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Topic: Interesting opening salvo in the paper book/ereader war.

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Subject: Interesting opening salvo in the paper book/ereader war.
Date Posted: 1/9/2011 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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I wondered how long it would be before publishers and sellers of paper books decided they need to fight back. There's a bookstore in my town that has a big sign with the universal No sign over the outline of a Kindle and a banner that says, "We sell REAL books!" 

Now I see there's a place in Portland Oregon that will trade you the value of your Kindle in paper books and magazines. http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2011/01/microcosm-zine-store-in-portland-will-exchange-real-books-for-unwanted-kindles

I don't think it is - or that is has to be - an either/or thing but clearly somebody is starting to feel pressure and reacting the way people do when they feel threatened. 

My grandmother told me that in the early days of automobiles, if you saw someone changing a tire or dealing with a mechanical problem by the side of the road, you'd yell at the driver, "Hey, buddy, get a horse!" That's what this reminded me of. 

Edited subject to be more clear. I think. Maybe. 

Last Edited on: 1/9/11 6:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/9/2011 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,585
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I can understand why the brick and mortar stores feel threatened, but eBooks are not their only problem.  IMHO the indie stores that have partnered with Google Books or found some other way to jump on the bandwagon are smarter.  It doesn't have to be either/or, paper and eBooks can get along.  smiley

Date Posted: 1/9/2011 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,648
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While I love my ereader, I could never give up paper books!

There is not anything like just walking into a store and being surrounded by books and just walking up and down the aisles and browsing.  Browsing books in an online bookstore is just not the same.

Date Posted: 1/9/2011 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Last Edited on: 3/29/11 8:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/10/2011 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2010
Posts: 11,515
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I agree Sarah. I LOVE to just wander around in a bookstore browsing. I could do it for hours.

My mom seems to think its an either or thing. Ive got about 500 books on my TBR pile and she swears that i'll never read them now that i have a kindle. Really i think she just wants me to hand them over to her. lol. We have about the same reading tastes.

Date Posted: 1/10/2011 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2010
Posts: 11,515
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And she keep swearing up and down that in a matter of years that books...real paper books...will be obsolete.

Date Posted: 1/10/2011 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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It wouldn't surprise me a bit if in 5 years it became hard to find a paper book on demand, outside of some impulse titles in the grocery store and the airport. I think you'll still be able to get paper books, but the business model will begin to skew towards digital media, same as music has gone to an iTunes style and movies have gone to streaming Netflix and On Demand. Just like you can get a CD or DVD at Walmart, they don't carry everything and don't pretend to. And it may come down to which publisher cuts the best price with Walmart/Kroger/airport. The choices will be limited to the authors carried by that house.

Date Posted: 1/14/2011 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
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I think the only thing that scares me is the possibility of total conversion.  It's one thing to have it available in both formats, but the thought of what might survive after 100+ years for our ancestors to look at makes me wonder.  That's the one thing that scares me about disappearing newspapers as well.  What if there are no printed headlines when the next Pearl Harbor, 9-11, Lusitania happens?

In comparison, mostly looking at the music and audio medium comparing CD's, tapes, and mp3's versus vinyl.

And what someone in the next 20 years finds completely worthless may be a valuable jewel in 80 years or so.

For my personal reading couldn't care less (except in the few cases where I'm drooling over my uncles first edition leather bounds).  Currently want a physical book because it has some resale value and it isn't a pain to give it to a friend, although this is getting easier.

Date Posted: 1/15/2011 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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What if there are no printed headlines when the next Pearl Harbor, 9-11, Lusitania happens?

Why would there need to be printed headlines?

There'd still be paper, people would still know how to write if they can read, and there's always all the other modern ways for things to get stored. In fact, with the video from September 11th, the younger generation will be able to re-live it all in ways that written text just can't match. They can see what we saw.

We collect facts. I doubt any of it will disapear, it'll just be transformed to a new format.

If you're talking appocalypse, then there's no guarentee anything anywhere will survive. Really, the old Scifi idea of a library of paper books surviving hundreds of years is cute and fuzzy, but not really practical. What doesn't get burned up, used as toilet paper or kindling, will decinigrate with mold in a really short period of time. Won't take much. Paper books aren't made to last forever.

Some tech, however might survive. If Future post-appocalypse Man finds a CD or DVD with content, they might be able to figure out how to get the information off of it. Or not. But anything paper will probably be long gone unless it's super-protected-special-bunker-humidified-stored.

Home libraries aren't that.


Date Posted: 1/15/2011 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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Paper books will never become obsolete, in my opinion.  I like paper and my ereader for different reasons.  Finding things is easier for me in a paper book than on and Ereader, even with search functions, note-taking functions, and all the rest, so I use paper a lot for non-fiction.  Most of the books I buy for my ereader are fiction books.

Besides that though, I often borrow paper books from friends or the library.  I often borrow e-audio and e-books from the library, as well.  If I like the book, I'm going to buy a hardcopy.  Just like with Youtube, if I like the song enough, I'll go and buy it on iTunes or (if I have to) the CD.  -I prefer iTunes because half of the time I can't rip songs from a CD to put on my mp3 player or even make an extra copy for my car, so if somebody breaks in it doesn't get stolen.-

Last Edited on: 1/15/11 11:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1