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62% of 16 To 24-Year-Olds Prefer Printed Books Over eBooks

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the if-i-can't-throw-my-book-at-somebody-what's-the-point-of-owning-it dept.

Books 331

assertation writes "According to The Guardian, 62% of readers between the age of 16 and 24 prefer physical copies of books over ebooks. Reasons given were the feel of 'real books,' a perceived unfairly high cost for eBooks, and the ease of sharing printed books. 'On questions of ebook pricing, 28% think that ebooks should be half their current price, while just 8% say that ebook pricing is right.' The preference for physical copies was in contrast to other forms of media, such as games, movies, and music, where a majority preferred the digital version."

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fristy psot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541081)

Huzzah

price (1)

aahpandasrun (948239) | about 10 months ago | (#45541089)

It's all about ebooks being too expensive. 10 dollars for a book that's 4 dollars online, or available at the library? Once kids figure out how insanely easy it is to pirate ebooks, they'll prefer ebooks.

Re:price (5, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | about 10 months ago | (#45541111)

The article was about 16 - 24 year olds. They probably already know how to pirate. Ease of sharing was also another issue. Prices can be reduced, but the business model of eBooks seems to be based on reducing sharing, so that road block isn't going away.

Re:price (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 10 months ago | (#45541461)

If ease of sharing is an issue, then perhaps they aren't so skilled at piracy. Same can be said of price.

Re:price (5, Insightful)

Shinobi (19308) | about 10 months ago | (#45541229)

No, it's not only about price. It's about the fact that the book can be read anywhere, without needing a battery charge or anything. Even many kids think about that. It's also less stressful for the eyes than looking at a screen.

Re:price (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45541299)

citation ?
I want to see a real study about this supposed eye stress people keep mentioning.

Anecdote, data, and all that, but... (3, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about 10 months ago | (#45541433)

citation ?
I want to see a real study about this supposed eye stress people keep mentioning.

A real study would be good. At the same time, I haven't run across anyone in my personal life who doesn't prefer reading a dead-tree book over an ebook. Ebooks are certainly more convenient in many ways, especially once you factor in portability. But many (most?) ebook readers these days that I see around me are backlit (as they tend to be tablets), which does lead to a certain amount of eyestrain and can cause circadian imbalance.

Re:Anecdote, data, and all that, but... (1, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45541497)

Any citation for that?

I want to see a proper double blind study done of this.

I look at an LCD all day, then sometimes some more at home. I do not suffer from any eyestrain I can detect.

Re:Anecdote, data, and all that, but... (4, Insightful)

MemoryAid (675811) | about 10 months ago | (#45541661)

I want to see a proper double blind study done of this.

How do you do a double-blind study on screens?

"You will be looking at either a back-lit screen or a book--we won't tell you which until after the study--and then we will ask you questions and examine your eyes to determine the effects."

Re:Anecdote, data, and all that, but... (4, Funny)

PNutts (199112) | about 10 months ago | (#45541697)

How do you do a double-blind study on screens?

Maybe he meant force people to use either one or the other and see who goes blind?

Re:Anecdote, data, and all that, but... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45541813)

I was more thinking tricks with lighting in the room to hide it as much as possible.

Re:Anecdote, data, and all that, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541761)

This is a blatant load of shit, try an eink screen, it's effectively the same thing as reading from paper.

Re:price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541693)

Depends greatly on your tablet's screen resolution.

I bought a couple of China-cheap tablets with a 1024x600 resolution, and then more recently a Nexus 7 with 1920Ã--1200.

While I did have eyestrain with the former, the latter's resolution actually seems to give me -less- eyestrain than a physical book, perhaps due to more consistent text-to-background contrast across lighting conditions.

I would discount any comparison study that didn't explicitly note the resolution of the tablet being tested.

Re:price (2)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45541239)

Ebook pricing has gradually been coming down though. I think the early market (people who could afford tablets and readers when they were new expensive toys) just wasn't very price sensitive.

Ultimately, I think we'll see eBooks settle down to the same price as "real" books, before shipping. The per-unit cost of printing a book and shipping it in bulk to a distributer is a trivial portion of the price of a book. Most of the cost is in fixed costs (not per-book) that are the same regardless of media: copy-editing, royalties, marketing, and so on.

Re:price (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45541349)

I'd make arguments for it being more environmentally friendly. No materials to work, and nothing to ship.

Re:price (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45541399)

I have the opposite take - without the need for all that paper, all the land used for tree farms would likely be used for something far less environmentally friendly.

Re:price (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45541465)

Like feeding people?

