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Poll Shows That 75% Prefer Printed Books To eBooks

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the give-us-dead-trees dept.

Books 312

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."

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I agree (5, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#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 (5, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#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 (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44342759)

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 (4, Informative)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year ago | (#44342765)

No, it's currently in Vatican City.

Re:I agree (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year ago | (#44343217)

Indeed -- led by the Pontifex Maximus [wikipedia.org] and everything.

Re:I agree (3, Funny)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#44342953)

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.

Re:I agree (3, Funny)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44343033)

Great reference material. I shall have to find my local copy later. My preserved copy is in my no-room, of course.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342687)

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

Another spoiler: after the new standard was published, the C++ committee decided to work on some additional features.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342689)

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

I knew it! The butler did it, right?

Blame game (1)

Livius (318358) | about a year ago | (#44342741)

If by butler, you mean the barbarians, not really, but they seem to get a lot of the blame.

Re:I agree (4, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#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!

Sir, Permission to disagree. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:I agree (2)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#44342725)

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.

Re:I agree (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#44342775)

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 (3, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year ago | (#44342855)

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 (4, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:I agree (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#44342909)

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.

Re:I agree (2)

slazzy (864185) | about a year ago | (#44342973)

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 (5, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | about a year ago | (#44342743)

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 (4, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:I agree (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44343187)

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

Re:I agree (3, Interesting)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#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

Re:I agree (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#44342919)

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.

Re:I agree (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#44342977)

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.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343205)

What? Your GF doesn't fit in the trunk?

Re: I agree (2)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#44342941)

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

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343115)

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

The only way this can possibly make sense is if you leave your digital books infected with DRM.
Why on earth would you do such a thing?

Re:I agree (2)

wmac1 (2478314) | about a year ago | (#44343151)

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 like whenever you like. If producers can solve the above issues, I guess I won't need printed books at all.

Btw, I recently hesitantly checked a Sony Xperia Tablet Z and it was very lightweight and comfortable to hold (but very expensive). However most PDF readers I have checked are inferior to the Acrobat reader on PC.

Re:I agree (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343237)

Where (and what, if you don't mind me asking) are you getting as a C++ reference material that has a DRM risk? Personally, I buy all my computer related materials on eBook (pdf) format and make sure to get it drm-free. At least both O'Reilly and Manning do it that way, probably because the market for these books is more sensitive to these issues than most others...

Reading a 1000+ programming reference manual by flipping pages of a tome instead of computer screen with ctrl-f at my disposal, and clickable links in index? Not to mention having that mountain of dead tree lying around instead of bits on hard drive? I'll take the eBook, thanks.

Give me a real book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342557)

You can have my dead tree media when you pry it from my cold dead hands. The only time I don't prefer printed books is when I have to move them.

Real books (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342563)

I still prefer real books...
Real books have a smell that is usually pleasant, leather bound and hardcover books look nice on a shelf, and I can give and lend my real books with ease.

E-books are cheaper though so, if you read all the time I could see the appeal.

In a perfect world; but, not the one we live in (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342573)

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 time to do that. I'm addicted to electronic books and would not willingly go back.

Re:In a perfect world; but, not the one we live in (1)

pmontra (738736) | about a year ago | (#44342737)

+1 insightful, and me too with the exception of the fireplace. It's summer here, 30 C :-)

Slow death despite nostalgia? (5, Insightful)

melonman (608440) | about a year ago | (#44342595)

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.

Re:Slow death despite nostalgia? (4, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | about a year ago | (#44342659)

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.

Re:Slow death despite nostalgia? (4, Insightful)

illaqueate (416118) | about a year ago | (#44342871)

iirc Rasmussen telephone polling doesn't even include cell phones. Polling people who still have a land line seems like a good way to get a skewed result.

No, paper books just better (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44342709)

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, even now.

The only thing that may drive more people to electronic books is the rising cost of paper books...

Re:Slow death despite nostalgia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342875)

Age and material. I'm happy to read pulp on my kindle, but reference and technical books have to be on paper. I often write notes and corrections on the pages, add post-it notes for certain pages. All of which can be done to some degree on ebook readers, but navigation is slower, print too compressed, and diagrams are non-starters. Graphic novels are ok on my ipad, but not so good on the nexus 7, suggesting size matters for images.

