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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 12:51 pm:   

For anyone who's interested, here's my latest bunch-of-old-bollocks opinion of the matter of e-books. And onions.

http://simonmarshalljones.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/guest-blog-gary-mcmahon/
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 04:13 pm:   

I used to hate onions with a passion too. I also hated tomatoes. I remember making a pizza in home economics that just had cheese on the top...

And if you asked me to name the worst moment of my life I would at least consider naming the time we had an onion pizza with extra onions delivered by mistake, the mistake only being discovered when I bit into it.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 04:19 pm:   

I love the onion. The onion rules.

Hey, that would make a good title for a collection of short stories: THE ONION RULES.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.244.154
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 04:46 pm:   

I've got a Kindle and am currently reading the novels of Shallot Bronte. One of them brought a tear to my eye. The rest a-peel, too. They're multi-layered. A few of her earlier pieces are rather sickly-sweet, however - as if they've got honey-on.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 04:54 pm:   

I like onions, so long as they're relatively mild - but I don't think I'd ever really get to like the idea of reading using an ebook reader.

Stephen kindly let me play with his at FCon (his ebook reader, I mean - you filthy-minded people! ). I can see the appeal. It was certainly easier to read than I thought it would be. And I agree with your blog comments Zed, that the writer has to be open to this outlet for their work. But, personally, I could never see me buying an ebook reader for myself. I love real paper books too much. The feel, the smell, the look of a real book - you just can't beat it IMO.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 04:55 pm:   

@Gary - *groan*
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 04:58 pm:   

I'll always prefer real books, but I finally "get" what e-books offer (me): zero physical storage, a hassle-free alternative for reading books you don't actually plan to keep, and a portable research library for writers. As my good friend Simon Strantzas used to say to me, they're not a replacement but an alternative.

It's taken me over a year to come to terms with this. I must be thick.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 05:02 pm:   

>>a hassle-free alternative for reading books you don't actually plan to keep<<

I wonder if that's my problem? I just can't bear to part with any book - I keep them all!
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 05:19 pm:   

That was Ranjna's Kindle you played with, Caroline. It used to be mine, but then I made the mistake of buying Under the Dome for it...
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Degsy (Degsy)
Username: Degsy

Registered: 08-2010
Posted From: 86.134.28.143
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 05:38 pm:   

There was an interesting debate recently on the various merits and demerits of e-books over on the David Riley thread in the BFS forum.

One of the major positives for me is that an e-book is never 'out of print' - which for certain small press limited editions means that second-hand copies can start changing hands for outrageous prices leaving those of us with shallow pockets out in the cold...

(For example: a copy of 'The Complete Symphonies of Adolf Hitler' by Reggie Oliver, Haunted River Press 2005, is listed in the current catalogue at coldtonnage.com at 295!!)

Plus, having reached the mythical '1000 book' limit on my library it is a case of 'thus far and no farther' or else I create the long-threatened Victorian library-room complete with ceilng-high walls of books, rolling ladders, stuffed birds and leather armchairs. I've already shifted to reading some books on the kindle and last year I bit the bullet with my CD/LP collection (600-plus) and ripped it to a NAS drive.

E-books are an emotional wrench for the bibliophile but it's what the future holds...
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.245.39
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 05:48 pm:   

I think that what will need to be invented - and think about it: it's feasible, and probably coming - and when this is invented, it will put a stake into the heart of the bought-printed-book, and bookstores - is the personal book-printer/binder: a personal printer that can pop out a little paperback, nicely printed with either standard cover-art, or custom covers... you could make your own anthologies, or books of anything: one could have, say, the book of Fryed Onions, a collection of execrable, under-sentence-of-death-worthy puns... but then you'd risk sheer destruction (via illegal downloads, etc.) in the literary world, as you have now in music... but it would be the necessary revolutionary blood-bath, to get to the new world....
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 207.6.255.47
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 06:21 pm:   

Craig, you've just contradicted yourself. You've created a machine which creates printed books and claimed it would put an end to the printed book.