Re:price (2)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45541535)

The world has a net surplus of food production as it is (and in America farming is very unfriendly to the nearby environment). Distribution is a different matter. Forests in America have been gradually reclaiming farmland for many decades now - you just don't need much land any more.

Re:price (1)

evilRhino (638506) | about 10 months ago | (#45541911)

Do you only eat corn? If not, I think your metrics are incorrect. You can't measure food simply acreage of farms. There are specialty crops that aren't being grown on a large scale that could benefit from free land.

Re:price (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 10 months ago | (#45541745)

I'd make arguments for it being more environmentally friendly. No materials to work, and nothing to ship.

All the devices and infrastructure necessary to deliver and read them have an environmental cost, e.g., batteries, rare earth elements, waste from devices tossed when broken / upgraded.

Re:price (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 10 months ago | (#45541401)

The per-unit cost of printing a book and shipping it in bulk to a distributer is a trivial portion of the price of a book.

I found one breakdown of printed book cost analysis analysis [ireaderreview.com] that put printing and distribution at 20% of a book's cover price, and retailer's markup at 40%. A lot of that retailer's markup is inventory cost--what it costs the retailer to store and display copies of the book. Even though the actual *printing* cost is only 10% of the book's price, you then have to pay for dealing with the physical form and getting it to the customer, which is much tougher than getting a computer file to the customer. At a guess, I'd say that 30% to 40% of the cost of a physical book is tied to paying for its physical aspects. Not so trivial.

Re:price (2)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45541481)

Ah, but that's inventory management at brick-and-mortar stores, which Amazon doesn't deal with (i.e., that's the reason the time of brick-and-mortar stores has largely passed). The per-book cost of a pallet of 1000 books delivered to Amazon has a different breakdown than the retail side.

Re:price breakdown (3, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | about 10 months ago | (#45541909)

Yes: one of my customers is a major publisher, and the printing costs, warehousing and transport are indeed a huge part of the cost of a book, certainly on the order of 40%. Some of this can avoided by the publisher, by having a retailer warehouse the books, but the retailer still has to pay for the warehouse, and therefor adds that cost into the price.

There ain't no free lunch (;-))

--dave

Still too much (2)

coats (1068) | about 10 months ago | (#45541419)

With real books, I can donate them to charity when I'm done with them. Given that the general retail rate for used books is 60% of face value, that means the donation is worth about 30% (taking both state and federal tax deductions into account), so my effective printed book-price is 70% of face value. E-books need to be priced fairly against that.

Re:Still too much (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45541689)

Well, you can make up whatever price you want to for the IRS, but my used book-club hardbacks are worth about 10 cents each. Other than books-by-the-yard, used bookstores have little interest. Have you tried actually selling these books, or are you going by made-up numbers (honest question)?

I don't know anyone who counts resale price of used books in their book buying decisions - it's mostly "bring in a box of old books for one new one, now what else do I buy while I'm here".

Re:Still too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541823)

I don't know anyone who counts resale price of used books in their book buying decisions - it's mostly "bring in a box of old books for one new one, now what else do I buy while I'm here".

Price? Maybe not, but I very much do take into consideration how much the used bookstore will give me in trade.

Can't really do that with a rented (that's right, rented) ebook.

-- CanHasDIY, preserving mods

Re:price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541753)

"The per-unit cost of printing a book and shipping it in bulk to a distributer is a trivial portion of the price of a book"

Yet in the 80's and 90's when book prices were hyperinflating, the cadence was 180 degrees opposite.

In the 2000's and 2010's, we have newspapers whining on about how the cost of paper and shipping are a massive part of the costs, therefore they have to raise ad revenue.

But none of you ever, and I mean EVER, give an accounting break-down of the costs. Just claims absent any evidence and contraindicated elsewhere.

Re:price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541583)

I have two kids; both have kindles. One prefers the kindle, one prefers real books. They don't care about cost or sharing, since I take care of that stuff. So in my sample it's 50-50 based purely on the reading experience.

