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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » PDF's vs Books (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tom Wong
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Manchester, United Kingdom
128 Posts

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With many books now'a'days there usually comes an option of PDF or Printed Copy (Physical Book) With each comes advantages and disadvantages.

Printed Copy (Physical Book)
Advantages
- Sentimental Value.
- Portability (Easy to carry around and read) *Depending on size
- Decorative purposes (Nice to look at / Decorates your shelf)
- Easy to read (A lot of people find words printed on paper easier to read than on a computerised screen)​
Disadvantages
- If damaged severely or lost you have to pay for a replacement.
- Takes up space.
- Portability (Hard to carry around and read) *Depending on size
- Usually quite expensive compared to PDF's.

PDF's
Advantages
- Easily backed up (In case of loss or corruption)
- Compatible with cloud storage (This means it can be accesses anytime, anywhere)
- Takes up no physical space.
- Usually cheaper compared to Printed copies (Books)​
Disadvantages
- For some it's hard to read computerised screens.
- Screens are bad for your eyes.
- Need access to an electronic device with an internet connection *If stored using the cloud. If stored using external storage (USB, Hard Drive) will need a device with a USB port.
- If you wanted to print longer PDF's onto paper it would be very expensive in ink.

Discuss below.

Best regards,
Tom
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
19997 Posts

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It is more on how you live then the material. If you have a big house and can have a library of books, then it will fit.

Many performers like cruise ship magicians, are on the road and seas a lot. Best to have PDF's available to look things up and read when nothing else to do, or work on that card trick you have been saying you will learn.

Then if you are minimalist, and live in an apartment with little room, PDF is best. When you decide to move, you don't have to move those heavy boxes. If you get married, the books will have to go in the basement or garage with all your other stuff.

It is less about which format, but about your life style and the people who influence your life style.

I find the main problem with PDF storage, is I forget about the books and what I have. Sometimes I have even purchased a book twice because I forgot I have it.
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
TheRaven
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572 Posts

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PDF is a very specific electronic format. There are other formats and various devices which can be used to read. Kindle for one is a notable example using the MOBI format. I find my Kindle much easier to read than a computer screen and much more portable than a computer. Kindles also can store books locally without external storage. It is unfortunate that more magic books aren't available in a more reading friendly format than PDF. eReader's don't all handle PDFs very well and many features can't be taken advantage of (text size changing, etc).

If you really got into eReaders, you can make bookmarks and notes and later easily search for things. However when only a portion of your magic library can be on your Kindle, the advantage of those features is diminished.

eBooks can be purchased and immediately consumed. No wait time for shipping and/or no traveling to a book store. This to me is the single greatest benefit of ereaders for non-magic books.

You discuss pros and cons from a consumer standpoint but not a publisher standpoint. Anyone can publish an ebook at very little to no cost.

Even given the above, I am romantically attached to my magic books. I no longer care about having a hardcopy of a non-magic book. I'm happy to not have a bunch of paperback novels taking up space... but my magic books are another thing. They are a collection.
Tom Wong
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Manchester, United Kingdom
128 Posts

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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2017, TheRaven wrote:
PDF is a very specific electronic format. There are other formats and various devices which can be used to read. Kindle for one is a notable example using the MOBI format. I find my Kindle much easier to read than a computer screen and much more portable than a computer. Kindles also can store books locally without external storage. It is unfortunate that more magic books aren't available in a more reading friendly format than PDF. eReader's don't all handle PDFs very well and many features can't be taken advantage of (text size changing, etc).

If you really got into eReaders, you can make bookmarks and notes and later easily search for things. However when only a portion of your magic library can be on your Kindle, the advantage of those features is diminished.

eBooks can be purchased and immediately consumed. No wait time for shipping and/or no traveling to a book store. This to me is the single greatest benefit of ereaders for non-magic books.

You discuss pros and cons from a consumer standpoint but not a publisher standpoint. Anyone can publish an ebook at very little to no cost.

Even given the above, I am romantically attached to my magic books. I no longer care about having a hardcopy of a non-magic book. I'm happy to not have a bunch of paperback novels taking up space... but my magic books are another thing. They are a collection.

There are ways to convert pdf's to other formats, I haven't tried yet as my pdfs work on my kindle.
Boomer
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San Ramon, CA
299 Posts

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I use Calibre (Win/Mac) for converting PDF's to Mobi (kindle) format.