As far as I'm concerned and I see good things for the electronic book as an alternate format the printed book will never disappear, especially for things which you want to cart around as totems, such as the Family Bible handed down through generations; or books which are constantly referred to for research purposes. There's certain poetical and literary layout formats that require printing to 'lock in' the way the words are seen in relation to one another that electronic books don't permit; they just don't force words to line-up identically on every machine in the world.

That said, yes, they're an alternative format and I love the things for the same reasons as Degsy, Stephen, and Zed.

What a shame that electronic books don't have more boobies on the covers, though. THAT would be awesome!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 06:30 pm:   

I don't love them...yet. That was kind of the whole point of the essay: I'm forcing myself to love onions all over again. Give me 6 months and I'll probably love the e-book, but right now I'm moving gradually from intense loathing to tacit acceptance.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 06:30 pm:   

Not as awesome as you'd think...

http://www.feedbooks.com/user/97010/profile
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 207.6.255.47
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 07:43 pm:   

All your own work, Stephen?
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.109.141.240
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 07:49 pm:   

I used to, but now I fear not the e-books, but there'll always be a place for the physical thing, especially in my manor.
Modern publishers ignore the e-book at their very grave peril. We can't just put our hands over our ears and pretend they are going to go away. The next horror antho I edit, will also be coming out as an e-book. And my first novel is also an e-book.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 08:09 pm:   

I'm willing to accept the existence of e-books as long as I can still get printed copies of the books I want to read and own, the two go together for me. I'd read soemthing like a newspaper or magazine in electronic format but never the literature I love - end of story imo.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.185
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 - 02:44 pm:   

As I have already too much "stuff" around, I like the idea to dematerialise my reading, even if indeed a printed book feels better...
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.253.174.81
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 - 03:31 pm:   

or else I create the long-threatened Victorian library-room complete with ceilng-high walls of books, rolling ladders, stuffed birds and leather armchairs.

Nothing wrong with that
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 207.6.255.47
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 - 09:05 pm:   

Your Lordship: indeed, nothing at all! The thought of such a thing fills me with ecstasy! However, the need to find shelf-space for 30,000 stage plays and collected scripts of playwrights whose work I'll never again consult is deplorable to me when my shelves can be filled with books by your own good self. Why should I have to fill my library with dross at the sacrifice of room for your own genius?
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.78
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 06:48 am:   

E-books will get my approval when the e-readers look and feel like a book. That day will come. For now the readers feel like 1980s hand-held electronic games.

My major problem with e-books at the moment is that when you look at a book on the e-reader it FEELS like a manuscript and not the completed word. Also, there's that distance that's imposed between the text and your fingers by the screen.

But yes, the e-book's the way forward, I suspect. Alas, unlike the e-ification of music, where the artist can make money out of touring, it's hard to imagine a writer making much of a living from any byproduct other than movie sales.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 09:53 am:   

Mark, I was talking to a succesful muso mate the other day, and the music industry has turned to shit because of the industry's failure to prepare for downloadable music: music has now become a free commodity. Nobody's making money. That's why the publishing industry has to act, and act now, to set up systems that use technology sensibly.
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.109.165.248
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 02:11 pm:   

Amen to that brother. That's exactly our plan at Solaris/Abaddon.
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 207.6.255.47
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 07:42 pm:   

And Atomic FEz has been at it since day one. Why I get slagged for it in some circles, and mostly becuase it's supposed to "kill writers", is beyond me as it's the only way to preserve the thing for writers' benefits!

Still, mustn't grumble... it's a hard thing to 'initiate and accept change' for lots of people, and I'm just as bad when it comes to other areas of my life.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.70
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 07:45 am:   

I can't see new writers making a direct living from e-book sales alone. For instance, I could stick up any of the five novels I've written on Amazon for the Kindle and charge the lowest fee of 75p each for a download, but would anyone notice or care?* If the books went up with the backing of a publisher, having been edited, would that increase the chances of anyone downloading them, unless said publisher made an effort at promoting the books? And would the cost/profit ratio be worth it? To employ a marketing person, an editor, a copy editor, etc?