Burn an Ebook? (5, Interesting)

donut1005 (982510) | about 10 months ago | (#45541101)

I posed a question on social media recently asking if deleting an Ebook is akin to book burning. Very few saw a parallel. Most were appalled at the idea of burning a book but had no problem with deleting an Ebook. The reason they would not burn a book but were ok with deleting an Ebook? Not for the preservation of knowledge, not for passing on history, not for any other archeological reason. Just because they had a sentimental connection via their senses, the touch, the smell.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 10 months ago | (#45541151)

Also it requires way, way more effort to print and bind a book than it does to copy a file. Once it's in digital form it's essentially valueless because the bytes are so cheap to store and transmit. This is why I think media in the future will gravitate more towards a "voluntary payment" model. That is, it'll be more successful to have millions view your work and a small % of them pay, than to try to get everybody who views your work to pay.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 10 months ago | (#45541491)

Voluntary payments work in smaller ecosystems. However as things get bigger, the tragedy of the commons starts happening. This is why an honor system peach stand in the middle of Maine works, while one near a busy city likely will be relieved of its fruit and cash box... perhaps just removed completely.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 10 months ago | (#45541161)

Humans build morality based on sacramental associations. Book burning is an activity only bad people do. Deleting ebooks is an activity both good and bad people do. Ergo: book burning is likely a bad thing while deleting ebooks morally neutral.

That seems like a sensible analysis where one is appealing to sociology for the determination of good vs. evil.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (4, Insightful)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 10 months ago | (#45541527)

There is a big difference between going to the library and burning books you don't want others to read and deleting a ebook off of your device to make room to download more ebooks from a large repository of ebooks {you've not deleted it from the repository just your device you can still download it again}.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541173)

You can easily re-download an ebook. Deleting an ebook is closer to putting a book in a bookshelf than to burning it.

Wrong question (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45541403)

Ask them if it's OK to delete the last copy of an eBook and see what response you get.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#45541413)

Depending on how you bought it, you still have it (just stored in the "cloud" rather than on the device). So as the AC says, deleting it is more akin to putting it on the shelf. At worst, it's putting it in the trash. Have you asked whether throwing out a worn old book that was well-read is the same as burning it?

Now, when Amazon mass-deletes books from devices remotely, that'd be considered closer to an old-fashioned book burning, I'd guess.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541425)

Just print it out and burn that, just as satisfying.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (2)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 10 months ago | (#45541493)

It's entirely different because people don't burn books just because they are done with them and are trying to reduce clutter. It is always done as an act of censorship, too prevent others from being able to read the books. Removing books on a public source such as project Gutenberg or a library server maybe would be closer to what book burning was about.

Re:Burn an Ebook? (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 10 months ago | (#45541767)

I posed a question on social media recently asking if deleting an Ebook is akin to book burning.

Another good reason to stay away from "social media" sites.

Sounds right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541109)

I'm 22 and prefer real books to printed on almost every case. I have a noon classic and an iPad, but prefer dead-free versions. No one I know (just started grad school) likes ebooks better.

Re:Sounds right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541915)

I I have a noon classic and an iPad, but prefer dead-free versions.

Ha!

This is why I love/hate touchscreen keyboards and auto-incorrect: Love it when it happens to someone else, anyway.

Re:Sounds right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541957)

I'm 22 and prefer real books to printed on almost every case. I have a noon classic and an iPad, but prefer dead-free versions. No one I know (just started grad school) likes ebooks better.

I assume you're not entering grad school pursuing an advanced English or logic degree.

This is why Kindle Matchbook is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541147)

You can buy the physical book, but for a small additional price you get the ebook version as well. I've had a kindle for a couple years now and still bought physical books and just pirated the ebook version. Now I'm able to purchase both for just about the same price.

Re:This is why Kindle Matchbook is a good idea (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 10 months ago | (#45541549)

I wish this was a general practice among book publishers. Buy the dead tree version, and on the inside is a card one can scratch off, scan a QR code, and download the eBook version. Best of both worlds -- a paper copy for the bookshelf, and a copy on the E-reader.

Of course, this means standardizing on a DRM process, rather than iBook/Kindle/Nook/Kobo/Google/etc. having their own systems... or even better, no DRM at all.

Re:This is why Kindle Matchbook is a good idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541673)

Some authors (like Brandon Sanderson) give you a DRM free electronic version of the book for free when you buy a physical copy. I REALLY like that model, to the point that I almost exclusively buy his books from his own store to encourage him. I usually get a physical version of the book signed by the author, a free ebook version AND support his work (that I love, BTW) for just a little more than the retailer price.

Is a win-win situation for everyone, in one hand the author shows respects for his or her audience by not trying gouging them for no reason, while as a reader we have don't see out rights curtailed by insane copyright laws. And by making his work easier to share, the author is increasing his or her fan base and with it his or her revenue stream. Virtually every friend I've lent a Sanderson book in the past ended buying the whole collection, simply because he is THAT good.

IMHO, only crappy authors are afraid of people lending their work to friends because they know that once you read that crap once you are never ever get another book from that person, ever.

