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I'm becoming an old fogey

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I do embrace change and could not imagine life without a lot of the latest technological developments (like the internet - back in the days when you had some trivial thing you couldn't remember but it was driving you nuts so you had to suffer until you remembered - now just search online).

DH and I keep in touch during the day with IM (though I don't do cell phone texting).

But I heard two developments today that depressed me. The first was that my local newspaper which I have read for 25 years is going up for sale. If it is not sold in 4-6 months, it will be shut down. I do get a lot of news from the Internet, but the newspaper has been my breakfast companion for a long time. There is an intimacy and leisure about flipping through the pages, glancing at articles or reading them in depth. TV news never gives me enough depth.

The second was news about upheaval in the publishing business. Books are going to have to go electronic because the number of people wanting paper books is decreasing and books are too expensive to produce. But like the newspaper, there is something comforting and intimate in the way I can curl up with a book, savoring the words on pages. A flat panel with lighted words isn't the same and actually fatigues me.

So I'm resisting coming into the 21st century.
post #2 of 25
No, you are not an old fogey! (or I would be one too)

My MIL will probably crawl in a corner and die if she doesn't get her morning newspaper with the daily cross word. She's been doing that puzzle every day for most of her 78 years.

And books? No way. Even if publishers stopped publishing them, that will go out of fashion. Not everyone has access to a computer, and self education cannot simply stop because there aren't books around. I'd be lost without my nightly read before falling asleep.
post #3 of 25
I myself can't imagine life w/o books! I love to read, and can lose myself in a good book. Not to mention the fact that you NEED books for learning! How're they gonna teach kids in school w/o books? Sit them all down in front of a computer? Who's gonna pay for all those computers? And not everyone can afford a computer, nor do some peeps even want one. I myself would go bug-eyed if I had to read books online - not to mention the fact that I'd be miserable from suffering with migraines.

I just hope I'm not around when you can no longer even buy a book!
post #4 of 25
So are we going to have to print out our own books now?
There is something so fundamentally comforting about curling up with a good book.
post #5 of 25
The biggest thing in publishing these days is "Print on demand." When someone goes to a bookstore, they can choose a book and have it printed for them in just a few minutes. For low-volume books, this is a great deal.
post #6 of 25
How does that work mrblanche? Do they get a hard cover book?
post #7 of 25
Jana, I was so sad to hear that about the Rocky too. I always remember us getting that paper, and we moved here in 1974. I like it so much better than the Denver Post.

I just can't see print books going the way of the 8-track. They may try it with a few books, but I've never seen Borders or Barnes & Noble empty. I love going in there to just browse books, and we never leave empty handed. Besides, what good would an electronic version of a computer repair book do if your computer is down??
post #8 of 25
It can be hard cover, but usually it's soft-covered, printed on heavy stock. There's a printer in the back of the store, and it can print, collate, bind, and cover a book in something like 3 minutes, if I recall correctly.

When you consider how many books end up being remaindered, this is a conservation measure, too.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
It can be hard cover, but usually it's soft-covered, printed on heavy stock. There's a printer in the back of the store, and it can print, collate, bind, and cover a book in something like 3 minutes, if I recall correctly.

When you consider how many books end up being remaindered, this is a conservation measure, too.
I hope that they continue with that technology. It can allow access to a tremendous variety of books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Jana, I was so sad to hear that about the Rocky too. I always remember us getting that paper, and we moved here in 1974. I like it so much better than the Denver Post.

I just can't see print books going the way of the 8-track. They may try it with a few books, but I've never seen Borders or Barnes & Noble empty. I love going in there to just browse books, and we never leave empty handed. Besides, what good would an electronic version of a computer repair book do if your computer is down??
What is hard about losing the Rocky is that it was the paper my dad read. I started reading it because he brought it home. Now I feel like I'm losing a connection with my dad.

As to book stores, that is one of my favorite things to do is to just wander, to pick up books that may or may not interest me.
post #10 of 25
I love ebooks, honestly. My town does not have a book store unless you count the few bestsellers sold in the one grocery store and the particular library system in this region is seriously lacking.

I hope they increase in popularity, as long as people keep reading this is all that matters. This can be a great way for new authors to get published. Some start out in a publishing company's ebook side or with an ebook only company then go on to get paper and even hardcover runs of their books. So how can it be so wrong to give new authors a chance they might not have otherwise? Let go of your nostalgia. Real printed books will be around for some time yet, anyways, at least until people realize that our trees are more important. Most of you already say you pay your bills online for this very reason...

A good ebook reader on your computer, such as Ubook, can make reading easier as it lets you skin it and use different fonts. I really want a hand held reader. What could be better than carrying around a few hundred books at a time? Not interested in Amazon's Kindle though - too expensive.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I love ebooks, honestly. My town does not have a book store unless you count the few bestsellers sold in the one grocery store and the particular library system in this region is seriously lacking.