I do think e-books are the way. But there's gonna be an awful lot of static to sift through before you find something good or decent.

Hmm. Sniffing about, it seems Dorchester Publishing are shifting their publishing profile to e-books...

*I'm not going to right now. Maybe if I have a mad moment or get very, very drunk - though all that seems to happen is I giggle a bit and then puke - I may do.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 08:10 am:   

Mark, I hate to shatter your illusion but authors can't make aliving from print books either. Mid-list advances are too low. New writers all have day jobs - even ones published by HarperCollins, Gollanzc, etc.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.74
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 10:33 am:   

I'm well aware of that, Zed! No fears. But there are ways around it, which I don't think are possible on the back of e-books. I know writers who live on the library or luncheon circuit. One even recently was a writer-in-residence on a cruise ship to Australia! All of those gigs depend on actual physical books to sell or bandy around at the events.

But yes, even 'bestselling' writers are taking reduced (or sometimes no) advance. Midlist writers who write full time tend to have working partners, who bring in the bulk of a household's dosh.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 02:16 pm:   

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2010-09-18/

seems appropriate to this debate
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 02:41 pm:   

e-books may come cheap, but I hate to have to buy yet another new piece of electronic s**t every few years just to be able to read the damned things.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 02:57 pm:   

Yep, the reduction of published texts to intangible strings of data only readable by specialised electronic equipment is going to have an awful lot of negative unforeseen circumstances down the line.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 03:12 pm:   

Here's the deciding question on how writers really feel on e-books: What would you rather have, your book published in traditional book format, or as an e-book. Ignore the sensibilities of practicality, money, etc.

By answering that question honestly will say a lot about how you view the whole debate.

Lord Frank has spoken.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 03:13 pm:   

It's not really the deciding question/factor, whatever, but I wanted to sound pompous and arrogant.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 03:14 pm:   

I can well imagine that a text published in 2051 would be impossible to read in 2091 unless one had the proper device. And I don't like that thought one bit or byte.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 03:34 pm:   

My thoughts exactly, Hubert. I forsee a future when whole generations worth of literature that doesn't appeal to the mass market - if such a thing still exists - could be lost forever, with no hard copy evidence they ever existed. We are facing a cultural nightmare scenario if we allow the e-book format to dominate at the expense of books as objects!
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 03:50 pm:   

It wouldn't be too difficult to set up a filter or some controlling device which monitors your reading habits either. Paranoia? Well, maybe I've read one distopian novel too many. And another thought: books are (or at least used to be) relatively cheap and can/could be bought by just anyone, even someone who's relatively poor. Possibly the technology will get cheaper, but I for one don't see that happening. On a separate note: Indian scientists have now developed a personal computer which will cost about half of what we currently pay for an outboard hard drive. Do you think the big western conglomerates will let them have their way and let them sell the machines over here?
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.250.92
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010 - 04:35 pm:   

Here's the deciding question, etc.

Sorry to be a broken record, but I reiterate my point, though I'll do it in a different way:

There's two questions/concerns here, both relevant: 1) How will e-texts affect reading? 2) How will e-texts affect the business?

The first question, related to the music industry, is perhaps interesting, but non-important: There are still those who prefer old vinyl to low-bit mpgs - that's a debate for die-hards. It's the second question that's made all the difference, and the lack of anticipating it that destroyed everything.

And so, the fear inherent in these e-texts, is of something that has not been invented yet, but is on the horizon: printers that can reproduce printed materials at home, effortlessly. Because at that point, one need not debate at all - one need only steal whatever e-text one wants, and decide later if one wants to read it in hard-copy, or on an e-reader.

