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E-reading: Revolution in the making or fading fad?

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Fading fad.

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A fad just like 3D.

Some people seem to want to be like the Jetsons.

E-books are useful for some things, but a pdf can be just as good.

When I have kids, they'll be reading real books.

I'll leave the ipads for the fanboys.

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MrDog; I think IPad and similar are fine for their job, but not as an alternative to books. Socirty will be severly dumbed down if writers are unable to make a decent living and this is already happening in music as downloads have shown.

Nothing beats a real book in the same way to me as a recird or CD can never compare with a download. Books are great for kiddies and i rememver fondly some of the first books my parents and i still have a couple, all bashed up but those memories wouldn`t be the same without the physical product.

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MrDog; I think IPad and similar are fine for their job, but not as an alternative to books. Socirty will be severly dumbed down if writers are unable to make a decent living and this is already happening in music as downloads have shown.

Dumbed down. Dumbed down was when I was not able to afford, or at least I felt so, books by Amazon. By the time they came, with postage, it was 24 dollars. Insane! So, I watched TV. That is DUMBED down. Now, that I have a Kindle, I can order books at nine dollars and have it immediately delivered. No, this is a good revolution, and when I get the money, I will soon invest in these companies. And besides, it is good for the environment. The 30 books I have on my Kindle, many of which are now free, are paperless, so no trees were chopped down. By embracing a e-document, you save a tree. Think of it that way.

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I'm an early adopter. I've read thousands of books on my ereader over the last three to four years and I don't miss paper one bit. For professionals, people who have to read a lot for work and people who spend most of their time reading on a computer screen (with the headaches/migraines accompanying such an activity) ereaders are an incredible plus.

I have thousands of books on mine and can view them at any given time. I can take notes on any PDF and then sync them to my PC which really is ideal when you have to do a lot of reading/writing/proofreading.

I do have to agree that kids should not use ereaders. They should experience books the way they were meant to be. The smell of a library is one of my most cherished memory. I hope my kids will 'get' that later in life.

But really, the most important thing for me is the 'reading' experience be it on paper or on e-ink.

I have an iPad by the way and I don't use it much for reading books but I find it is really nifty for a lot of other uses. It definitely does not beat my ereader for the reading experience. Not even close.

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I love books. I especially love used book stores. Not like Book Off, the real old bookstores. Lots of gems out there. That being said, I have read more books in the last 5 years or so than I had in the previous 10 years. They are all e-books, which for me also includes pdfs. I have also enjoyed a fair number of audiobooks too. The Bourne Trilogy (original by Ludlum) is a really excellent audiobook. These are not fads, they are here to stay. With the iPad they may get more showy, with background music and perhaps moving illustrations, but I wouldn't get into that. I just like reading, and reading on my pda, or listening to an audiobook on my iPod is a lot easier when commuting in Japan on a bus or a train.

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Here are all sort of experts and marketing geniuses with all these great ideas and opinions, BUT has anyone bothered to ask the real future users what they think!

It is not your business man or your 20 or even 30 something that are going to be the real future users of these thing, it will be today's teens and pre-teens who are already so technologically savvy that they leave all but your IT engineer gasping for air when talking about all these new gadgets.

I have 2 children 1 son who is just like most of his 13 year old friends a game player as well as fairly knowledgeable on most PC platforms, and a daughter who... well is not your typical 15 year old unless you count her friends at the advanced technology university prep-high school she attends.

This is a child that lives for IT, programing since she was 9 and know more about most programing languages and OS's than many so-called professionals and most of her school mates are the same.

But when I offered to get her one of these e-books they all reacted the same, it seems that even for these Techno-children technology has its limits and they all agree that nothing beats a nice paper book, something they can hold and feel and keep if they chose to.

It seems that even my son and his friends have the same opinion as these techies, their quote were "why would we want to read read comics (mangas) on a screen?" "if we have a screen then we would end up watch cartoons (anime)"

"but sometimes it just nice to sit around and read no need to check the power or press any buttons"

They all agreed that news papers are going to go and that news is easier on the net or on their mobiles, but it is interesting to watch these children sit around in the house, park and even the mall some playing games some on their laptops and mobiles and others reading book or mangas.

My children and their friend collect books and comics (my daughter collects old print classical Japanese books) and it seems that this is one thing that one will never be able to do with e-books.

My opinion is that e-book will have their place but they will never completely replace real print books!

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TheRat and other download fans. Your downloads don`t last forever. Books will still be here in 100 years wit care and some worth a fortune.

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Didn't we go through all of this when we went to digital music? Some people insisted they had to have the cds physically in their hands. Just like I like having an iPod because now I don't have to worry about having a bunch of cds sitting around taking up space. The same with books. I'll still occasionally buy some books. But I also look forward to having the option to buy it digitally and not having to store more books. Sure things can go wrong with a digital copy, but books aren't indestructible either. A little water can ruin a book and of course a fire. Digital files can become corrupted, but that's why I make back-ups. Haven't had a problem yet.