Dave
Tom Wong
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Regular user
Manchester, United Kingdom
128 Posts

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Quote:
On Mar 31, 2017, Boomer wrote:
I use Calibre (Win/Mac) for converting PDF's to Mobi (kindle) format.


Dave

I just send my pdf's to my kindles unique email address (email@kindle.com) via my own gmail email address, with the subject line as "convert". This automatically converts the pdf to a format readable on a kindle.
Boomer
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San Ramon, CA
299 Posts

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@Tom Wong,

Hey, that's pretty cool.


Dave
Tom Wong
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Manchester, United Kingdom
128 Posts

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Just an update. I recently bought a pdf download by Daniel Madison called "Legacy" (similar to Anthology by Daniel Madison). I also have a Amazon Kindle 7th gen which I planned to put the pdf's on. As you all probably know though pdf's are very problematic for kindles to handle. If not converted the raw pdf is a pain to read on the kindle as the text is too small and relies on you zooming in and panning which makes a stressful reading experience. Simple fix! you're probably thinking, "Just convert the pdf to a more readable format using software such as Calibre" NOPE! Calibre is ok for some conversions but for others it completely messes up text and graphics. My solution: k2pdfopt. This program deals with complex pdf's like cake. I now have very easy to read pdf's on my kindle to read anywhere, anytime.

If you would like to know more about different presets and options I used with k2pdfopt feel free to PM me. Cheers.

Regards,
Tom
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
19997 Posts

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Myself, I prefer the easy solution. Put all your PDF's on DVD disc for safe keeping. Then whatever device you use, simply download a PDF reader app, and install on your phone, laptop, tablet, whatever. Now that sim cards at 128 and 500 MB, it is easy to move hundreds of books to the card. Insert the card in your device and read away.

Don't have to use or purchase an additional device just to read a book. I have found it is a pain to carry several device, when one usually does the job of all of them.

Last I check, Kindle charges a fee for conversion of you own PDF file to use on their devices. I looked into them a while back, and decided to just buy an Android tablet. I purchased a 7", then found that a little small, so I purchased a 10".

This works for me, an for less then a $100.00.
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
murf
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San Antonio, TX
214 Posts

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The biggest advanage of PDF (or electronic verus paper in general), in my opinion, is the ability to SEACRH! I love to have a book in my hands, but when I want to find something, I yearn for a PDF version of the book I'm holding.

Murf
Boomer
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San Ramon, CA
299 Posts

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I love the fact that I can find PDF's of books that are hard/difficult to find otherwise.

I don't know where I went wrong, but for some reason I never picked up Card Magic of Paul Le Paul.

Lybrary.com to the rescue!


Dave
Chris
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lybrary.com
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Murf hit the key point in my opinion. The reason I started Lybrary.com almost 20 years ago was my desire to search through my magic library. Today I can search with one action thousands of magic ebooks and magazines. To anybody who takes studying and research serious this is an incredibly powerful feature. My other goal was to provide all the great classics and hard to get magazines to any student of magic for a fair price. When I was a student living in Austria I was eager to read all the great books and magazines written in English, but most of it was not affordable or simply not available. Today that has changed to a good part due to my efforts with Lybrary.com.
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
Terrible Wizard
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Inner circle
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If you're able to read from e-devices it seems that electronic formats offer many, many advantages. I've personally never been able to stomach them, though. Not sure why, but I can't read them for more than a minute or two before getting frustrated with them. Paper books are the only things I can really read with any degree of focus and concentration.
Is anyone interested in the results of this survey:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=642502&forum=27
Chatterbox41
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Atlanta, Georgia
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I love my books, but have a list of several that I've always wanted that are no longer in print. If I can find the book, many times they are priced out of my reach, but I can find a PDF version much cheaper.

A couple years back I was out of town for 6 weeks and wanted to read Our Magic... I was able to download a scanned in copy from the Library of Congress, supposedly scanned from Houdini's personal copy.

Yesterday I was looking for a long out of print book on card controls... books I found were $50 - $100 dollars. There was one control in particular I was interested in and I found the PDF version for $15! I would love a hard copy, but for what Ineeded it was a no brainer.

Just my 2 cents....

Gary
zachwyman
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Maryland
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Physical books will always trump pdfs. I bought a book binder so I can print out pdfs and have a physical copy. Plus, you are less likely to delete if you have the physical copy! Smile
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