THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
Go Back   THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK > Miscellanea > Rants & Ravings
Home Forums Content Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Contagion Members Media Diversion Info Register
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes Translate
Old 03-18-2016   #31
matt cardin's Avatar
matt cardin
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 648
Quotes: 0
Points: 33,515, Level: 100 Points: 33,515, Level: 100 Points: 33,515, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 21% Activity: 21% Activity: 21%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
One thing I dislike about much of what has happened in the past ten years (in the publishing and writing scenes) is the shift of emphasis from literature as a sanctuary from the world, to literature as just another colony of the allied forces of consumerism and technology (in other words, literature is pushed to the periphery of its own world). For the most part, literature is not shoved in anyone's face. Technology, routinely, is.
Have you seen the following? It's worth reading (which I just did myself -- digitally).

Quote
The novel is, and has always been, a moving target. Once a popular idea about its inner nature or social function takes root, some novelists at least can be relied upon to resist it. The choice of monologue over character perspective, or self-display over empathic connection, is such a refusal. It imagines a different task than the one implied by Rorty’s theory of the novel, of providing communitarian glue, of encouraging the comforting acceptance of difference. Instead, it imagines teaching us how to be separate. We read alone, our received story goes, in order to conjure up what others are like and to soothe our isolation. But if we are not isolated? If we are now relentlessly connected, every marginal identity gaining collective recognition, becoming assimilated, ever more rapidly? If that is where we stand, then something like a stubbornly solitary voice may be welcome, even necessary, telling us that what it means to be human—and what may keep us human—is to feel alone in a strange room, with our seclusion the thing that defines and can save us.

-- "The New Fiction of Solitude," The Atlantic, April 2016

On the subject of ebooks vs. paper books when it comes to the relative durability of the medium, my own thoughts have been influenced by Richard Heinberg's cogent reflections on the matter as it relates to the broad subject of cultural transmission and preservation:

Quote
Ultimately the entire project of digitized cultural preservation depends on one thing: electricity. As soon as the power goes off, access to the Internet goes down. CDs and DVDs become meaningless plastic disks; e-books become inscrutable and useless; digital archives become as illegible as cuneiform tablets—or more so. Altogether, digitization represents a huge bet on society’s ability to keep the lights on forever.

Without precious kilowatts, what would survive? Sculpture and architecture would persist. Previous generations of sound and visual media might be decipherable: old phonograph records could still be made to emit music, given a hand crank, needle, and megaphone, and silent films would be relatively easy to show. Books and collections of physical newspapers and magazines would fare reasonably well for a few decades, but deteriorating acid-laden paper threatens the survival of about 85 percent of books and nearly 100 percent of newspapers and magazines (ancient books written on parchment and acid-free paper could last many more centuries).

It’s ironic to think that the cave paintings of Lascaux may be far more durable than the photos from the Hubble space telescope.

Altogether, if the lights were to go out now, in just a century or two the vast majority of our recently recorded knowledge would be gone or inaccessible. . . .

[F]or librarians the message could not be clearer: Don’t let books die. It’s understandable that librarians spend much effort trying to keep up with the digital revolution in information storage and retrieval: their main duty is to serve their community as it is, not a community that existed decades ago or one that may exist decades hence. Yet the thought that they may be making the materials they are trying to preserve ever more vulnerable to loss should be cause for pause.


matt cardin is offline   Reply With Quote
5 Thanks From:
miguel1984 (03-18-2016), Mr. D. (03-20-2016), qcrisp (03-18-2016), Speaking Mute (09-08-2017), ToALonelyPeace (03-18-2016)
Old 03-18-2016   #32
ramonoski's Avatar
ramonoski
Grimscribe
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 633
Quotes: 0
Points: 12,242, Level: 76 Points: 12,242, Level: 76 Points: 12,242, Level: 76
Level up: 55% Level up: 55% Level up: 55%
Activity: 14% Activity: 14% Activity: 14%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

As a regular purchaser of ebooks I can think of many reasons why they're convenient, from availability (maybe even the paperback is out of print) to price (maybe the shipping costs double than the book). But I don't think anyone actually finds them preferable to the real thing.

Justin is right that ebooks present a lot of problems in terms of formatting and content. That said, I think the physical books can also be problematic. A good book is more than the content; there has to be a balance to all its elements, from the proofreading to the typesetting (font, line height, number of lines per page, margins, et al) to the binding. If all someone cares about is the content, then they might as well just get the ebook! It pains me to say that some books I've bought by authors I admire and with superb content are, well, less than ideal in terms of design. Tacky fonts, ridiculously huge indents, the tiniest margins, no hyphenation* not even when it creates troublesome lines (i.e. a line consisting of only four or five long words with a lot of empty space inbetween), not using smallcaps (or using fake smallcaps... not all types are designed with such feature), questionable design choices—like, off the top of my head, SETTING A DEFAULT NUMBER OF (SMALL)CAPS AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH chapter even if they cut off mid sentence. And many more.

