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Topic: Paper books vs. E-books
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Mar 21, 2005 01:55PM)
I didn't really know where to post this. But, I was wanting some opinions about what you think of the E-book craze recently. I have several regular magic books, But I have also recently been purchasing e-books. Do you feel this is a passing phase or is this the future of our magical Litiature
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Mar 21, 2005 02:12PM)
I don't think it's a passing thing.
Saves on a lot of paper use and production costs.

Until then I want the 'old' paper books that I can read while in the john or elsewhere other than at at computer.
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Mar 21, 2005 02:13PM)
I prefer reading from books
Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Mar 21, 2005 02:22PM)
Personally, I prefer the good ole fashion paper versions of books...I can't see them ever goin' out of style...unless trees disappear off the face of the earth. Man, what would man do without Charmin [lol]? No, paper is here to stay my friend thank God for recycling! E-books will never replace Paper books ...atleast in my lifetime! But then again I'm 52 yrs old...not much time left, so I hope I don't see it in the rest of my lifetime!
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Mar 21, 2005 02:38PM)
Personally I am torn. I love paper books. I like jaz can take them with me to visit the porculean god. But then again with the e-books they are easier to view at work, since I am on a computer all day. In some cases the ebooks are even cheaper than the paper books.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Mar 21, 2005 02:53PM)
E-books should be a lot cheaper!
Make them once and have them as downloads or dupe them on media.

No ink, paper, plates, bindings. Shipping and packaging is less or non-existant.

Should be a big price difference in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Mar 21, 2005 03:11PM)
The problem I see with ebooks right now is the relative ease with which they can be duplicated and passed around. There is a good thread on this [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=94332&forum=41]here[/url] where I wrote at length a few times about protecting yourself as an ebook author.

I've also noticed the transient nature of ebooks. It's almost like a book printed with disappearing ink. Between hard drive failures, and just simply forgetting where they were downloaded, (hey, it can happen) these electronic documents are just a click away from destruction. But, the price is right. I found myself once so far buying the same ebook twice because I couldn't find the one I originally purchased.

In spite of all that, as technology and storage improves I forsee ebooks being much more prevalent than the paper version. For some it's the information that's important, not the medium, although there will always be the desire to see a bookshelf of leather bound "collectibles" on your bookshelf. Nothing about a computer can come close to the look, smell, and just general atmosphere of a well stocked personal library.
Message: Posted by: Jeff_Mash (Mar 21, 2005 03:50PM)
I'm definitely more of a hands on, old fashioned book reader myself. Even though I spend 90% of my day in front of a computer, I would much rather hold the book in my hands than stare at the monitor longer than I have to.

The only advantage I like with an e-book is the ability to read and multi-task with other computer related things. A quick Alt-Tab and I can work on something else, and then Alt-Tab back to my book. Other than that, I prefer the portability to a physical book.
Message: Posted by: kaegee (Mar 21, 2005 04:09PM)
I have some e-books, but I prefer a good old fashion bound book. It is easier to read for longer periods of time, and it is easier to sit at a table with a book in front of me while practicing something over and over.
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Mar 21, 2005 04:21PM)
See, if I'm reading and practicing it makes it easier to use the E-book because I don't have to keep setting it down and losing my page.
Message: Posted by: mikeflex (Mar 21, 2005 05:34PM)
Corey, I do agree with you about losing your page. Last night as I was practicing some tricks from Wilson's Complete Course on Magic, as soon as I let the book go to hold the cards, the book closed. My brilliant idea that hit me about 3:00 this morning - all magic books should be coil bound. This would solve the 'closing book' problem.

Even so, I would much rather have old-fashioned paper books.
Message: Posted by: irishguy (Mar 21, 2005 05:39PM)
There are pros and cons to e-books. Yes, they are usually cheaper. But only in theory. You need to print them out at some point. You wouldn't want to be glued to a computer everytime you wanted to look something up. Additionally, I can't imagine you would never want to upgrade your computer. Once you factor in the cost of paper and ink for your printer...you didn't really save any money.
Message: Posted by: ClouDsss (Mar 21, 2005 08:29PM)
I personally prefer paper books to ebooks as its less straining to the eyes. The glare from starring too long at a computer screen isn't too good.