Picard Syndrome (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#45541153)

There's already a name for this - Jean Luc Picard Syndrome.

Printed books (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541183)

To give some arguments that I don't see:

Printed books don't break when shoved into luggage.

Printed books have infinite "battery life".

Printed books don't get stolen like electronic devices.

I break a book, I just lost that particular book - well, no. I can still read it. I lose it, all I lost is one book - not an electronic device and all the other books on it.

At least some poor slobs (printers, packagers, truckers, etc ...) are making a living making these things (at no extra cost to me) as opposed to content creators who knock this off and make an infinite number at no additional cost (put it into the computer and infinite copies without any effort.).

Re:Printed books (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541373)

I read far more since I switched from paper to reading on my phone. It doesn't hurt my eyes, I can carry hundreds of books with me absolutely everywhere I go, it automatically "bookmarks" where I am, I can do text searches, etc. I get something like 10 hours of reading before having to charge my phone, and dedicated ebook readers can get far more. I personally don't get the obsession with paper books.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541891)

Fuck reading on a phone screen. If it's smaller than a nook classic, I don't want to read in it.

Re:Printed books (3, Insightful)

geekd (14774) | about 10 months ago | (#45541391)

I can't fit 500+ printed books in my pocket. For me, that's the big deal right there. I have limited physical storage space in my house, and I read about 2 books a week.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541641)

Curious. Usually I'm only reading one, at most two books at a time. A book weighs less than an electronic gizmo, and is not as fragile so I don't have to feel paranoid about smashing it into bits on a crowded bus. So to me a book is more portable than a tablet/e-reader/laptop.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541647)

well I have in excess of 2000 books.
Unfortunately I have stopped reading because I now suffer fro "Continuous Daily Migraines", so I find I can not read paper books, I have managed to read a few on my iPad mini because I find that if I increase the font size its easier to read for longer (and yeah I wear glasses and not thats not the problem).

Given printing and binding of paper books is not a high cost I have no issues with eBook pricing because it is the story/information I am buying, not the medium, and that does not change.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541703)

I don't need 500+ printed books in my pocket all at once. Carrying around one or two currently being read isn't so hard (and means I don't have to worry about yet another fragile and expensive piece of electronics). When I'm done with them, either they're useful enough to keep on a bookshelf for future reference, or I can hand them to a friend / family member / used book store. The "500+ books in your pocket" selling point feeds a neurotic compulsion for "more is better!" without regard to the extremely slim marginal utility of such excess. The only place I may need lots of books at once, is when I'm in my office/study and can lay out half a dozen tomes for immediate access; in which case, being able to do full-size side-by-side comparisons of however many texts is immensely more convenient than navigating back and forth on the cramped screen of an e-reader.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541751)

That's why I prefer eBooks. Never run out of reading material while traveling. It's great if you're on the road a lot.

Yet there's still one problem that seems to be neglected and bugs the hell out of me, which may explain to some extent why there is still preference for print. What I don't get is why half the eBooks out there seem to be half-assed when it comes to being formatted properly. And this is when they charge more for the damn things. Publishers obviously don't let that crap slide when it comes to printed media. However it seems they don't give a damn about using the wrong kind of breaks, not having proper chapter sections or table of contents, don't take any useful advantage of having hyperlinks available, and other stuff that allows text to reflow properly in a dynamic layout which is necessary to accomodate various sized tablet or other device screens.

ePub has all these things available or in spec (which is pretty much the same as HTML) to make ebooks good in terms of layout and navigation, but publishers neglect to use any of it and instead deliver an inferior product compared to the print equivalent.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541873)

Donate your old books to the library to eliminate storage. Other people will benefit. Re-check them out yourself if you want. New books cost ~$15 or 25 cents at your local thrift store. Blockbuster titles (like the Hunger Games) show up in thrift a week after release. The selection is even better a few days after Christmas. Better yet, libraries are free! If your library does not have something you want, they'll usually purchase it for you.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541955)

I can't fit 500+ printed books in my pocket. For me, that's the big deal right there. I have limited physical storage space in my house, and I read about 2 books a week.

If you only read 2 books a week, why would you need 500+ with you at all times?

Re:Printed books (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45541405)

Nevermind all that pollution and energy/resource consumption involved in producing and shipping those books...

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541519)

Nevermind all that pollution and energy/resource consumption involved in producing and shipping those books...

Yeah, because it's not like there's any human rights violations and environmentally toxic environments and processes involved in making your precious, precious shiny, there...