I hope they increase in popularity, as long as people keep reading this is all that matters. This can be a great way for new authors to get published. Some start out in a publishing company's ebook side or with an ebook only company then go on to get paper and even hardcover runs of their books. So how can it be so wrong to give new authors a chance they might not have otherwise? Let go of your nostalgia. Real printed books will be around for some time yet, anyways, at least until people realize that our trees are more important. Most of you already say you pay your bills online for this very reason...

A good ebook reader on your computer, such as Ubook, can make reading easier as it lets you skin it and use different fonts. I really want a hand held reader. What could be better than carrying around a few hundred books at a time? Not interested in Amazon's Kindle though - too expensive.
There are advantages to ebooks. But there are things we are losing also. With DRM, you can't loan a book to someone without loaning your reader. I often share books with others and enjoy being able to do that. Also, I have books that I read 30 years ago that I can pick up at any time. I can't read a floppy disk from 20 years ago. My music collection has become obsolete 2 times already (LPs -> CDs -> MP3).

I don't think they are totally going away, but the industry does need to change and I am still sorry for some of the things we will lose.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
My music collection has become obsolete 2 times already (LPs -> CDs -> MP3).
Vinyl is obsolete? You must not be a audiophile. Many bands still release to vinyl, you can still buy turn tables, and a record has twice the quality as a cd to begin with.

DRM - depends. I won't say more on that matter...

Resources will make us go more digital. There's really no other choice for the future.

Could you imagine, though, a primarily online and kiosk type set up for library? All in ebook format, free, where you could download as much as you want and not worry about whether your library even has them or whether the only copy is already checked out? No print copy of the book made since 75? no problem!

...the downside would probably be advertising added to help fund it.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
As I said, I'm becoming an old fogey. I do see all of the advantages of digital. But, a lighted screen is not the same as words on a paper. There isn't the intimacy, the texture that a book has. There isn't the warmth that the cover takes on from my holding it. I know I will adjust, but nothing you can say will convince me that something isn't lost.
post #14 of 25
Eh, I just guess I'm not one for nostalgia. Don't get me wrong though, I have a lot of books and still buy them when I can get the book I want.
Have you ever tried hunting for a book that hasn't been printed in 20-30 years though? I hate that. Or better yet, when I find it stashed away in some antique store they want $40 for it! There's not much warmth there when my wallet cries out "Nooo" and DH just sobs a little...
My other issue is that I can read roughly 100-150 pages an hour. You see how much a problem this makes with collecting books? I'd be neck deep in them if I bought physical copies of everything.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
As I said, I'm becoming an old fogey. I do see all of the advantages of digital. But, a lighted screen is not the same as words on a paper. There isn't the intimacy, the texture that a book has. There isn't the warmth that the cover takes on from my holding it. I know I will adjust, but nothing you can say will convince me that something isn't lost.
I'm with you on that, and besides, my favourite way to relax is to take a good book and read while taking a bath. You can't take a computer into the tub with you
post #16 of 25
I don't want to live in a world without books.

A good book, a glass of wine, a warm quilt and a soft kitty on my lap. It doesn't get any better than that!!!
post #17 of 25
I don't think I could read a book on the computer. No matter the skin; your still staring at a light. I'd have a terrible headache and my eyes would hurt so bad. And if it's for conservation's sake; well then in order to read you'll need the energy to power your computer or reader. Can you really say that is better? If they say too many books are printed and then not bought....well print less in the future!! But don't stop printing all together.

I bring a book to work with me every day and read during my lunch hour. I love curling up on the couch with a book too.
post #18 of 25
No matter what you look at you're looking at light, even if the object itself is not the source of that light.

As for energy. I live near a wind farm and Oklahoma plans to build more over the next few years. It doesn't get anymore renewable then wind power in Oklahoma.

What's funny, though, is everyone has accepted the progression of technology elsewhere. I see no one boycotting online forums or suggesting this one is bad because they prefer real life club and society meetings. I've seen no one lament over the good old days of newsgroups (at least not on here, I have seen it elsewhere) - though I suspect that has more to do with age group and several not even knowing what these are. Causes headaches? - says the people with 10k + posts, people that obviously spend a lot of time at their computers for them to be such a burden.

Some books may stay, but eventually most will have to go. Either people adjust or they give up reading. Most prefer wasting hours in front of a tv anyways (staring at a back lighted screen, many LCD at that) or playing games.
Get a decent monitor, turn your brightness down, and have the room properly lit, it does wonder as to how long you can tolerate reading from a monitor.

And a little tip - whether it be extended computer use or reading from a physical book, one must take breaks. Both can damage the eyes.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
I do embrace change and could not imagine life without a lot of the latest technological developments (like the internet - back in the days when you had some trivial thing you couldn't remember but it was driving you nuts so you had to suffer until you remembered - now just search online).