I usually print out the ebooks that I purchase online or at conventions. However, I still prefer paper books as they always have a nice cover, etc and not jus stacks of printed papers. Paper books are betta for collection too and look nicer on my bookshelfs!! :)

Message: Posted by: Phaedrus (Mar 21, 2005 08:51PM)
Although in general I prefer having an actual paper and ink book, e-books have one tremendously cool feature: the ability to embed video within the file. You can read the text, and then click on the video window to see a move or effect in action. Michael Close has a free downloadable sample of a chapter from his Closely Guarded Secrets e-book, and you can see him perform each of the shuffles and cuts from the routine.
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Mar 21, 2005 10:18PM)
Irishguy, I disagree on the cost thing.

I am considering the Tarbell Ebook CD for $39 from Lybrary.com I would never consider printing the entire thing. As it's such a huge reference, I would use it as such and print out a few pages I'd be looking at again and again. That's an example of a large book.

If it's a small book, it would still cost less to print your own, AND, you could file many books in one 3ring binder, which is a nice organizational option.

As for upgrading the computer, do you lose all your files when you do? I backup personal stuff on CD and DVD constantly. But then I tend to mess around with my system too much and crash and re-format hard drives quite a bit.
Message: Posted by: RCarruth (Mar 21, 2005 10:52PM)
Ebooks make it possible for anyone with 'ms-word' to produce a book. In the past, the expense of self-publishing and/or the difficulity of finding a legit publisher prevented many great thoughts from being published... and thus saved.

I prefer regular books because I can read them anywhere. I can highlight and dog-ear pages as I see fit.

But.. ebooks are here to stay, in one form or another. Lets face it - when the price of print cartridges gets down to where they should be - about 2 dollars each - I'll start printing my ebooks off my computer.

In the interim.. here's a link where anyone can go and convert a word doc. to a pdf ebook-type file free. I have used it to compile newsletters into 'best-of' type ebooks that I would never have been able to compile into 'real' books.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Mar 22, 2005 07:17AM)
There is another advantage of e-books. You can search them. I have the Tarbell books from Lybrary and am thrilled with them. I just load the disk in the drive and click on search, then type "Thumb Tip" and I get a complete list of everything Tarbell has to say about the subject.

Or --- I may remember that there was a trick with coins and a leather cone. I just search for coins and cone. Bingo! This is great for an old man like me that has begun to forget things like the proper name for a trick.

On the other hand, I prefer printed books for the same reason that the others have stated here. If possible I try to get both.
Message: Posted by: calexa (Mar 22, 2005 10:32AM)
Maybe with ebooks there will be a lot more junk, because everybody who can use a computer can produce an ebook....

Message: Posted by: Nick B (Mar 22, 2005 10:54AM)
I much prefer the tactile qualities of a printed book - but I agree with mikeflex that magic books (or any instructional manual!) should be coil bound. For example, the otherwise excellent Card College sometimes requires me to turn the page (which always flips back!) whilst holding the deck with both hands or whatever.

Also, for me, e-books are a bit of a strain on the eyes. I have a laptop with a small screen, so things don't usually appear as large on the screen as they would on the page. Plus the page turning thing is true here, as well - I have to either scroll up and down the page, or switch from epage to epage or whatever. Hey - perhaps I should get a larger computer screen! But, if I download something I want to keep, I'll print it anyway and keep it in a ring binder.
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Mar 22, 2005 11:24AM)
I still love paperbooks but my limited space does not allow it. So my option is to build an E-book Library instead.
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Mar 22, 2005 11:38AM)
I don't think E-books are a bad thing. I have thought about getting ebook copies of some of the books I already have, I just got the ebook copy of expert at the card table. I already own it in book form. Been thinking about getting RRTCM and Modern Coin Magic on ebook as well. I also of course already own those in paper books too. There is deffinatley pros and cons to both. I do agree though on the fact that books need to be comming out in a spiral notebook or something. That to me is the big disadvantage to books.
Message: Posted by: R.T. (Mar 22, 2005 11:55AM)
I actually just did a huge marketing research survey in school about this. The general decesion was E-books are a marketable idea. The thing people really loved about them were the ease of archiving them, and cost. Personally though, I prefer regular books.
Message: Posted by: acmp (Mar 22, 2005 12:26PM)
My thoughts...