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541685)

Yeah, never mind the energy/resource consumption involved in producing and shipping those ebook readers, as well as the energy consumed by the device and the servers the books live on.

As for the paper, think of all the carbon sequestered in all those books.

Re:Printed books (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45541503)

To give some arguments that I don't see:

Printed books don't break when shoved into luggage.

My 4 year old kindle (with keyboard) has been shoved in luggage countless times and hasn't broken. I replaced it with a paperwhite kindle a few months ago because I wanted a backlight, but I still use the old one from time to time. An eBook reader may be more fragile than a paper book, but it can withstand the rigors of daily life just fine.

The kindle is especially nice for reading at the beach or hot tub -- I just put it in a ziplock baggy to keep out the sand and water, and can read with ease. If I drop it in the water, it floats on the surface -- no need to wait days to dry it before continuing to read (if it's possible at all, and the pages aren't stuck together)

Printed books have infinite "battery life".

I'm still averaging a month of battery life on my kindle, and I can read while charging. It's not infinite, but it may as well be.

Printed books don't get stolen like electronic devices.

Someone broke into my car once and took my backpack with several books (and dirty gym clothes), they rifled through the glove compartment, but they didn't take the kindle that was tucked into a door side pocket. I'm not aware of any anti-theft devices built-in to books, so they can get stolen like everything else. Admittedly if I left the kindle on the seat next to a book, they'd likely have taken the kindle before the book.

I break a book, I just lost that particular book - well, no. I can still read it. I lose it, all I lost is one book - not an electronic device and all the other books on it.

I buy most of my books through sources other than Amazon, and I have a backup copy of all of them, if my kindle breaks or someone steals it, I don't lose any books, not even the one I was currently reading. And Amazon can have a replacement kindle at my door in 2 days.... or I can run the Kindle app on my phone and pick up right where I left off.


At least some poor slobs (printers, packagers, truckers, etc ...) are making a living making these things (at no extra cost to me) as opposed to content creators who knock this off and make an infinite number at no additional cost (put it into the computer and infinite copies without any effort.).

Why do you think that you're not paying to support the entire print industry when you purchase a book? Where do you think the money comes from to pay them if it's not built-in to the price of a book?

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541531)

Printed books don't break when shoved into luggage.

They can be physically ruined and rendered effectively unusable by shoving them into luggage.

Printed books have infinite "battery life".

But are much more sensitive to atmospheric dampness, insects and require some source of light when it's dark.

Printed books don't get stolen like electronic devices.

>

Yes they do.

I break a book, I just lost that particular book - well, no. I can still read it. I lose it, all I lost is one book - not an electronic device and all the other books on it.

What are backups?

Re:Printed books (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | about 10 months ago | (#45541623)

Printed books don't break when shoved into luggage.
Nor does my Kindle. It's travelled all over the world.

Printed books have infinite "battery life".
My 3 year old Kindle 3 still holds a month or more of charge.

Printed books don't get stolen like electronic devices.
Fair enough, but I doubt a Kindle has great resell value.

I break a book, I just lost that particular book - well, no. I can still read it. I lose it, all I lost is one book - not an electronic device and all the other books on it.
Just download it again from Amazon etc.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541831)

I'm giving that post a non sequitur score of 2.5.

Re:Printed books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541833)

I love physical books, but I also love the convenience of ebooks readers. A single 6'' ebook reader can carry thousands of books, so I don't need to be encumbered by the weight of the books every time I travel nor having my choices limited to just a few books. Not to mention other advantages, like the customization it offers (font, size, etc.), plus the extra tricks of the new generation (like built-in on-screen lighting, that makes life WAY easier while reading in poor light).

The points you make are minor inconveniences:

1. Don't shove your ebook reader into your luggage, put it in your backpack. After all, the whole point is having it at hand, so if you get bored is easy to retrieve and use.

2. Sure, battery life in a ebook reader is finite, but it last literally weeks. Unless you are shipwrecked in a deserted island, thats a non-issue for most of us.

3. That depends on the book, I guess, but I've never heard of people targeting ebook readers (they are relatively cheap and not worth the sanction if caught stealing it)

4. I don't know about you, but I use Calibre to manage my books, so even if my ebook reader gets lost I won't lose a single book.

Your last point is fair, but I thing it should be directed towards the distributors, not the content creators. See my post below regarding how some authors like Brandon Sanderson deal with the issue.

90% of students... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541189)

...prefer pdf versions of textbooks over hardcovers that they have to lug between classes.

I base that number on absolutely nothing.

