Frederica wrote: entredeuxguerres wrote:
Plus with a simple ap you can read your Kindle books on your desktop...
Must be as enjoyable as watching a film the same way...which, I know, many are satisfied to do, they say. oon, someone will probably assert the convenience of reading Middlemarch
on their new Apple wristwatch while hanging from a subway strap.
It doesn't matter how you read it, as long as you read it.
Actually, Fred, I think the way you read something does make a difference. That difference lies not so much in the material that the reading matter is made of -- although I believe that plays a part -- as the method of reading. Indications are that the revolution in reading in the Middle Ages, when people began to read silently, caused a drop in retention; apparently the stimulation of reading out loud aids the retention. Likewise issues of typeface, punctuation and contrast do make a difference.
I write this as someone whose personal library was about 50,000 volumes about thirty months ago. It had reached a size where I could not usefully store and arrange things for me to find. What use is owning a book if you can't find it? I considered culling my library to a reasonable level, but that seemed impractical. To cut my library to a "reasonable" level would take on the order of how long it had taken me to acquire them in the first place. I didn't wish to spend the half a century, and given the fact that I owned some fairly valuable volumes, including a goodly number of signed and inscribed First Editions, I tried to sell them.
Selling them en masse was no more worthwhile. Book dealers offered me about a penny on the dollar of value. So I called in some friends, gave them a couple of thousands books, and donated the rest to a charity that would give others a chance to read these books which had given me so much pleasure.... giving me a tax write-off worth about thirty cents on the dollar.
I bought an IPad and, like you, love it. It has given me the chance to really delve into pre-20th century literature, the stuff that you can get copies for free.
I am firmly of the opinion that publishers charge an outrageous premium for ebooks. Given that the costs of producing a physical book are eliminated, ebooks should be very inexpensive. Indeed, a couple of books that I have read from professional writers who have chosen to self-publish run about $4, less than a quarter of an ebook from a mainline publisher. These publisher claim that they are acting in the interest of the writers -- yet the three news items about how Hachette is defending their authors mention Hachette's publication of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
. I'm sure Gibbon is glad for his continuing royalties.
I am glad for the lowered cost, the ease with which I can switch books, that I have all my library with me at all times and that I have walls again, instead of bookshelves with books stuffed into every cranny. I miss the physical pleasure of admiring the bookmaking, but few publishers bother with that any more. For me, it's a great advantage, even if others don't find it so.