No way I'd say I prefer a laptop to a desktop, but sometimes you're out and about.
  • if im going to pay the same price for an ebook as i will for a hard copy, i will always go for the hard copy, which isnt affected by any ToS, doubles as kindling for a fire, lasts nearly forever, wont go away when i reinstall windows, and is generally easier to read in bed. that being said, if the ebooks were priced how they SHOULD be priced, i would always go for an ebook.
  • 1. You can take it to the beach (and not worry about getting sand in it)
    2. You can read it in full sunlight
    3. You can photocopy pages from a book
    4. You can write in them, tear out pages, or cross out swear words so your children can read them (my school used to do this)
    5. You can display them in your study to show off and look smart
    6. They are more environmentally friendly then e-waste
    7. You can take only one on a trip and not have your entire library list on displayed for anyone who uses your e-reade
  • by mister2au (1707664) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @02:24PM (#44343821)

    US books sales were running about 80% hardcopy / 20% electronic in 2012 vs 85% / 15% in 2011 ...

    Current numbers of up towards 25% e-book share seem completely reasonable

    However, the growth rates have plummeted and seems that e-books may top out at less than 30% market over the next few years

    The biggest surprise is that the "new-ness" of ebooks may be wearing off

  • I have 4,000 books, most of them hardbacks. I stopped watching television in 8th grade and have never owned a TV. I have two 27" iMacs. If I were to buy a kindle, I could have one book open at a time. I like to read 4 or 5 books at a time, reading a few chapters of one and then switching to another one. Sometimes I will encounter a particularly brilliant passage in a book and so I will leave the book on my desk open to that page for quick reference. It is, in effect, as if I have 4,000 screens. Many doze

When all else fails, read the instructions.

Working...