Paper books are nice to hold and look at, but they take up a lot of room, are difficult to search and are easily damaged.

ebooks are nice, convenient and portable. You get your ebook, backit up. Copy it to your PDA, read it anywhere and no need for lights either.

Though I do find paper books easier to read if it's a story, technical books, including magic books seem to be just as easy to read on a PC/PDA screen.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Mar 22, 2005 08:58PM)
For those who really want ot save, try this - the ability to create .pdf (portable document files) is now BUILT-IN to the Mac OSX system. You just "save as pdf" when you save a document in Word or Appleworks (Appleworks comes with the Mac) and you are done.

This way, you don't have to rely on a service bureau as someone noted above and, hence, don't have to hassle with color matching to their systems (color management can be a real pain for a new user).

For the hardcore Windows users, you CAN run Windows on a Mac using any one of several Windows to Mac products that basically allow the Windows OS to run inside the Mac OS. Virtual PC comes to mind immediately as a product for that.

The added advantage is that you will have fewer crashes (according to Consumer Reports and PC Magazine), far fewer security problems (according to McAfee and Norton) and now, with the new low cost Macs coming out, a price competetive system as well.

Not a universal solution and I do NOT want to get into an Operating System argument (both work and work reasonably well), but it is a cheaper way for those looking to do the self-publishing tango and are looking for a system that will do it without having to buy Adobe Acrobat to do it.

Just make sure that you use a readable type font and make a readable size. I've recently gotten several eBooks where the scans were done in such low resolution or the layout was done with such a small font that the result was unreadable. Also watch your page dimensions - make sure it will fit on a multitude of screens - nobody likes to have to scroll back and forth to read a page!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Mar 23, 2005 01:19AM)
I am enjoying ebooks as I can keep many books on my PDA.
I fully agree with Lee Darrow about the Mac.
I would say more, but folks might figure out that when I am talking about Mac's, it is a religious topic. :)
Message: Posted by: calexa (Mar 23, 2005 04:41AM)
Reading ebooks on a PDA - I have a TungstenE, and I don't like reading a lot on that small screen. So I don't think it will be very convenient for me to read whole ebooks on my PDA....

Message: Posted by: Chris (Mar 23, 2005 10:11AM)
I am doing the e-book thing for more than 5 years, have published about 200 magic ebooks, have had hundreds of conversations with customers and authors. Allow me to share a few of my observations.

In 30 years ebooks will be about equal (same marketshare) with books. I don't think ebooks will kill books, but they will become an equally important medium. Since the habit of reading is formed very early in life, it takes a generational change for a full breakthrough. As we have heard in many testimonies in this thread, about everybody prefers books, because we all grew up with books. We have adopted to books. Once kids grow up with computers, screens and ebooks, they will feel the same about ebooks as you feel today about books. They will say "what? I can't search in a book? I can't cut and paste? I can't listen to it with text-to-speech? I can't automatically translate this Swahili book into English?" They will not want our books.

My grandfather didn't know what a computer is. My father is barely able to operate Wordpad on a laptop (no email, no internet, no nothing). I am programing computers since I was 13. My 4 year old son has his own laptop, knows how to turn it on, go to wordpad, write something, delete it and close everything down correctly. So my 4 year old beats my father on the computer. My son will know more about computers when he is 13, the time I started to work with them, then I know today. This might be a bit extreme example, but look what happens in schools. Computers are everywhere. The access is easy. This will make ebooks much more common place and usual.

That is the future. For right now we have to distinguish between various scenarious. Does it make sense to buy a novel as ebook? Probably not. Get the book and read it. Does it make sense to get 'know how' books as ebooks? I think so. These are resources we go back several times. We want to search in them, because otherwise it is hard to find things. We want to have usability features (zooming, printing, text-to-speech, small, light weight,...). We want to have learning features (embedded video clips, hyperlinks, references, ...).

Magic ebooks allow you to get the most out of the information. Nobody with more than a few dozen books remembers where exactly everything is written. And what about all the things we haven't read? If we can search them and pick what we want to read, we have a huge advantage over having to read lots and lots of things until we find what we are looking for. The success of Google and Yahoo prove my point. Searching is a killer application. In the future we will have more ebooks than we possibly can read, only to be able to search them.