I realize taking all this into consideraion is time (and money) consuming, particularly for smaller presses, and that, well, not everyone is aiming to make gorgeous editions like Egaeus or Centipede. But, if the idea is to make books more valuable than their digital counterpart, then some thought and work must be put into them. If both the ebook and the paper/hardback are hastily put together, then, well, that doesn't help much, does it.

But that was probably a rant for a different thread...


*English hyphenation is very tricky, since the words have to be broken up etymologically. In Spanish, for instance, the division is syllabic so even a monkey could do it.
ramonoski is offline   Reply With Quote
5 Thanks From:
Fenris Technique (03-19-2016), Justin Isis (03-19-2016), miguel1984 (03-19-2016), Mr. D. (03-20-2016), Zaharoff (09-08-2017)
Old 03-18-2016   #33
matt cardin's Avatar
matt cardin
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 648
Quotes: 0
Points: 33,515, Level: 100 Points: 33,515, Level: 100 Points: 33,515, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 21% Activity: 21% Activity: 21%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

Quote Originally Posted by ramonoski View Post
But that was probably a rant for a different thread...
It was a fine rant nonetheless.

Speaking of ebooks, I should specify that I own, and enjoy, a Kindle Paperwhite. It actually delivers a decent reading experience. But I use it almost exclusively for "disposable" reading consisting of articles and essays found on the Internet and send to the device, which allows me encompass a far wider swath of material in my reading than I could access by print alone, even as its e-ink design frees me up from backlit screens. So I definitely recognize and enjoy the benefits that can be offered by digital reading devices, even as I continue to prefer by a vast margin the physical book over its digitally luminous facsimile. Regarding which, John David Ebert is keenly insightful in his book The New Media Invasion: Digital Technologies and the World They Unmake on the subject of the luminous, dreamlike nature of the the virtual world we're creating with our current technologies that effectively dematerialize physical reality into a virtual/digital copy.

matt cardin is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
miguel1984 (03-19-2016), Mr. D. (03-20-2016)
Old 03-19-2016   #34
Karnos's Avatar
Karnos
Chymist
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 418
Quotes: 0
Points: 16,721, Level: 89 Points: 16,721, Level: 89 Points: 16,721, Level: 89
Level up: 35% Level up: 35% Level up: 35%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

Almost all the fancy tech I own I have got it as gifts from my family; ipods, ipads and kindles. I'm not one to spend money on that, but when the gizmo is given to me, I make the best out of it. I own a kindle, and honestly, I don't mind reading on it if I haven't been able to find a book I am looking for. I even read Justin's first short story collection there.

Like many, I prefer printed books, and I have a growing library that I take pride on. But sometimes I do go back to the kindle. I own some titles from Tartarus press in my unit because the physical ones are so limited and hard to come by here in Spain, and ordering them is out of the question, considering some of the horrible experiences I have had.

However I agree with what has been said regarding a book's format. Today I bought a beautifully illustrated hardcover edition of Lautremont's Chants de Maldoror that Valdemar (the same guys who publish Ligotti in Spanish) recently released. I can't imagine how horrid that book would be in digital format.

Anyway, people die...
-Current 93


I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
-Emil Cioran
Karnos is offline   Reply With Quote
5 Thanks From:
Justin Isis (03-19-2016), miguel1984 (03-19-2016), Mr. D. (03-20-2016), Speaking Mute (09-09-2017), ToALonelyPeace (09-08-2017)
Old 03-21-2016   #35
qcrisp's Avatar
qcrisp
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,005
Quotes: 0
Points: 65,478, Level: 100 Points: 65,478, Level: 100 Points: 65,478, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 21% Activity: 21% Activity: 21%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

A couple of articles that seem relevant:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...03-20-10-21-45

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03...rom_wednesday/

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
qcrisp is online now   Reply With Quote
3 Thanks From:
miguel1984 (03-21-2016), Patrick G.P (09-10-2017), ToALonelyPeace (09-08-2017)
Old 09-08-2017   #36
ToALonelyPeace's Avatar
ToALonelyPeace
Grimscribe
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 539
Quotes: 0
Points: 20,825, Level: 99 Points: 20,825, Level: 99 Points: 20,825, Level: 99
Level up: 65% Level up: 65% Level up: 65%
Activity: 43% Activity: 43% Activity: 43%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

I lost my paperwhite kindle recently and on thinking whether to repurchase another one or not, I reread this thread.

People say "Ebooks and print books can coexist together" but the libraries in my region are clearing books to have more sitting place and computer areas. It's not unreasonable to predict that in 10 years physical books will be like the vinyl record. Still in demand, but cater to hobbyists.