Imagine the paper market alone that could open up! (dying as it is, from the death of newspapers, etc.) 500 sheets of 8x5" white paper ("For your e-Binder Deluxe!") available at your local 99 Only Store. That's cheaper, Hubert, than your average (here) $7-10 brand new paperback....
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 05:15 pm:   

But books are beautiful objects in and of themselves imho. Reading text printed off from a computer and bound or stapled together at home by yourself can only ever be a poor substitute for a professionally produced book.

Now if they invented a machine that would produce properly bound and durable books with an attractive cover at home from e-text - comparable to the paperbacks (or hardbacks with the deluxe model) produced today, that would be another matter altogether!

The bottom line is that I hate reading literature off a screen. I find it an uncomfortable experience that demeans the text and negates the pleasure of the story - and I know I'll never change.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 05:43 pm:   

We should always be open to change, lest we perish. Embrace change. Make yourself love the onion.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 06:41 pm:   

I don't mean this in a sarky way, but I really am reminded of the stages of grieving. There's denial, bargaining, and then Gary's moved on to acceptance. But paper books aren't dead, they're just going to get fancier. If the Folio Society can sell 100 editions of books that Penguin sell for a tenner in paperback, there will always be a place for the likes of PS Publishing.

I went to a Waterstones this week, for the first time in ages, and I was struck by the fact that it has already been reformatted - it's a gift shop now, not a pile em high bulk seller. Though I'd predicted that would happen, I didn't expect it so soon. And after I'd had a look around, I sat down in a cafe and downloaded free Kindle previews of all the interesting books I'd seen...
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 06:49 pm:   

I don't mean this in a sarky way, but I really am reminded of the stages of grieving. There's denial, bargaining, and then Gary's moved on to acceptance.

Hallalujah! Somebody finally gets it. As I say in the essay, I'm forcing myself to love the onion.
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Barbara Roden (Nebuly)
Username: Nebuly

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 142.179.13.54
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 08:33 pm:   

I'm not saying that anyone here is saying this, but in a lot of debates about printed vs. electronic books, some people seem to take the view that it's either one or the other, for authors: either you insist on having your books published in the traditional manner (as individual physical objects), or you go the electronic route on the basis that that's the way of the future. It may well be; but I think we're a ways away from the time when the majority of people read their books electronically, and until that day comes (and possibly even for some time thereafter) I think the sensible route for an author to take is to have the best of both worlds: a publisher who does traditional books but also makes texts available electronically for those who want it that way.

For myself, as a reader, I'll stick with books. I do enough reading off a screen as it is; when I read for pleasure I want words on a page, not a screen. I also like the idea that when I buy a book I own it, and can do what I like with it when I've read it, whether that's put it on a shelf, loan it to someone, or leave it to someone after I'm gone. Plus I've seen enough technology come and go in my 46 years that I'm just the teensiest bit dubious about the various e-readers out there. What guarantees are there, for example, that if I invest in a Kindle, and e-texts for it, that reader and those texts will still be supported and available in - oh, twenty years' time, much less fifty or a hundred? I have books that are more than 200 years old, and are as readable today as they were when they were printed. Will the same be true of a Kindle, or Kobo, or Nook, or Sony e-reader, in 200 years? Or will those gadgets be gathering dust beside the Betamax player, laserdisc player, 8-track machine, and reel-to-reel recorder somewhere?

This is just my take; I know there are a lot of people who have embraced e-readers, for all sorts of reasons, and that's great. But for me, books are the way I'll continue to go.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 08:50 pm:   

Readers of the future are going to have shelves full of outmoded electronic gadgets instead of books.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.70
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 09:09 pm:   

I agree with Barbara and Hubert.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.170.240
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 09:28 pm:   

Imagine the whole of Lovecraft's mythology being grounded upon the Necronomicon, a dark and terrible . . . PDF file.