Message: Posted by: what (Mar 23, 2005 10:28AM)
I agree that e-books will someday take over paper books as the norm. The reason that they havn't already is that the technology is not good enough.
In order to read an e-book, you pretty much have to sit down in front of a computer. You can use a laptop and take it to the table, but it is still basically a brick to cary around. The resolution of the screen gives you nowhere near the clarity of a real book. Over time, the technology will improve, and reading an e-book will be very much like reading a regular book. This is the point where we will want all of our material on the e-book reader.
Until then, I very much prefer a regular book. It is light, portable, and very intuitive to navigate. I also prefer the spiral bound books, for working at the table.
Message: Posted by: Nick B (Mar 23, 2005 10:47AM)

I've just been to your website and checked out the embedded video file in CC. That by itself is a very persuasive argument in favour of ebooks!

Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Mar 23, 2005 11:09AM)
I Would enjoy reading my ebooks on my pda, But my pda is over 5 years old and doesn't support pdf format. So that is very unfortunate for me.
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (Mar 23, 2005 04:23PM)
Chris, I take it you are lybrary. Glad to see you poke in here.

I checked out your site earlier, and will likely be ordering Tarbell, and probably more as I focus in on some interests.

Would you be able to give us a general idea of how to know if an ebook publisher actually has the rights to sell the ebook? I ran across Tarbell and some others on another site that seemed sketchy.

Quite a site you have, and quite a service. Coming back into magic recently, I am glad I discovered it as an option.
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Mar 23, 2005 04:32PM)
Chris I also have a question. Are there any plans on releasing the rest of card college on E-book. I have the first one and really enjoyed it. The video clips helped out alot.
Message: Posted by: Chris (Mar 23, 2005 05:53PM)
Most argue that 'reading' a book is more convenient than 'reading' an e-book. Yes, for most that is true, particularly if it is reading for a long time. But the point I was trying to make was that 'searching' is another highly important if not equally important task, which is extremely well supported by ebooks, but not by books.

And one can always print out a few pages of an ebook to read on paper if that is more convenient. Others buy paper and electronic version. They search the electronic versions and read the books.

Overall, for me, magic ebooks are more useful than magic books. I get more out of them mainly because of the search feature. What good is it to have a large library that looks good, but whoes wealth of information is mostly unaccessible to me? Not good enough for me. A pure collector is satisfied with owning a certain book. He often doesn't even read it. The physical item, the possession is all to him. For me information is more important than the possession of the physical item.


Sorry, I didn't read the questions above. Let me address them here.

How can one figure out if it is a legitimate ebook or not?
That is not easy to answer. In the last three months I had to shut down two crooks who sold copies of my ebooks on ebay. The best is to purchase at reputable dealers, or even better at the publisher or author directly. For ebooks I would stay away from auction sites. Most of the ebooks are a realy good deal at the regular retail price. Rather than saving a few more bucks to get it from a questionable source, get it from a reputable dealer or the author directly, if he sells it.

Card College 2:
The German edition has been out for quite some time. The english version is held up at the translator, who is Richard Hatch from H&R books. Richard is a great guy. The unfortunate thing is he is also very busy. I would prefer that he translates the new parts of Card College 2. And as soon as he is finished Card College 2 with more than 100 embedded video clips will be released.

Message: Posted by: burgerinc (Mar 23, 2005 06:23PM)
I must admit I like the immediate satisfaction in receiving my download right away. However time and time again I am printing them out - I think it purely speeds up the economic exchange however the idea that it saves on paper is probably laughable. I love my hard copy books.
Message: Posted by: Chris (Mar 23, 2005 07:06PM)
I don't think printing out an ebook is necessarily a bad idea. I personally do it very very rarely. You will also run into some limitations if you build a serious electronic library. Think about an ebook like the Sphinx, which has 17,000 pages. My whole ebook library has probably somewhere beyond 30,000 pages and growing. It just doesn't make a lot of sense printing that many pages.

I think it is better to have a good backup process, some DVDs or a streamer or some other sort of backup to be prepared for a hard disc failure or system crash.

And then print out a chapter or a few pages in case you want to read at a place where you don't have access to your computer. Since you can search you can print out exactly what you would like to read.

Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Mar 23, 2005 11:16PM)
Phillips electronics is said to be coming out with a book sized .pdf reader that will hold a number of books (the rest of which you can store on your computer). There are said to be several sizes, with a Zoom feature as well as a search engine. Projected release has not been announced yet. Google on Phillips and ebook viewer and you will find more info.

It looks reasonably practical, but with the penchant that magic publishers have for oversized formats, it may not be all that practical (see my comments about the back-and-forth scrolling to read a page comment, earlier.

For me, if I can't read it on the screen, like I can with a book, it's usefulness is severely limited.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Mitchum (Mar 24, 2005 04:58PM)
The convenience of getting the e-book immediately and the reduced price (typically) are hard to beat. I like paper too, so I print my e-books out before reading them.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Mar 24, 2005 08:05PM)
I like hard copies,too, but it surely is convenient to carry a library around in my pocket.
Message: Posted by: acmp (Mar 25, 2005 11:41AM)
With your (windows) PDA you can use MS reader to view you books, if they are in that format. This gives youthe option to change the font size. Also it wraps text at the edge of the screen. It supports indexing and search. That is an ebook.

A PDF is a PDF and not an ebook, in my opinion. Though PDF's can be a very good format if the end presentation is considered.

Also you can have free PDF creation on Windows with GhostScript and the free PostScript printer driver from Adobe. And yes I know that GhostScript is from the unix world.
Message: Posted by: sharingan (Mar 25, 2005 04:48PM)
I think e-books will not, but cd's where is text and videos.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Mar 25, 2005 05:01PM)
I believe that if it's on CD, then it pretty much qualifies as an ebook of some sort. The addition of video clips and multiple viewing options is what makes electronic books so popular.
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Apr 10, 2005 03:07PM)
What can you say about scans of books which are being passed on as E-books?

I've seen scanned Andrew Mayne books on pdf.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 11, 2005 04:49PM)
Technically they might be considered ebooks, but unless they're authorized by the author, I don't see them as much more than an electronic "photocopy."
Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Apr 12, 2005 09:53AM)
My only issue with E-books is that many self publishers do not get the things proof read prior to selling them, or making them available.
I have been reading for a long time, and while I can eventually figure out what the person really meant, it detracts from the ability to read and follow smoothly when the wrong words, or poorly spelled and punctuated material comes across my eyes.
There are local newpapers that I will not read due to the typos in them.
It seems many have forgotten what a dictionary is, or how to use them.
Spell checker is a help, but cannot tell if you have used the right word.
some of my favorites: Their, they're; your, you're; which, witch;
and the fun spellings are too numerous to mention!

If I require print media, or backups to the very real issue of CD rot, then I can print, or save to other formats as needed, provided I own the material.
Message: Posted by: Atown88 (Apr 16, 2005 01:00PM)
I prefer ebooks there eaiser to store (in the computer) and don't take up space around the house
Message: Posted by: Mystician (Apr 17, 2005 12:11AM)
Just about everything seems to be covered already, but in the spirit of a "poll", I want to chime in with my view: for magic instruction, for example, Card College, I actually like ebook format, for all the reasons already stated: portability, searching, zooming, etc. and it's just easier to hold the cards in your hands and watch the laptop screen, than try and keep your place in a tightly bound book, unless it's smartly wire-bound, like Rick Maue's Book of Haunted Magick".

However, for more "normal" reading, which I like to do in bed, nothing beats a real book yet. My hard copy of Fitzkee's "Magic by Misdirection" is next to the bed, because it deals in the theory, not the physical step by step handling, and even though I have access to the free website at anytime (and have downloaded the HTML), I still went and bought the book because it's easier to read. I plan to get the other two eventually.. yeah I know that's backwards.
Naturally, you can print out an eBook or PDF, but now you probably have a huge 8Ĺx11 tome that cost you as much in printer paper and ink as the book would have.