Right now there's a slump in e-book demand, but take a look at Gartner Hype Cycle and you'll see the trough eventually replaced by (almost) universal adoption of the technology.



Personally I favor print since I find it harder to remember details of e-book. It's also a pain to turn the page.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
ToALonelyPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
Kevin (09-08-2017), Mr. Veech (09-08-2017)
Old 09-08-2017   #37
Mr. Veech's Avatar
Mr. Veech
Grimscribe
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 732
Quotes: 0
Points: 10,919, Level: 72 Points: 10,919, Level: 72 Points: 10,919, Level: 72
Level up: 23% Level up: 23% Level up: 23%
Activity: 99% Activity: 99% Activity: 99%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

Print will always be better. But that's precisely why it won't last.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
Mr. Veech is offline   Reply With Quote
4 Thanks From:
mongoose (09-08-2017), Speaking Mute (09-08-2017), T.E. Grau (09-08-2017), ToALonelyPeace (09-08-2017)
Old 09-08-2017   #38
Speaking Mute
Chymist
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 434
Quotes: 0
Points: 12,195, Level: 76 Points: 12,195, Level: 76 Points: 12,195, Level: 76
Level up: 42% Level up: 42% Level up: 42%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

Anecdotal, but it seems to me that prices for used books have spiked considerably with the rise of ebooks. I know about the phenomena of penny books, of course, but these are usually mass market books that secondhand booksellers have always had trouble moving; on the other hand, mathematics, philosophy, and history books that I used to be confident I could eventually pick for five or ten bucks now seem to be difficult to find under fifty, and then in terrible condition. I suspect part of the reason for this increase is a growing and unmet demand for print from students and academics. Libraries and colleges are being pushed into ebooks as a means of cost cutting, which in turn pushes those with the money to avoid ebooks to invest even more in their personal libraries.
Speaking Mute is offline   Reply With Quote
3 Thanks From:
Kevin (09-08-2017), miguel1984 (09-08-2017), ToALonelyPeace (09-08-2017)
Old 09-08-2017   #39
Zaharoff's Avatar
Zaharoff
Grimscribe
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 620
Quotes: 0
Points: 7,864, Level: 62 Points: 7,864, Level: 62 Points: 7,864, Level: 62
Level up: 5% Level up: 5% Level up: 5%
Activity: 100% Activity: 100% Activity: 100%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

Quote Originally Posted by Speaking Mute View Post
Anecdotal, but it seems to me that prices for used books have spiked considerably with the rise of ebooks...
I have noticed this, as well.
I chalked it up to inflation coupled with growing scarcity of used bookshops.
Presses (Modern Library - Everyman's Library) that were reliably inexpensive in used shops simply cost more when I can find them.
As for ebooks, I dunno.
I suspect many will go the way of music files and video files.
Titles will be copied and hoisted into the cloud.
Zaharoff is offline   Reply With Quote
4 Thanks From:
Kevin (09-08-2017), miguel1984 (09-08-2017), Speaking Mute (09-08-2017), ToALonelyPeace (09-08-2017)
Old 09-08-2017   #40
ToALonelyPeace's Avatar
ToALonelyPeace
Grimscribe
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 539
Quotes: 0
Points: 20,825, Level: 99 Points: 20,825, Level: 99 Points: 20,825, Level: 99
Level up: 65% Level up: 65% Level up: 65%
Activity: 43% Activity: 43% Activity: 43%
Re: Print vs. EBooks

My guess for the rise in book prices is the problem of e-textbooks. Publisher makes absurd money from printing textbook editions. Hence students opt for e-textbooks which they most likely pirate. To cut losses, publisher raises academic book prices. What used to be $20 is now $44. More piracy...the downward spiral continues.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
ToALonelyPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
4 Thanks From:
Kevin (09-08-2017), miguel1984 (09-11-2017), Speaking Mute (09-09-2017), Zaharoff (09-09-2017)
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
ebooks, print

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
eBooks swelling like dead corpses, offered like buffet. Fenris Technique Rants & Ravings 4 10-17-2015 07:59 PM
What are your must have ebooks? Michael Questions & Answers 6 08-13-2015 06:16 AM
30% Off Chaosium Fiction Ebooks Mad Madison Other News 0 05-01-2015 07:20 PM
Who still reads Ebooks these days? Nemonymous Personal 19 05-01-2015 06:21 PM
Is Dark Awakenings out of print? Karnos Matt Cardin 8 11-12-2011 02:42 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:02 PM.



Style Based on SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER as Published by Silver Scarab Press
Design and Artwork by Harry Morris
Emulated in Hell by Dr. Bantham
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Template-Modifications by TMS