Re:90% of students... (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#45541247)

I have a couple book reading apps on my phone. I can lug around many books all the time and read them whenever I have a spare minute. I'd much rather have an ebook than a printed one.

Re:90% of students... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 10 months ago | (#45541249)

most of my classes in early 80s did not require the textbook to be present, has something changed?

I sold the textbooks of subjects for which I did not care, and have a couple dozen of the useful ones in bookshelf three feet to my left

what about the other 38% (2)

quitte (1098453) | about 10 months ago | (#45541203)

At first glance I was shocked at the acceptance of ebooks this implies. On further thought however (and without reading the article) this could as well mean that 38% don't read at all. Or have a more complex opinion than can be stated as a preference.

I refuse to believe that 38% of any population actually prefers those slow to flip through ebooks.

Re:what about the other 38% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541359)

38% sounds about right for the number of people that don't read at all. I have a stack of about 3000 pages next to me at the moment. All technical stuff that many slashdotters would consider moderate difficulty reading good to keep busy for a few months. About a third of the people that have seen this stack have commented with shock and disgust for the thought someone would willingly read such material.

Re:what about the other 38% (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#45541447)

I refuse to believe that 38% of any population actually prefers those slow to flip through ebooks.

That's a problem with the reader software, not the media. If they would stop locking ebooks down and instead just produce ePubs or whatnot, you could use whatever reader you wanted. An ePub is just a specially organized zipfile with metadata files in it, HTML, and CSS.

It doesn't need to be any more difficult to read than a static website.

Re:what about the other 38% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541559)

I refuse to believe that 38% of any population actually prefers those slow to flip through ebooks.

But... but but but but but TECHNOLOGY! ALL THE TECHNOLOGIESES! Look at them! They're more technological than books! DEAD TREEEEEEEEEES! Wood pulp! INK! Don't all those primitive words scaaaaare you?

Re:what about the other 38% (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45541651)

At first glance I was shocked at the acceptance of ebooks this implies. On further thought however (and without reading the article) this could as well mean that 38% don't read at all. Or have a more complex opinion than can be stated as a preference.

I refuse to believe that 38% of any population actually prefers those slow to flip through ebooks.

Without more details on their testing methodology, the survey may mean nothing more than any other "online survey". Were the participants chosen at random, or were they self-selected (maybe people that prefer paper books are more likely to answer a survey about paper vs ebooks)? Were participants really a random sampling, or were they all in the same demographic (i.e. were they all wealthy white college students?). Were the answers randomized, or was the first answer always "I prefer paper books" meaning that participants that just wanted to click through the survey quickly as possible would chose it?

Information just wants to be free (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45541223)

That said, we like authors and want them to get money. And books are more fun and don't have to be downloaded onto every device. If we want an ebook version we just get it FREE from the public library - usually when going on a trip or something.

Big Music - nah.

Most of the pirating going on is due to "region-encoding" or attempts to censor works or not distribute them in certain countries. No amount of legislation will stop that.

None.

Re:Information just wants to be free (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 10 months ago | (#45541355)

Most of the pirating going on is due to "region-encoding" or attempts to censor works or not distribute them in certain countries.

If that were true, you wouldn't see high levels of downloading of US cable shows, movies, and music in the US. Really, MOST pirating/copyright infringement/illegal downloading/whatever term you want to use is driven by a desire to get the content without paying for it. Certainly, there are cases where people use illegal/infringing methods to get content because it's not otherwise offered in their region, but that's not the primary driver. http://www.fastcompany.com/3001351/us-tops-league-bittorrent-users-says-report [fastcompany.com]

Re:Information just wants to be free (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 10 months ago | (#45541787)

I know a few people who although they pay plenty of good money to the cable company still download tv shows that air on the services they pay for. Why do they do it? Out of convenience I imagine such as two tv shows that air at the same time or shows they missed.

Personally I use either the on demand feature or the networks website when I miss my show. {I've noticed recently that all my favorite shows are available at the networks website the day after they air this hasn't always been the case}

Re:Information just wants to be free (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45541845)

Most of the pirating going on is due to "region-encoding" or attempts to censor works or not distribute them in certain countries.

If that were true, you wouldn't see high levels of downloading of US cable shows, movies, and music in the US.

Which is due to time-censorship, region-censorship, and big music.

I buy my CDs and DVDs from the artists when they perform - then they get half the take instead of 2 cents.

people pay for ebooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541233)

who knew. I haven't paid for any media in over a decade.

Sample Bias (4, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 10 months ago | (#45541269)

Half of the respondents were sourced through student moneysaving website Studentbeans.com, and half through a broader youth research panel.