Seriously, though, there's something quite exorable about the book. It's do well for itself given its limited papery form. It can move peoples and inspire rapture. We're naturally reluctant to wave goodbye to it. Not that I'm saying that this what we're doing with e-books, so don't, like, get all hot and bothered about it. I don't give a toss about the issue, personally. For me, it's the material and not the medium through which it's conveyed. If we're argunig about the longevity of certain work, well, if it's the business, who cares what format it comes out in? It would haunt our minds from the back of a soup tin. There. The problem solved. The nurse wants me now.

But seriously, I do love me books. But e-readers are cool, too. Horses for courses.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 12:58 pm:   

A friend of ours brought her new Kindle 3 over to our place on Saturday evening, and I got to have a bit of a play with it.

I was impressed. It's incredibly slim and easy to handle, doesn't look at all like a 1980s hand-held video game, and the reading screen is about as close to ink on paper as you can get in the digital medium.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 01:30 pm:   

Wait until you see the Kindle 4.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 01:41 pm:   

Have you seen it, Hubert? Nice, eh?
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 01:45 pm:   

I hear #5 is coming with solar panels.
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 207.6.255.47
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 11:09 pm:   

#5 has full colour, THX sound, powers your car, and provides satisfying oral sex. No price yet announced, sadly.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.107.43
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 04:06 pm:   

Reading submissions to 'The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies' (as I am), it has occurred to me that this is not only going to be a proper book in itself but each story will be about real books (tangible Horror Anthologies) - i.e not ebooks. How much longer will fiction be able to feature real books? Is the Ha of Ha due to be the last laugh at real books?
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.170.126
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 04:20 pm:   

No, because next year Gray Friar Press will publish a book called 'The Horror Anthology of The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies'. The stories will be based on your book, Des.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.107.43
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 05:29 pm:   

Someone has just told me that non-ebooks are now called treebooks.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.145.134.216
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 08:11 pm:   

No. They're called proper books.

People who make statements like they're called Tree books are called stupid irritating twats.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.107.43
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 10:00 am:   

I think they only intend it as a useful differentiation in small talk: ebooks and treebooks - becausse some other people refer to ebooks and proper books all as books.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.107.43
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 11:18 am:   

Further to that - and thinking about it - I was ahead of ebooks in 2004 with my Weirmonger Wheel (now being dismantled). I don't see myself as a trendsetter or trendbreaker, more as a trendbaffler.

NB: Baffle n. a flow-directing vane or panel in some vessels such as shell and tube heat exchangers, chemical reactors ...
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.201.99
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 12:46 pm:   

Des, I think ebooks have been around for quite a while. I remember reading a Lisa Tuttle collection and a (then) new Stephen King book in electronic format, at least ten years ago.

I'm more receptive to the idea of ebooks now than I was back then. There is still nothing like holding a real book in your hands, though (especially an old one).
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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 12:52 pm:   

> I was ahead of ebooks in 2004 with my Weirmonger Wheel...

And Project Gutenberg was ahead of you, Des. It started in 1971 at the University of Illinois on a Sigma V mainframe that ended up being one of the first computers connected to the internet (I learned this earlier today). Mind you, back then they were called 'digital books' rather than 'ebooks'.

I remember laughing at the concept of ebooks about 10 years ago. "They'll never catch on!" I scoffed. More fool me! But then again, as John Sladek said: "They always laugh at great ideas. They laughed at Nitrous Oxide..."

I won't give up scoffing, though. What else am I supposed to do with crackers?
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.107.43
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 01:21 pm:   

Interesting stuff. As I claimed above, I'm a trendbaffler, not a trendsetter.... :-)
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.48.7
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 09:54 pm:   

Lose Yourself in Your Reading
The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notice a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective is to make Kindle disappear just like a physical book so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology.

Sold!!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 10:11 am:   

Don't tell me Sinead got you one for your birthday, Sean?!
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.57.163
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 01:41 pm:   

Not a chance Stevie! I love my books. Nothing will replace the heft and smell of a new tome.
Although If I did get one I would still be well pleased.
U still on for this evening?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 - 01:17 pm:   

Great night, Sean. I've just about recovered from that vindaloo! Happy birthday, mate.

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