There's also something nice about rummaging boxes and shelves looking for things to read. Looking through an index, despite being the same thing, really doesn't give any excitement.

Finally, books smell nice. Fresh new unread as well as stale dusty not been touched for decades.

Having said all that, I'll read 3 out of 5 books on my kindle because it's so convenient and something that works really well when travelling and reading outside in the direct sun.

Re:Slow death despite nostalgia? (2)

Teckla (630646) | about a year ago | (#44342957)

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.

Re:Slow death despite nostalgia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343001)

Wouldn't older people buy most books, period? Do young people buy that many books in the first place? So that would probably skew the results towards older people.

And remember this is a survey of people who buy books - the other 99% of the population looks at anyone who actually reads books like they're from another planet. Do your colleagues read books at all?

I think the tiny 1% (or less) of the population who actually reads prefers real printed books to temporary e-books. And those are the ones who buy books. The e-book doesn't seem to be making huge inroads in the population that doesn't read regularly.

Re:Slow death despite nostalgia? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44343109)

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.

Can't travel carrying 500+ dead-tree books (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342597)

I have the Kindle reader on my Android phone and my Android Tablet and collect lots of free ebooks on my favorite non-fiction topics when they are available through short-term promos. I also have a some ebooks I've actually paid for but my collection is well over 500 books at this point. When I travel, I take my phone and tablet with me so I can do some reading in the airport terminals, on the plane and in the hotel room. There's no way I could possibly take more than 1 or 2 dead-tree books on the road with me and I can't imagine a better way to read on the road.

Re:Can't travel carrying 500+ dead-tree books (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44343049)

And ironically these days losing a kindle would be less of a financial hardship than losing a couple of books. ( it wasn't that way not too long ago tho )

Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (3, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year ago | (#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?

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342647)

This.

Do I need a license to read my damn books now? If the power goes out will I have these books? Nope. Physical copies are the way to go. I can see ebooks for people who travel (where weight and space is an issue) or important large books that need to be referenced quickly (search).

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342675)

Sure. Just strip out the DRM and save the file as something else.

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#44342753)

Certainly this would seem to be the only sane response. Too bad it's illegal, just like all those movies you could otherwise rip from your DVD collection to watch on your phone.

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342695)

That isn't a positive in some cases. There are many books I read once and enjoy and won't ever pick up again. There is just no reason to re-read it for one reason or another.

I got a Kindle for Christmas and never looked back. If a book is worth reading again I can always pick up the paper back, but carting a bunch of books to a charity store every other month isn't realistic and they end up becoming a huge space eater.

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44342705)

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 convenient to just download a free copy online -- I don't know why publishers insist on making their content less convenient than the pirated alternative.

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (4, Insightful)

russbutton (675993) | about a year ago | (#44342747)

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.

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (4, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342849)

Isn't a DRM free PDF still an ebook? That's the format I buy the vast majority of my ebooks in.

Maybe that isn't surprising (4, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#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?)

Re: Maybe that isn't surprising (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342643)

Those are really really old studies.

Re: Maybe that isn't surprising (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44342859)

Old isn't the same as invalid. The human eyeball and brain haven't changed much in 30 years. Maybe technology changes have made a difference with newer display technology, maybe not. Feel free to provide more current studies if you care to, or can find them. I put up what I still had on my screen, but I doubt I'll look for more since it isn't a priority question for me.

Re:Maybe that isn't surprising (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44342769)

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.

Re:Maybe that isn't surprising (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#44342967)

>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 slow visual systems. That works fine for movies, but your eyes only have a very narrow cone of high-resolution perception*, and move a lot when reading. And every time they move you have to wait for the next CRT refresh before there's a mental after-image for your brain to start processing. Call it 30fps for an interleaved screen to fully refresh - that's once every 33 ms, or an average 17ms wait between when the eye fixates and when an after-image forms to begin reading. Given that the average fixation period is 200-250ms that's a reasonably expected 7.5% slowdown right off the top, before even considering any possible additional mental or visual strain imposed by glare, poor contrast, the strobing image, or the initial incomplete interleaved image (20-30fps is about the speed where our brains will perceive smooth motion in a sequence of static images, but our perception still extends to things quite a bit faster than that)

* An example of what your eye actually sees when looking at a piece of text:
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EyeFixationsReading.gif [wikipedia.org]

And every time they move you have to wait for the next CRT refresh before there's a mental after-image to start reading.

meaning that any time you moved your eyes you would have to wait for the next refresh cycle before there was an after-image on the proper part of your retina to be able to see anything. Your eye's high-resolution (slowed down a

Library & Used (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342621)

Only buy 2 or 3 new books @ year. Library? 10-15 @ month.. Used? 3-5 @ month. Guess I'm cheap.