You ask people at a money saving web site and they will choose the cheeper thing. Used books are way cheaper than ebooks. If you asked Amazon shoppers you would get a different answer.

That's okay (3, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about 10 months ago | (#45541321)

Look at it from the other side. 38% of a very desirable demographic using a product that has not been around that long. It's been 500 plus years since the Gutenberg Bible and only 6 years since the Kindle came out. I think that 38% is pretty damn good.

Books have more value (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#45541335)

With a physical book, I can display it (coffee-table books).
With a physical book, I can loan it out easily. If it doesn't come back, I'm out no more than the cost of the book.
With a physical book, I can use it for component materials (burn it if I'm cold, prop up a table leg).
Physical books are "scarce", a first edition Harry Potter e-book will never be worth more than list price. Unknown how much a signed eBook goes for.

The point is, physical books have more value, thus should cost more. The price points for physical books is about right. So that means eBooks are overpriced. If I had to pay equal amounts for a book or an eBook, I'd pick the book every time. An eBook is worth about as much as a used book (1/2 to 1/10th original price). That's the price the books settle in at over the long term when the supply exceeds demand, which is the initial case with eBooks, as supply is infinite.

16-24 year olds (1)

dysmal (3361085) | about 10 months ago | (#45541337)

This is also the same age bracket that thinks PBR (http://www.pabstblueribbon.com/) is good beer.

Re:16-24 year olds (1)

assertation (1255714) | about 10 months ago | (#45541799)

It is also the age bracket that will inherit the world. If they don't like eBooks, eBooks will not make it

I prefer t-books. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541347)

I prefer tree books too. No glare, so it's easier to read for a duration. I can have it open next to my computer instead of taking real estate. They look nice on the bookshelf too.

62% asked would prefer a horse-and-carriage ride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541351)

Ask a bunch of young people whether they'd prefer the 'treat' of a car ride tomorrow, or a ride in a horse-and-carriage, and I'm sure you can guess the likely winner. Then, you too can post a story on Slashdot claiming the majority of young people prefer horse-drawn transport over the the automobile.

This is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to misleading polling or marketing. The Guardian, better known as "Tony Blair in print" in the UK, is at the forefront of pushing extremist pro-war agendas, and spin is second nature to every Guardian writer.

The rise of the ebook is NOT happening because people hate printed books per se. The rise of the ebook is happening because of EVERYTHING that associates with the technology of electronic publishing. The physicality of a 'real' book is obviously satisfying, just as sitting on the back of a real horse is, but this 'fact' does not have any impact on the irreversible and accelerating changes that are coming to the way most of us access written material.

The dribblers at the Guardian need to fill the column inches in-between the editorial content that screams constant calls to back Blair's terrorists in Syria with the full blown might of the armed forces of the West. The easiest way for third rate hacks to do this is to 'troll', crafting mock controversies and 'surprises' that their fellow travellers, like the owners of Slashdot, can then cross promote.

Notice the growth of the new, mainstream media, 'magazine' format websites - sites that rely entirely on similar tabloid journalistic tricks, spun in the direction of subjects more likely to catch the attention of people who shun the old media outlets. 'Loud' JUNK articles designed to dominate and drown out valid, significant, useful discussions.

Were any of you here so thick, you did not know that in the simple sense, if all issues of practicality are ignored, people usually prefer to read from 'real' books? Of course not. Then what game are the owners of Slashdot playing with you? Well, Slashdot's continuous stream of political articles designed to push Team Obama agendas, should be a bit of a clue.

Im older but... (2)

3seas (184403) | about 10 months ago | (#45541371)

Real books are much easier to reference/tag pagers and skim, easier to get a general idea of where information is, etc.. Electronic media fails totally on teh easy mental image of where information is.

depends on the purpose of the book (1)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about 10 months ago | (#45541443)

For light reading I prefer ebooks but anything professional, I'd want a real book so I can underline passages and take notes in the margins. That all can be done with ebooks but not nearly as well as far as I'm concerned.

"a perceived unfairly high cost for eBooks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541495)

"a perceived unfairly high cost for eBooks"

Uh, this implies that the perception is all it is.

Rather than actual observational fact.

"And I'd've gotten away with it if it weren't for those pesky kids!".

It's price. (2)

TheResilientFarter (3216187) | about 10 months ago | (#45541595)

I don't buy the expensive ebooks. Just not at all. There are so many books to read, I move on. The model is changing, and once the authors have finished their contracts and can sell the ebooks directly and the new authors have moved up, the expensive ebooks will disappear.

