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Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Do you think e-books will eventually catch on with the public.

Asked by Pretty_Lilly (4660points) December 13th, 2009

At present the concept is just a novelty with a selected few.
Will there be a point in the future in which the production of paper books will be nearly non existent ?

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19 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I hope not. I need to scribble in the margins, dog-ear pages, dribble tea or grape juice and generally caress my books. I love also to read the notes of others.

And I really am getting sick of all the gadgets that require recharging, batteries, and aggro. A book just sits there, waiting to be picked up. Very refreshing.

Seek's avatar

I both have high hopes for the E-Book market, and fervently pray that paper books never go out of production.

I would love for an e-book reader to be developed 1. that I can afford, and 2. that had ample access to a free library of sorts. I don’t relish the idea of paying for a book I can’t keep on a shelf. I think “checking out” an e-book for a certain time period should be an option.

First and foremost, though, I am a bibliophile. I want the smell of old paper in my nose until the end of my days. ^_^

Parrappa's avatar

I prefer having a physical book there to hold. I do like both though, e-books are incredibly convenient and provide many additional features that books just can’t supply. I don’t think they will ever fully control the book market, but I’m sure sometime soon they will grow exponentially and the e-book market will become quite a large one, much like the online music store.

Xilas's avatar

in my opinion – ebooks are never as good as the real thing.

Clair's avatar

Ebooks can be handy. I’m actually listening to one now as I knit Christmas gifts. But I agree with @gailcalled, I sure hope paper won’t become a thing of the past. There’s nothing like the smell, the sentiment and the simplicity of a book.

Ansible1's avatar

They probably wont ever replace books entirely, but as they become cheaper they will catch on…and probably annoy the crap out of newspaper and magazine companies.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

E-books are a great concept if the technolgy will just settle down and standardize to one type. I refuse to waste money on some gadget that will be obsolete in a year. The E-book for magazine type things, trashy novels, things to be read once and not saved, maybe even pornography. For great literature, to be read and savored many times over, I want a quality physical book; high quality paper, nice binding, durable.Something to put on my bookshelf as a treasured possession. The E-book can kill off cheap paperbacks but will not replace the high end of the market.

drdoombot's avatar

Yes, I think eBooks will catch on with the public, but that doesn’t mean the death of paper books. Look at Star Trek: TNG; despite the advances in technology in the 24th century, Capt. Picard still has hardcovers on his shelf. In real life, we still have plenty of vinyl enthusiasts despite the mp3 and iPod revolution.

I’m a fan of both personally. For the most part, I use eBooks when I can’t get a physical copy of the book, or to get books that have been out for so long that I shouldn’t have to pay for them (Project Gutenberg, FTW!). Or sometimes I’m just too lazy to go to the library, or I don’t read the books fast enough to finish them in 3 weeks. Getting my Sony Reader may have been the greatest contribution I’ve made to my personal reading habits, as accessing books online and reading them from a dedicated device has made it much easier for me to be a reader (heck, I don’t even read long articles on my computer monitor anymore, preferring to read it off my ebook reader instead).

I think there’s a place for both and I can’t wait for ebook reading devices to improve in quality and price.

gailcalled's avatar

@drdoombot: Do you notice any eye strain from using the eBook devices?

randomness's avatar

Books never run out of batteries. I’ll never switch to e-books. They may be more convenient for some people, so I do think that they will certainly catch on, however I prefer regular books. I love the feel and the smell of a book.

jerv's avatar


Dead-tree edition still has many advantages and the cost and size of current readers is comparable to netbooks with larger color screens.

Myself, I have PDF files of a few dozen RPG books, and until I see a Kindle surfing the web or playing movies, I will laugh at anyone who pays more that $20 for a Kindle or similar reader.

thriftymaid's avatar

For me, they will never take the place of reading a book—a real paper book that requires no batteries.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Yeah ! there’s better places a woman can use batteries !!

SirGoofy's avatar

Why sure! When some more of them learn to read.

nisse's avatar

I guess i am in a stark minority, but i actually prefer the e-books (as long as they are PDF or TXT). They are easy to lug around, you can have as many as you want with you, and i definetly have no problem with reading on the screen, in fact i usually prefer it over the dead tree edition.

My sister lugs 50–70lbs of books to her law-school classes every day, imagine if they had the books as PDF’s, they would A) Fit in a USB thumbdrive B) Be completetly searchable.

I for one certainly hope the E-books catch on (preferrably in a more open format instead of those proprietary formats for Kindle and other e-book-readers).

Seek's avatar

Exactly! Even The Captain kept his Chaucer and Dickens between two bookends. However, when it came to the trash-novel “The Hotel Royale” (with Data, Riker and Worf trapped inside, remember that one? ^_^) – he used an e-book reader instead of replicating a hard copy.

Take it from The Captain
Trash novels and textbooks: E-book (or P.A.D.D. Whatever. ^_^)
Literature: Dead tree format.

jerv's avatar

@nisse – That is one of the reasons I have a bunch of RPG-related PDFs in my netbook. Most RPG rule/source-books are 8–½“x11” hardcovers with 220–400 pages and you often need at least at least three books.

Also, unlike the Kindle or similar, I actually own the files; they can’t be remotely deleted at the whim of the publisher :D

Seek's avatar


I don’t know if D&D would be the same without my stacks of books and papers. Would you play with digital dice?

drdoombot's avatar

@gailcalled Not in the least. That’s why I transfer long articles to my ebook reader; it’s much easier on the eyes than a computer monitor. It’s the closest thing to reading paper I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve read several books on my PDA, but the experiences are incomparable; the PDA’s screen is backlit, which causes eyestrain (very similar to reading off of a computer monitor). Ebook readers, on the other hand, use E-INK technology, which is not backlit and does a great job simulating the look of paper.

I think part of the reason why people are quick to dismiss ebook devices is because they think the screens look like what you would get on a iPhone or a similar smartphone/handheld device. If the companies would make a greater effort at getting floor models out there, people would see just how different the screen is. The Sony Style stores are few and far in between, so most people haven’t seen their devices. Once Barnes and Noble gets their act together, I suspect that the Nook is going to make a killing, as people will have a chance to see the device in person and play with it at the store (they have like 800 locations).

@Seek_Kolinahr Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed that my own reading habits have me gravitating toward pulpy and trashy stuff on my Sony Reader, and “real literature” in dead paper form (probably because I feel “literature” is worth spending the cash on). I do imagine myself going out and buying the hardcover of a book that I particularly enjoyed as an ebook.

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