Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ebooks

First, just let me say that yes, it is annoying that every discussion of ebooks turns into a bitchfest about the ebook format. Second, yes, it is annoying that ebooks have so many DRM and other restrictions. But...

Over on the TrekBBS, Terri Osborne asked:
Last I checked, a book in electronic form is a book in electronic form. What's the difference between an eBook page and an Internet page? You read both of them on a screen, don't you? No, don't answer that.
Sorry, but I will answer that. Books and newspapers can both be read on paper. Doesn't mean I read a novel the way I read a newspaper. With newspapers, I skim some bits, skip some bits, devote some real attention to a few bits, but don't generally mind interruptions. Doesn't matter what kind of distractions are going on around me. With novels, I need a fair amount of time devoid of interruptions and distractions, because I need a greater degree of concentration in order to remember a cast of characters and visualize them, their settings, and the events unfolding around them, over the course of dozens of pages rather than a couple of column inches.

I read stuff like the TrekBBS the way I read a newspaper. It's not immersive. In the time I was online there this morning I listened to the new Arctic Monkeys album and moved on to the Heptones, answered a few phone calls, had a conversation about last night's episode of Lost, and swapped back and forth between a few sites and applications in other windows.

I couldn't read a novel this way. Some people do, but it doesn't work for me.

Reading TrekBBS (or the LJ friends page) is not the same as reading a novel. Not for me. I buy the ebooks to support the line and support the authors, but I've read maybe one downloaded ebook so far, in two or three years of buying them. And I read that one on paper, because reading a BBS or a few blog posts is not the same as reading fiction.

5 Comments:

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Hey man, I don't know if I have ever commented on your blog or not, But I have a link to it on my blog because I love the Star Trek books. Do you know when they are going to release the third "Vanguard"? So far, I think that is my favorite of all the Star Trek series. Oh, well, I did really like the Stargazer books. Do you know if that line is dead or are they going to write more of early Picard?

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Are you alive? I just wanted you to know that I enjoy reading your blog but it has been a few months since your last post. Just wondering if everything is okay?!

 
At 11:31 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Oops. Time slipped away from me a bit there. Did you get an answer to your questions elsewhere yet? If not, the third Vanguard is out, and nobody seems to know for sure if there will be more Stargazer books, but there aren't any in the works right now, as far as I know.

 
At 2:13 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Hi Steve,

Yeah, you emailed me answers months ago. I LOVE the latest Vanguard, by the way! And it says there will be more on the way!

I hope they write more 'gazer tales!

I was just hoping you'd write more posts, because you know so much more about the books than I do!

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger JWolf said...

With a nice portable reading device you can have a very good ebook experience away from the computer. eink is the way to go.

 

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