I do look forward, however, to the next generation of eBook readers, like the HP that Lee mentioned, when they get it right, (and they haven't yet), it may just replace the paper book for me.
Message: Posted by: Tabasco (Apr 18, 2005 09:46AM)
If you spend so much time behind the computer, as I do, then it is a relief to be able to pick up an old fashion paper book, a nice cup of tea and relax in a nice and comfy chair.... but that is MHO
Message: Posted by: gerard1973 (Jun 2, 2005 11:04AM)
Some of the other Magic Cafť members mentioned many of these same comments in their posts but for me, I donít know if itís the tactile qualities of a printed book or what but I still prefer a physical book. I guess I am a more hands on, old fashioned book reader. To keep from losing your page in a physical book just use a bookmarker or piece of paper to hold your spot in the book.

E-books do have some advantages but to me they have more disadvantages. Some advantages of e-books are that you can search through them, you can read them in the dark, they are convenient and they are portable.

One disadvantage of e-books is that they are transient in nature. All of your e-books are a click away from accidental destruction. Also you could lose them with a storage/hard-drive failure. They could be damaged in downloading, destroyed by viruses or simply accidentally erased.

Another disadvantage of e-books is that they are still expensive. E-books should be cheaper than what they are selling for. You might as well buy the old-fashioned paper books because they cost only a little bit more and are much easier to read.

Another problem that I have with e-books is that there are no industry standards. There art too many e-book formats. Another software problem is that your e-book reader would not let you store text or anything you wrote in an e-book format. I donít know if this issue as been address in the last few years but when I was using e-books, a few years ago, this was an major issue.

Another e-book problem is the hardware. Yes, you could just read your e-book on your PC monitor but most people are spending too much time sitting in front of a computer and many people are complaining that computer monitors are bothering their eyes, that they have trouble focusing on the screen and that monitors are straining their eyes too much.

In my opinion, the best way to read an e-book is with a portable e-book reader but e-book readers have several problems. One of the problems with e-book readers is that the e-book software would not let the user create and save their own personal documents in the e-book readerís format. Another e-book reader problem is that most of the e-book manufactures did not make a quality product and consequently they are now out of business. The exception being the Franklin eBookman. This e-book reader is a quality product. It has great hardware and software. The eBookman is larger than a PDA and is the right size to read from. As far as I know, the Franklin eBookman is still in production. You can interface the eBookman to your PC and transfer pictures, MP3s, e-books, programs, and other document types. If you are interested in purchasing a portable e-book reader, I would highly suggest the Franklin eBookman.

One of the first e-book readers was the Rocket eBook. The Rocket eBook was very popular when it first came out and they couldnít manufacture them fast enough but the software would not let you store text or anything you wrote in its e-book format. Later two other e-book readers came out on the market; the RCA eBook Reader REB1100 and the REB1200. The REB1200 was the first color e-book reader. I could be wrong but I believe that both of these e-book readers are not longer no longer manufactured.

They were larger in size than the Rocket eBook but had the same problems as the Rocket eBook because the software would not let you store text or anything you wrote in its e-book format. The e-book publishers were worried that their encrypted e-books did not have enough security but the e-book software should have allowed a user to create and save their own documents in that particular e-book format so it could be read.

Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Jun 2, 2005 11:45AM)
I agree, They both have advantages and disadvantages. In my case. I am going to be releasing some handlings soon after I get things straightend out with this effect I have been working on. And I don't really want to go to a publisher for this little 3-4 page booklet. It would be cheaper for me to sell it as an ebook for 8 bucks than to use a publisher and have to sell it for 15-20 just to get my money back on it.
Message: Posted by: VBall (Jun 6, 2005 11:14AM)
I just like the smell of a brand new book... I have a problem.
Message: Posted by: Skeptic (Jun 7, 2005 10:34AM)
I would have to say that I prefer bound books to e-books. For me it is easier to read and work with. I can take it with me to the library or to a dark corner of the pub that go to. I also dislike reading PDF documents from the computer screen. I also have a fetish about books. I have a rather extensive library(2000+ volumes, no they are not all magic books). I like the feel and smell of them.
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Jun 7, 2005 09:21PM)
I'm fine with either. However, I really don't mind E-Books as I carry my laptop with me a lot. I do love the feel of a book but the original idea behind ebook is to save the trees? Still, it does not prevent you or I from printing the ebooks from our computers... So that theroy really goes out the window...
Message: Posted by: Chris (Jun 9, 2005 03:35PM)
I wanted to counter some of Gerard's comments. Accidental deleting ebooks or hardware problems can be eliminated with a simple backup strategy. Backing up your hard disc should be done regardless of if you have ebooks or not.