Different messages for different mediums (2)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#44342633)

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.

Re:Different messages for different mediums (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342677)

But TV was not an improvement on radio.

The pictures are better on radio.

 

Re:Different messages for different mediums (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343223)

It's the DRM that's making the kind of innovation we see in free software difficult for ebook readers.,

These are not travelers or heavy readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342651)

75% of people must never travel for long periods of time or read voraciously. I go through at least 2 books a week and travel for months at a time.

Electronic Reading has transformed my life (and house) - I still have a few hundred books, but they are mostly older or 1st editions of things I think are special. Gone are the days of me purchasing stacks and stacks of crap paperbacks and immediately giving them away, selling them, or stashing them in the hopes that I can find a use for them.

Technical manuals, reference materials, these still have a place in print - but thats mostly because the applications we use to read our ebooks suck, as it can take longer to open up a search, type in what you think you're looking for, go through the links...a book can be flipped. And there is no searching of images by name.

Still, I'll take ebooks for 95% of my daily reading since 95% of my daily reading is not at home or work.

Re:These are not travelers or heavy readers (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about a year ago | (#44342711)

I'm a heavy reader. 5-10 novels/month and I still buy grocery bags full of books at every book sale I attend. When I travel, though, I take my classic Nook.

I don't buy paperbacks.

Variable (1)

DarkXale (1771414) | about a year ago | (#44342655)

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 section of text (or a table) of which you are not certain its exact name or placement in the book in question.
eBooks due to their portability do work well though if you mostly need access to a single or specific section(s), where jumps are small or non-existant, or for sequential reading.
For fictional literature, eBooks are convenient. For learning materials, they're often poor.

Re:Variable (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#44343015)

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 (1, Insightful)

WillyWanker (1502057) | about a year ago | (#44342663)

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 in the console arena) wears off and people realized they're getting screwed by not having a disc the trend will reverse itself and those companies that refuse to offer games on disc will ultimately suffer.

Kindle changed my view (3, Insightful)

Secret Agent Man (915574) | about a year ago | (#44342667)

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.

Re:Kindle changed my view (1)

grumpy_old_grandpa (2634187) | about a year ago | (#44342777)

George Orwell begs to differ [nytimes.com] . As do Richard Stallman [gnu.org] .

Re:Kindle changed my view (1)

Secret Agent Man (915574) | about a year ago | (#44342867)

While I do like my Kindle, it is not my only source for acquiring reading materials. I'm perfectly content reading from paper.

Re:Kindle changed my view (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342897)

DRM strippers are common and free. The best ebook library tool, Calibre, does it all for you.

Your points are a fail, because it's trivial to bypass, even for Joe User and his mother.

You should worry more about pay per listen/play business models.

Re:Kindle changed my view (2)

chilvence (1210312) | about a year ago | (#44342917)

Heh, even though Amazon say they backtracked and changed their policy after that, this single stupid move did more to damage the reputation of ebooks than anyone who is against them could ever have possibly hoped to achieve. And with 1984, of all books....

I mean, up till then, the only concrete disadvantage I could see with ebook vs paper, is that if civilisation collapsed and humankind was no longer able to generate electricity at throwaway prices, then our entire written culture up to that moment would vanish instantly in a puff of magnetic bits. Or in other words, not exactly something anyone is planning on. But then Amazon pulled this clown bullshit...and MADE a problem where none should have existed!

Eric Arthur Blair would have a very smug look on his face if he could see this.

Re:Kindle changed my view (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343013)

I would listen to Rush Limbaugh before I listened to anything Stallman has to say.

