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General stuff => Feedback => Topic started by: Geoff the head Uncle on October 28, 2011, 12:36:24 PM

Title: Which do you prefer books in?
Post by: Geoff the head Uncle on October 28, 2011, 12:36:24 PM
Hello everyone

A poll based off the November 2011 editorial.

Which do you prefer? Paper or digital? Maybe you're not fussy.

Title: Re: Which do you prefer books in?
Post by: andyw1691 on February 08, 2012, 03:50:59 AM
I'm not sure why I'm replying as there appears to be only me and you contributing to this forum! E-mail might be a better medium.

Anyway, both formats have their pluses and minuses. I am an avid reader and until relatively recently I would buy books to read while commuting to/from work. This presented problems as I don't have space for storing all the books. I ended up passing them onto friends or giving them to charity.

Things changed when I was given a Kindle as a present. While I have probably aquired far more books the physical storage space has remained the same.  :) I'm saying acquired here as it is a mixture of books that I have actually purchased and books that are free to download. The Kindle is a superb device for reading novels. It can also render black and white diagrams but I have yet to see any in any of the e-books I have acquired. What makes it a joy to use compared to a computer screen is the portability of the device and the quality of the text on the screen. I can and indeed have been able to read my kindle in strong sunlight outdoors.

One of the things I do miss about the physical book is that you automatically know how far through the book you are. I know this may seem odd but as I get towards the end of a book my expectations of what the story will deliver in the next few pages change. With the Kindle you don't get page numbers when reading you get a percentage. This is not very helpful as 90% of a 100 page book means that there is 10 pages to go, while 90% of a 1000 page book means there are 100 pages to go.

When reading novels I have to say that I prefer my Kindle. Part of this may be due to the fact that I don't often re-read novels. I seem to treat novels as a disposable item. This may be a habit I have got into having been forced to give away most of the books i have read. This might change as with the Kindle I don't have to get rid of the books so I can keep them for re-reading at a later date.

Title: Re: Which do you prefer books in?
Post by: Geoff the head Uncle on February 08, 2012, 05:05:13 AM
Hello Andy

When I was young and getting into American comics, unlike the cheap Beanos at 3d, at nearly a shilling, they were just too expensive to read once and ditch. I suspect that's how a lot of people from my generation became collectors by default than deliberation.

I ended up giving the same respect to the books I bought although had to break the habit of putting my name inside the books.

I'm waiting for the spring back of people loosing their Kindles and all the books they've downloaded that way at the same time. At least if you lose a paper book, you only lose one book not the lot. Imagine going to the railway lost and found and not being able to tell one Kindle from another.

For a paperless society, things like Kindle can make sense but I don't think it'll replace all books just supply an alternative for people who like a minimal regime.

As to only me and you contributing to the forum. I thought for a while it was only me. I think I scare people too much. I'll probably have a phobia named after me at some point.


Wouldn't be at all surprised if the next generation of Kindle would have a proper bookmark system. According to the write-up, the plus sign is supposed to be the bookmark although you can only have one per book.
Title: Re: Which do you prefer books in?
Post by: andyw1691 on February 08, 2012, 01:17:31 PM
I too used to collect American comics. We would cycle 5 miles to a second hand bookshop on a Saturday. They stocked a range of new and second hand comics. I left these in the care of my parents when I left home. Many years later when I had settled down I asked about them to be told that they had been sold for £5 at a car boot sale. The collection included some original and early Metal Men and Superman comics  :'(  I now have a small collection of graphic novels as they are now called. These are cherished.

Like many people I use a library manager - calibrea - to manage my e-books. This allows me to effectivley back the books up so losing the Kindle will be a hassle but will not result in me losing the library.

As I see it, the Kindle is ideal for reading novels and stories. It is not suitable for magazines or anything with a page size larger than a paperback novel. However, I think current book readers are an interim step. The arrival of flexible, colour e-ink screens will be the next step.


P.S. I thought all the posts and replies had stopped once I started posting...
Title: Re: Which do you prefer books in?
Post by: Geoff the head Uncle on February 08, 2012, 01:46:34 PM
Hello Andy

Looks like you're near my age,give or take a century. I think the biggest problem of the 60s was the DC/Marvel feud and it felt disloyal to switch comicbook companies. Mind you, I was reading Power Comics and didn't realise those were Marvel reprints. When there was a hiatus with DC distribution, I ended up getting rid of my DCs and stuck with Marvel. It wasn't until the early 70s, when I discovered 'The Panelogist' fanzine at Bristol's 'Forever People' with an article about it didn't matter what you read that it broke the spell and went back to reading from both companies. My third comic collection might have in the mid-90s but I've still got it.

Re: Kindle. I suspect the flexible e-screen might make the Kindle join devices like the walkman and become obsolete. Saying that, shove your post code on the back in UV pen might be a good idea.

If I spot people replying, I tend to answer back.

Title: Re: Which do you prefer books in?
Post by: andyw1691 on February 09, 2012, 02:36:50 PM
Hi Geoff,

I too was a DC person preferring Superman & Batman to Spiderman & the Hulk. This was in the early seventies.

My brother had a copy of a Marvel/DC joint venture featuring Superman and Spiderman. I think it was more of a graphic novel and was in a bigger format to the standard comic. Although worth quite a lot of money to the right people, it was included in the £5 car boot sale offering I spoke of earlier  :'(

Thats a very good idea regarding the UV pen and the Kindle. I'm going to do mine tomorrow.

Coming back to the format Amazon keep offering e-books for free. I appreciate that they might not be the very, very best from top authors but there are still sone very good reads to be had here. Today I picked up A Death of Honor by Joe Clifford Faust and the Storm Glass by Fred Limberg. Of course these are in Amazon's AZW format so will have formatting issues and I bet I can't get the number of pages out of them either...


Title: Re: Which do you prefer books in?
Post by: Geoff the head Uncle on February 10, 2012, 04:33:48 AM
Hello Andy

  I dropped out of reading US comics after X-Men # 66, although thankfully kept the significant material I had. I rediscovered them again in 1976, first with Deathlok and the New X-Men and got rehooked. I missed out on Marvel's more dry period but also rehooked on Marvel and DC this time and discovered comicbook shops.

That Marvel/DC cross-over was also significant in that unlike other Treasury sized editions, it was new rather than reprint material. If memory serves, there were only two others of original material: Superman Vs Muhammed Ali and the second Spidey/Superman team-up.

Re: Kindle and other e-book devices. They can also hide the size of the doorstop novel. I wonder if people will prefer the shorter novel if a book seems to go on forever digitally??

As can be noted from the SFC reviews, we don't just pick out from the current books out there. It's amazing how many get missed in the back catalogues. The quality of the novel is often in the idea and storycraft far more than who actually writes it. The latter only determines their pedigree of getting books sold and developed fan base. It doesn't mean they can't write a stinker.