Many ebooks are A LOT cheaper than the paper version. Take the Tarbell CD that I sell for $39. The books would cost you at least $100. An extreme example is The Sphinx which costs you about $5000 and you can now have it for $499 electronically. That is 10x cheaper. And many of the classics like Erdnase, Hofzinser, Hugards, Annemann ebooks are cheaper than even the affordable Dover reprints. More importantly, many ebooks I have are essentially impossible to buy in any other form. Take the "Artanis Bottom Deal". I challenge you to find an original copy. It will be pretty hard to find one. It took me years to locate a copy. And I could list several more.

The name of the game is access to information. Ebooks widen the access of information.

Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jun 9, 2005 04:01PM)
At http://www.lybrary.com, the e-books tend to be cheaper than the paper copies. Gerard is evidently considering the rash of e-books (usually PDF) which are all over the net. Over at Magic-Notes, for instance, they have some really good booklets -- but they're priced, for the most part, more expensively than they deserve. (I hasten to add that one which I THOUGHT would be overpriced - *Post-Justify* - turned out to be well worth the initial $30.)

It's true that most of the e-books being published are actually bookLETs, not books. (This may be another reason why I'm hooked on Chris' lybrary.com) It may take awhile for the cream to rise to the top, when it comes to magic e-books, but I'm sure it eventually will. All I know is that I've become a lot more careful about buying an e-book from anywhere but Chris' site.

Message: Posted by: pedrothegreat (Jun 9, 2005 05:58PM)
Some interesting points here. I personally am going to go against the overall view here. I prefer e-books to books. With books they take up space, get damaged, I always step on them cos I leave them next to the chair. They get lost under sofa's, chewed by dogs (my dogs seem to think anything is food!)and I keep losing my page.
With e-books there are advantages from the word go. You can download them instantly, no worries about p&p charges, getting lost in the post, and generally cheaper. If your competant with a PC then organising them into files to find them on your computer is hardly difficult. Backing up is easy with CD's, DVD's, USB Dongles etc. Plus you can always print a some pages off if you don't want to sit at your computer.

However saying all that, I am very new to magic and in my short magic life I have bought 3 books and 1 e-book. I should maybe listen to my own advice!

Where is the best place to buy good magic e-books?

Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jun 9, 2005 06:30PM)
On 2005-06-09 18:58, pedrothegreat wrote:

Where is the best place to buy good magic e-books?


By a firm and far lead, the best place is http://www.lybrary.com -- not only will you find them inexpensive (the vast majority) but the great classics are there. And those classics have 90% or more of everything which is IN the world of magic.

Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Jun 9, 2005 09:55PM)
I will second http://www.lybrary.com . Also Buying directly from some magicians pages like http://www.leeasher.com and http://www.rpaulwilson.com . Both those sites have great E-books. Magic-notes.com is ok, But I would agree with some people that it seems some of the stuff is slighty overpriced for what it is. I Believe that most e-books by some not well known magicians probalyl shouldnt be more than 10 bucks if even that. But you may get lucky with a more expensive one from them and get a great item.
Message: Posted by: RCarruth (Jun 9, 2005 10:48PM)
One thing to keep in mind is e-books have the ability to hyperlink to relevant content.. something you cannot enjoy with a printed book. Regular books are more convenient to read, e-books are more practical.

If you have a manuscript you would like published, and you want to see it in both printed and electronic form, you can go to lulu.com and get your work published free. They take twenty percent of your set price.. I've never used them, but I'm looking..
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Jun 10, 2005 06:05PM)
[quote]On 2005-04-17 01:11, Mystician wrote:
My hard copy of Fitzkee's "Magic by Misdirection" is next to the bed.[/quote]
My mobile computer is next to my bed, and I put it on my stomach when I read Shinx or other e-magazines.

I got accustomed to read e-books/magazines in that style. It is better for me when I do quick reading as scroll function helps very much.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: Chris (Jun 11, 2005 02:57PM)
On 2005-06-09 23:48, RCarruth wrote:
One thing to keep in mind is e-books have the ability to hyperlink to relevant content.. something you cannot enjoy with a printed book.