Re:Kindle changed my view (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342811)

So you're one of the 15% then. Thanks for sharing.

Re:Kindle changed my view (2)

phayes (202222) | about a year ago | (#44342943)

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.

Clutter control (1)

dpilot (134227) | about a year ago | (#44342669)

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.

Re:Clutter control (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44342763)

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 they don't wind up crushed. In some cases it's easy to just get rid of the bookcases - So those books have to go. Finally, you need somewhere to store kids-book and toys - You get the picture.

Of course, kids bring whole new forms of clutterization, but at least your books are gone...

When we went through it we put a lot of books in containers in the garage, 'in case we needed them.' Five years later it turns out I didn't really need that paperback of "Caves of Steel" nor that guidebook to Greece from 1993 and we got ride of them for good.

Re:Clutter control (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44342999)

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 out. It's clear to me that most of these books are of short term usefulness and really are perfect for ebooks.

Many other books are available free in ebook form. I really don't intend to purchase many of these, so they will remain in that form.

But for many of the great books in our lives only physical books will do. For us holding a book brings a state of mind that cannot be obtained any other way.

I prefer ebook. (4, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | about a year ago | (#44342693)

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.

Convenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342729)

I am one of the people who prefer physical books. Some of that is probably habit, I've been reading physical books a long time. But there are several other factors. For example, many on-line stores are hooked to a reader and DRM enforces that I get books for my reader from particular stores. With a physical book I can shop anywhere. Used stores, Amazon, the corner store a library... all of them have physical books without DRM I can buy any time and read anywhere without a specific device.

Ownership is nice too. A lot of my books were given to me, passed down over the past 50 years. It's a lot easier to pass along and borrow books than electronic documents protected by DRM.

Convenience is big too. My library has ebooks, but they require special software to read and can't be transferred to other devices. To get a library book in electronic form I need to download the proper software, place a hold on the book, download the book and hope it works with my reader (sometimes they don't). It's actually faster for me to walk to the library, find and check out a physical copy than it is for me to navigate the library's website and download all the required pieces.

Depends on platform (3, Interesting)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#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.

different formats for different types of reading (1)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about a year ago | (#44342779)

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.

Are those 75% Americans who.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342787)

... don't read any books at all?

Wrong conclusions? (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year ago | (#44342791)

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

What about both? (1)

Peter Hudson (2843245) | about a year ago | (#44342795)

There is much discussion about real vs. ebooks, but little about how you could have both formats. There are clearly benefits to real books (you own them) and digital books (search, portability, etc). What if you could have both for the price of print, or the price of print + $0.99 (or some other small incremental cost)? My company, BitLit (http://www.bitlit.ca) has developed a system and is working with publishers to make this happen.

Re:What about both? (1)

Peter Hudson (2843245) | about a year ago | (#44342881)

FWIW real link: BitLit [bitlit.ca] we are looking to launch this summer with a select small group of publishers. Mostly sci-fi and fantasy books. (maybe because they fear the future less?)

No surprise (4, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#44342815)

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.

Who paid for the Poll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342837)

Amazons numbers tells a very different story. Could it be that the tree-murdering-faction does not want to face reality?

mod= up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342839)

Other Reasons (2)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | about a year ago | (#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.

No mention of price difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342877)

Did they ask? "Given no difference in price, which would you prefer?"

Because I buy e-books from new, indy authors, and enjoy the fact that I can get them for a buck or two. I wouldn't even consider them at ten bucks or more for printed versions. Some are crap, but many are surprisingly good. And some of these new authors are banging them out at two or three a year.

to early (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342883)

Yep, I'm sure there was a poll that 75% of people prefered vinyl to CDs (I can move the needle exactly where I want it instantly), CDs to mp3s (I like seeing the collection), DVDs to streaming ... Then stopped noticing how convenient the new way was and in 5 years the poll flipped without anyone noticing. I suspect it will be the same for ebooks. Just switched my 71 year old mom. She's never going back.

I wonder why (1)

Alomex (148003) | about a year ago | (#44342963)

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 agree (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#44342975)

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.

e-ink (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44342985)

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 those books that need color/size, until the above is available..

Re:e-ink (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#44343075)

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.