DH and I keep in touch during the day with IM (though I don't do cell phone texting).

But I heard two developments today that depressed me. The first was that my local newspaper which I have read for 25 years is going up for sale. If it is not sold in 4-6 months, it will be shut down. I do get a lot of news from the Internet, but the newspaper has been my breakfast companion for a long time. There is an intimacy and leisure about flipping through the pages, glancing at articles or reading them in depth. TV news never gives me enough depth.

The second was news about upheaval in the publishing business. Books are going to have to go electronic because the number of people wanting paper books is decreasing and books are too expensive to produce. But like the newspaper, there is something comforting and intimate in the way I can curl up with a book, savoring the words on pages. A flat panel with lighted words isn't the same and actually fatigues me.

So I'm resisting coming into the 21st century.
I was a technical writer for many years when the company decided to put the User Manuals on an enclosed CD. I still have not got over that and I bought a new printer that had no printed doc and I had to load the &@!^ CD just to learn how to turn the thing on. I want user doc that I can hold in my hand so add me to the old fogey list.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I'd be neck deep in them if I bought physical copies of everything.
i AM neck deep in them! i have [at latest count] 8 bookshelves in my house, all full - books in cupboards, plastic sterilite tubs, & piled on top of the bookshelves, on top of the headboard [which also has books in its shelves].


yes, i know - it's an addiction!
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i AM neck deep in them! i have [at latest count] 8 bookshelves in my house, all full - books in cupboards, plastic sterilite tubs, & piled on top of the bookshelves, on top of the headboard [which also has books in its shelves].


yes, i know - it's an addiction!
You sound like me. Our third floor (and much of the second and first) is full of books. DH makes me start getting rid of some when I reach the 1,000-book mark. He can't wait till Kindles are available here - he's been incredibly relieved that I've cut back on newspapers and magazines because I can read so many online.
post #22 of 25
If our talk show host is having an author on, he gets me to read the books before hand and give him a brief explanation.
A few months ago he gave me a book on PDF and it was so annoying. I spend enough time at my computer I don't want to read books on the computer.
post #23 of 25
I agree with both ideas I see here: 1) Something fundamental is lost going from paper to e-books and 2) It must happen

Frankly, it is atrocious how much paper is currently wasted printing books. I know some of the printing is legit, but how many books are overprinted? The answer is most. The Stephen Kings and Johanna Lindseys of the world might not fall into this trap, but almost every novel(and non-fic ) printed has more copies made than are demanded for. The assumption that "eventually" or "one day" they'll sell has cost us thousands and thousands of acres of forest, and thousands and thousands of pounds of trash. Then there is the whole class of wasted printing known as textbooks (especially science textbooks). Our knowledge is expanding so rapidly, that educational texts are outdated almost immediately. People continuing to use them to save $ on newer editions are actually causing more harm than good as they learn incorrect/outdated material. People buying a new 600 page genetics text every 2 years are almost gluttonous in their waste of paper imo. These tomes are much better suited to an online format where they can be updated and viewed in realtime with the most correct information. If it were up to me, Id stop printing all books as of today - all the ones that exist will still be around for many many years (for example, I regularly read books I inherited from my great grandmother, many printed in the late 1800s). The on demand printing idea will make sure those of you who really can only read in print are taken care of, and the electronic formats will be great for everyone else (indeed, especially the generation who never picks up a book at all without being forced to for school, people may be encouraged to read if they could integrate it with their screen addiction).
As for schools, absolutely they should have a computer per student, which is easily (I could have bought at least a computer a semester with the books I had to buy as an undergrad, and then found out that high school texts are often even costlier!) paid for with the money saved by not buying costly textbooks and reference tomes (dictionaries etc). I see it happening in the next 10 years. Already there are several pilot classes at several Edmonton schools who are doing just this - all students get a laptop, all materials needed are online. Classroom is interactive with WiFi to work with the laptops. Has shown amazing response with students, teachers, and parents. And these classes are outperforming their control classes like theres no tomorrow...
post #24 of 25
Personally, I would NEVER want to read a novel online. I mean, here I sit in my computer room for the past 2 hrs. and already I'm getting eye tired and my mouse arm/shoulder is killing me, not to mention my back aches too.

I once read read two books, cover to cover, in one day [different days, of course]. They were "In Cold Blood" & "The Godfather". Can you even try to imagine doing that on your computer?
post #25 of 25
Februa - Thank you. To see someone else actually gets this is amazing.

Sure, I'll miss books as the amount published diminishes. But I care more about the content than the format. With text there is no loss of information between the formats, just sensation - I suppose. This isn't a good reason to deprive myself.

Whine, fuss, and stop reading. You only hurt yourselves.

PookieBoy - I do, all the time. In 2007 my health wasn't as great, so I read a lot. Most of those 300 or so books (I lost count after 300) I read were ebooks.
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