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TheRat and other download fans. Your downloads don`t last forever. Books will still be here in 100 years wit care and some worth a fortune.

Books are a dying media. Soon there will be ebook readers that feel like 'real' books and cost almost nothing. How will any business be able to justify knocking down forests and spending all the money for shipping and storage then?

There will still be book fans (I like actual books and used book stores myself) but almost everything new will be produced electronically. It just makes sense.

The dedicated readers will be the real winners, too, as when they are super cheap you won't care about them getting lost, damaged or stolen like you will with some 60,000yen multipurpose device.

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Not a fad, unfortunately.

First, a lot of readers are professionals - engineers, accountants, scientists, designers- who spend most of their day staring at a computer monitor. For them, it is a nice break to relax and read a physical book instead of another screen.

Second, it's nice - for bibliophiles at least - to look through another person's bookshelves. It gives you a good feel for who the person is or what his/her interests are. A good conversation starter. A good way to start a new friendship or relationship. Keep a 1st date interesting. You can't exactly do that with an e-reader without it being awkward and intrusive.

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I'll say fad. Saw a woman tonight on the train reading from her iPad, but from across just looking at her face the iPad was illuminating her the entire time. So this means that she is basically staring at a light lamp. Thus her internal time clock will be messed up severely the longer she uses this.

Normally books at night help you fall asleep. Lighted books will only mess you up

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really all you need is a library card, and a visit either online or in person to your local library and you have access to as many books as you want. Why are you paying for the privilege of reading when you have already paid the taxes for the libraries?

I have read books on a palm pilot, a computer screen, an e-reader, and a real book (textbook). The techie novelty just wears off whereas the sense of the book itself never seems to.

so this won't replace books, but I hope it will encourage more library usage

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Couple of people here bagging out e-readers without ever having used one, clearly.

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Two things:

I think there's enough room in the market for them that I wouldn't consider them to be a fad. But books are too integrated into our culture for them to be instantly replaced like this - though it would be nice to see the mass market books that fall apart after 2 reads replaced - since those are impulse buys just like e books are. Hopefully that's exactly what will happen.

Also, this is as much about new display tech as it is about just reading. e ink devices are capable of doing a lot more than just showing books; they do music, wikipedia, maps, lots of informational stuff, and web browsers are coming. Personally I'd rather read a pdf for a class / job or read a blog / wikipedia on an e ink display as opposed to an LCD. It's just so much easier on the eyes. Additionally, these displays are going to make their way into everything from credit cards to billboard so the story goes.

Fad implies that they're going to die off when in fact they will become more ubiquitous. They are here to stay.

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Well unless all the companies finally agree on one format and/or all books are available in every different e-format it will end up a fad of just never completely takeoff!

Some here have tried to compare this to CD's but CD's at the time had a single format adopted by the music industry and then the move to MP3 players again a more or less single format (or at least a format that is available to all).

Everyday we hear how this e-book maker or that e-book maker has signed a deal with this publisher or that publisher, as this means that if one day you want to read book by one writer but his publishing company is dealing with a different e-book maker (format) well then you either don't read them or you need to purchase another makers e-book!

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iPads aren't ebook readers.

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Basically, economics will dictate everything. Why buy a 20 dollar book in paper which you have to have a place to store, or a nine dollar book which you can easily store on a machine and does not take up space. Eventually, people will always take the cheaper route.

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I am quite worried about this—will quiet contemplation with a good book (ie a physical, not a digital object), one of the greatest pastimes mankind has ever invented, go the way of the dodo? To me, e-readers are for the ADD generation.

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To me, e-readers are for the ADD generation.

Consider the simple advantages tranel. I get the book I want in a minute or less, anywhere I am at. It is HALF the price. I can underline/highlight quotes and material that I want, save it, and copy it to a document on a computer for use for a paper I am working on meaning (no slow typing out quotes word for word), and if I do not know a word, a move the cursor and there is the definition, and then if I get bored, I can look over stuff on the Internet or listen to music. This is not about attention deficits; it is about expanding one's attention. And this finally opens the door to a lot of people who can not afford these nice "physical pleasures." Even on my wonderful salary here in Japan, I just REFUSED to pay 25 to 30 dollars and to wait until it was delivered. Yes, some books are nice in paper form--a recipe book, but most stuff can not be on a digital reader with a backup! And considering the shrinking resources of this planet and the expanding population, I think this is the smart and ecological way to go. This is about the future. Maybe some dodos have to be sacrificed, but you are missing the concept of reading with a physical object. Sad that you think improvements are bad, you know.

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One can both read books (that will be around in 100 years, maybe) or ebooks. It isn't an either/or situation. Personally, I'd rather have all my textbooks on an iPad and all my pleasure reading in 'real' books.

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Check out the Kindle. It's light, easy to read and WiFi (sometimes 3G) aware. So easy to download books and carry one thing around.

It's not rocket science, but just like music, books too will be digital.

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e-books are great, but i think, especially those colorful childrens picture books, will never fade as long as people enjoy sitting down or lying down next to their kids, looking at the pictures and reading to/with them :)

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