Let it be known that I am a bookworm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343131)

I see several advantages of both books and bookstores.

  • Analog copy: I don't need anything but the book itself to read a real paper book. e-Books require computers or kindles or ipads which cost hundreds of dollars, and can be unreliable.
  • No DRM: This is kinda tied to the analog thing, but I have books on my living room self, and have encountered books in my local library which are over 100 years old, I think it's silly to assume that amazon or apple will still be running the server which allows you to verify licenses for your books 100 years from now.
  • Possession vs Borrowing: I don't know how it got started exactly, but the idea of buying a license to use something, instead of the thing itself is, in my humble opinion, a disgusting parasite that has attached itself to the online market. I want to own a book so that there is absolutely no question or conditions on what I can do with it, and no one can take it away.
  • Better for your eyes: Reading a paper book during the day time is much much better for your eyes than reading on an electronic screen
  • Privacy: With the increase in snooping on the internet, both governmental and by other malicious parties I think it's nice to read in a medium which is non-discoverable. Yeah yeah catch the terrorists but there's enough of my stuff online, I'd like to keep my reading history un-wget-able.
  • A Question of Taste: Personally, as a self-diagnosed bookworm, I simply like flipping through real physical pages as I read words printed on paper, I realize that the same argument could be made for the authentic feel of stone tablets, but it's something that I enjoy much more than reading online.

When I can I buy books from brick and mortar stores, for all of the reasons that I listed above. Yes I think it's important to support bookstores (even Barnes & Noble, though if they ditched nook, i'd like them better), but it's not something to do for it's own sake. Go real books!

Not all eReaders are created equal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343159)

I think they need to distinguish what eReaders people are using. Reading on an iPad and reading on a Kindle are not the same. Your Kindle doesn't lose battery power after 5 hours. I hate having to wait to read my books because my book is charging. That being said eBooks are 100x more convenient. They also help me reduce a lot of clutter from my life. Yes, books look pretty sitting on a shelf taking up space, but I don't need to get off on the awestruck look on my friends' faces when they come over and see my massive collection. I think a lot of people need their books to be conversation pieces... to have their friends come over and be like... oh man do you actually read Tolstoy?

So convenient (1)

Chrondeath (757612) | about a year ago | (#44343163)

I originally had all the concerns about DRM, eventually obsolete formats, inability to lend, not supporting local booksellers....but after getting an e-reader, they've pretty much all been trumped by one thing: I can set the book down and have the damn thing lay flat and readable no matter where I'm at in the book. No more trying to find something heavy to set on one side or the other of a hardcover until I'm within the middle 40%, no more setting a paperback facedown any time I want to use both hands at lunch. Almost all of my book-reading time these days seems to be while I'm out at lunch or dinner, so it's a big improvement for me. I think this feature also contributed to finally getting me to start going to the gym (at least occasionally), as I can still get some reading done there.

I've also enjoyed the space savings of not needing the physical books around, and the ability to purchase new books from home and have them immediately available, but lay-flat is the top reason why I frown a little any time I want a book and can't find it in e-book format.

Books-on-tape might be even more convenient for my situations, but the idea of being forced to read at someone else's pace just makes me shudder.

Ebook reading experience STILL sucks (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44343189)

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-access media. It was optimized for saving things like video streams to sequential blocks, and reading them back for sequential playback. You CAN jump around, but the protocol overhead required to read four arbitrary bytes is STAGGERING compared to the protocol overhead required to read four sequential bytes (once you've pointed at the first one).

So, let's start with requirement #1 for a viable technical eBook reader: a real, honest to God SATA3 high-performance SSD. Not microSD, not conventional value-engineered flash. Real, honest to god SSD-type flash optimized for high-speed bulk AND random-access data transfer.

Now, let's move onto requirement #2: a shitload of RAM. Enough to keep most of the recent pages pre-rendered in RAM. Or, a GPU with proper 2D hardware acceleration. The fact is, OpenGL doesn't do jack for things like text-rendering. In some ways, it's actively harmful. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line between S3's 8xx and 9xx acceleration & ATI's Mach64, and today's OpenGL, the 2D acceleration that made Windows9x text-rendering smooth as glass on CPUs that were a quarter of a high-end Android phone's real speed all went away. In terms of 2D acceleration, we've basically gone back in time 20 years. A modern Android phone's GPU is the PC equivalent of a 3dfx strapped onto a Tseng ET4000 (non-w32).