This comes as a surprise to some people? (1)

not_surt (1293182) | about 10 months ago | (#45541613)

Hipsters!

Rupert Giles said it best (1)

odysseus_complex (79966) | about 10 months ago | (#45541653)

I think Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer said it best when confronted about books vs. computers:

Jenny Calendar: Honestly, what is it about [computers] that bothers you so much?

Giles: The smell.

Jenny Calendar: Computers don't smell, Rupert.

Giles: I know. Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a - it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.

"a perceived unfairly high cost for eBooks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45541663)

What?! They aren't just perceived unfairly high - they ARE unfairly high! If you subtract the cost to typeset, print, bind, and then ship (stock, and warehouse) hard-copy books from their total cost, and then apply normal markups, ebooks would not be over $5 USD, still providing the publishers and authors with their usual profits. Current pricing is totally absurd and unacceptable, especially since most require DRM, which means you are renting, not buying, their books. The major publishing houses are burning down their own houses around themselves by treating their customers like thieves...

Re:"a perceived unfairly high cost for eBooks" (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 10 months ago | (#45541721)

I've read some eBooks that were worth $20. I've read others that were a waste of the $2.99 sale price they cost me. Depends on the book and depends on the author.

I don't think these stats are going to last. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 10 months ago | (#45541709)

Anyone that knows how to use ebooks and has a decent reader is going to probably prefer them.

The people that I've seen that prefer regular books either are very anti technology... either by age or inclination... or have never tried a quality reader.

Re:I don't think these stats are going to last. (2)

assertation (1255714) | about 10 months ago | (#45541851)

Agreed, but 16 - 24 year olds are usually the people who are least likely to be luddites, the most open to change and the most likely to be all over new technology.

Greed (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 10 months ago | (#45541717)

ebooks are too expensive by far. Excessive DRM is used to enforce. The reason is greed. Much of it influenced (forced) by the big players and publishing houses.

I know there was already an author (forget the name), who has already show that he could make more money by selling many more copies at a much reduced rate.

I will stick to my paper books thank you, and used when I can. Unless I go someplace where space is a premium and you can't easily find books. Like Space or possibly the Arctic/Antarctica, however baring that I can probably get by.

Though that is possibly the point. A protection racket so as to not compete with their paper based business. They don't want to offer a good product, as then they might supplant their paper business, and at which point is probably more susceptible to forced change from the cozy outdated business model they currently maintain.

I prefer digital Games, Movies and Music (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | about 10 months ago | (#45541719)

As opposed to the paper versions...

They reversed the age numerals (4, Interesting)

Roblimo (357) | about 10 months ago | (#45541723)

I'm 61, not 16, and I prefer my eBook reader (my Android phone) for light fiction, especially when I'm trying to fall asleep or in a waiting room or eating a light meal in a coffee shop.

The price of Ebooks -- yes, way too high -- doesn't directly affect me, since my local library loans me eBooks. And then there's that huge public domain Gutenberg collection and others like it.

I'll pay for eBooks when they're half the price of mass-market paperbacks. Until then, I'll only read titles I can get for free.

Better to have, not better to read (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 10 months ago | (#45541737)

Yes I like the smell of paper, and the ability to thumb through a book, and the ability to write a personalized note inside when giving one as a gift... but if your primary motivation is getting through content, if the experience of reading books is more important than the experience of having books, ereaders win. They are smaller, and can contain most/all of your collection simultaneously. No more having to choose which book to take on your vacation. Take all of them.

I think it is about the feel (1)

X-Ray Artist (1784416) | about 10 months ago | (#45541779)

Although I do not fit in this demographic and now do the majority of my reading on my Kindle, I, too, prefer printed books. There are plenty of good things about ebooks. I particularly like the portability and built in dictionary. In spite of the conveniences that ebooks offer, I still prefer the FEEL of a real printed book. As a result, I have a good collection on my Kindle and an overloaded bookshelf.

That's because of the DRM (1)

pouar (2629833) | about 10 months ago | (#45541885)

I would use eBooks much more often if it wasn't for the damn DRM. My college is making me use some crappy textbooks, and the PDFs have DRM on them, so the first thing I do when I get one is remove the DRM. Then when the class is over I just delete the PDF because the info is pretty much useless to me since it's below my knowledge and intelligence level. I wouldn't be using these books at all if the college didn't require them. It's a good thing the state is paying for them because I sure wouldn't buy anything this crappy, especially when the internet gives you the exact same information for free.
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