Note to nVidia, Qualcomm, and everyone else: partner with Adobe, and give us hardware-accelerated text rendering, layout, and flow, so devices don't HAVE to pre-render megabytes of raw bitmap data for every page to get acceptable performance. This isn't some fringe wacky use case.The Android industry's obsessive focus on 3D performance to the complete oblivion of 2D is misguided. Chances are, 95% of the IP nVidia or Qualcomm need is ALREADY OUT THERE, and was getting etched into silicon for Laser printers and cheap Windows videocards TWENTY YEARS AGO. It's not a case of "it can't be done" or "we don't know how", it's a case of GPU manufacturers just being willfully indifferent to 2D acceleration because it doesn't sound as sexy as "3D".

(takes breath)

Anyway, for the short term, a good Android eBook-optimized device needs gigabytes of RAM, so it can keep page bitmaps pre-rendered for immediate re-display. Backed by a blisteringly-fast SSD, to store the REMAINDER of the book in pre-rendered form. Once we finally get proper 2D acceleration back after a 20 year absence so pages can be composed & updated in 1/60 second or less, the ram cache & SSD backing-store can be scaled back.But not one minute sooner.

E-ink needs better performance. Is there some fundamental reason why an e-ink page HAS to be tediously updated by slowly resetting, then carving away 1 single pixel at a time? Did the industry truly learn (or remember) NOTHING from the goddamn early 90s, when someone came up with the idea of doubling the performance of STN LCD displays by dividing the screen in half, and updating each half with a different controller? Then progressively upping the ante, dividing the screen into smaller and smaller chunks with their own controllers, until finally taking the final leap to TFT? Why CAN'T an e-ink page be divided electronically into 2 pieces, each of which has its own logic to clear and render the next page? Or 4? Or 8? or 32, 64, or more?

Before someone brings up 'power', give me a break. Arguing about power budgets and e-ink is like people who get worked into a froth because LEDs with halogen-like color rendering use a lot more power than LEDs with the color quality of a 1940s fluorescent tube, and forget that you're talking about a 150-250 watt LED array with the light output and color quality of a thousand-watt halogen. Maybe it's not as miserly as a 25-watt LED, but it's still a huge improvement over a lamp that could do double-duty as a space heater. The point is, e-ink doesn't HAVE to suck as badly as it currently does. E-ink has advantages of its own... it looks good in ambient light, and reflects light in a way that's not unlike ink on paper. Even if an e-ink display didn't save a single joule of battery power, it has merit on its own... if they could just make them not totally suck as badly at rapid updates as they do now.

Finally, on the subject of power... quit throttling my e-reader when it needs full power. Android governors are WAY too eager to throttle back the CPU, and WAY too stingy about kicking into full gear. It's like GM making a 12-cylinder engine that can disable cylinders for fuel economy, then programming it so that the only way to actually GET to full power is to have a heart-stopping moment struggling to accelerate onto a freeway with 4 sputtering cylinders, then keeping the pedal floored for the next 5 miles until it grudgingly decides the engine is "busy enough" and adds a pair of cylinders every minute or two. I don't want aggressive throttling and battery hypermiling. I want a 5-goddamn-thousand mAH battery, and a metaphorical nitro cylinder ready to supercharge the CPU whenever I want full-power acceleration RIGHT NOW. Or a metaphorical Chrysler-designed hybrid sports car with 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, and electric traction motor that kicks in to negate the turbo lag for instant performance on demand, backed by sustained turbocharging.

Give us an Android tablet with color e-ink screen capable of updating itself at least as quickly as the worst DSTN LCD from 1994 could, with color quality at least as good as newsprint and razor-sharp black-on-white text, in a device that either has native 2D text-rendering acceleration or a sufficiently-fast backing store to pre-render entire books, update the display to a page cached in ram within 1/60th of a second, and do a complete fetch from persistent storage in 1/30th of a second, and MAYBE ebooks will stop sucking.

Now get off my lawn!

eBooks printed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343243)

I just print my ebooks at work, usually.

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