One interesting fact worth sharing. The index of the Digital Sphinx, which is 540 pages long has exactly 14431 hyperlinks. I guess I could claim that this is the ebook with the most links in it. It definitely is the one with the most links among magic ebooks.

Let me also share a few thoughts on publishing ebooks. You also have to keep in mind the focus of the publisher. Lybrary.com is exclusively focusing on ebooks. The level of knowledge, expertise and experience is hard to find anywhere else. There is a big difference if a 'general' publisher puts out a few ebooks compared to somebody who is doing digital contents exclusively. There are many little details about ebooks you don't learn in school or books. You have to do it to find them out and continue to do it because things keep changing all the time. That is not to say that Lybrary.com ebooks are perfect. Far from that. We are constantly improving and tweaking, testing and learning. I guess my main point is we do ebooks on a regular basis as our daily job, rather than once or twice for a project. This means we can invest into the latest hard- and software and learn the latest techniques to bring you the highest quality products.

Message: Posted by: ruaturtle (Jun 18, 2005 09:54PM)
One point to add... My day job is a chemist working in the paper industry. It is a fact that the industry is hurting badly and a big part of that is the electronic file. Take it for what its worth but a lot of people have lost their jobs. I still prefer to lay back in bed on cold winter nights with a book instead of sitting at the computer shivering. :) Hey! I've lost 180 pounds. I'm cold even when its 90 degrees outside.
Message: Posted by: enigmaticmagic (Jun 18, 2005 09:57PM)
Ebooks hurt my eyes, its just to hard to read...
Message: Posted by: Jerrine (Jun 18, 2005 10:38PM)
I prefer the E-Book. Search feature, cost, durability, and if I want to print a page or so it can be done. Portibility with a PDA is nice too. Reading from the screen has not been a problem so far.
Message: Posted by: The Dragon (Jun 19, 2005 01:17AM)
E-books are definitely more convenient in the sense that it can be downloaded instantly. Cost wise I think it's also of a lower price. However,I feel that if it is released in both mediums, I definitely would choose books over ebooks. Books, you can collect it, put in shelves, but ebooks, only can be seen in the computer, lacks the special touch that books has got to offer.

Well, but if you're just a magician that wants to get that particular trick down, learn that trick, master it, do not care about the books, and would sell them as soon as u've mastered it, ebooks work fine for you.

But, I rather pay that few bucks more and get the book. Read it. Master it. Keep the book. Exhibit it. =p

But if I really want desperately to learn a particular trick, ebooks works fine.


Message: Posted by: smartie_28 (Jun 20, 2005 04:49PM)
I like books more, but I don't have any e-books to make a comparison. I'll have to get one or two and see how I like them.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Jun 20, 2005 10:28PM)
As Denny Haney would tell anyone: "Books Books Books" You get more out of books than you will anything else. You can twist and mix up concepts to form 'new ideas'- ideas that you'll be proud of; because YOU came up with them. Vice Versa: you're watching a DVD visual clip- you then are prone to think that's the only way the technique is to be done. There's no room for growth or 'tweaking.'

Buy books- not e-books. Keep the fading REAL magic shops alive, and don't settle for online sources of info- except the MagicCafe forums! ;) Grow a library- not CD disks. They look a heck of a lot nicer on a shelf. You don't need many, but if your like me- you get a lot. Because knowledge truly is power. It's also good to have the source readily available to you whenever you need it. With e-books; heck you have to pray that the file isn't corrupt.

And if you have a dial up internet access: Waiting 48 hours for a 50 mega-byte file to download; to me isn't my ideal idea of a way of consuming valuable magical knowledge. I could take a day trip to Baltimore and visit the REAL magic shop, learn a few spoken lessons, and buy a book...

Words to ponder. Buy books. Learn.

Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: Alniner (Jun 21, 2005 07:59AM)
I will only get an ebook after I have purchased the paper book. It doesn't look that professional to have a bunch of magic books at my desk at work. Thus I keep a few ebooks on my work comp. Then I can read the pdf whenever I want. Otherwise, when practicing or studying at home, I use the paper!!

what next? E-cards? E-coins? E-rope? E-linking rings?
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Jun 21, 2005 08:37AM)
On 2005-06-20 23:28, TomaskoMagic wrote:
As Denny Haney would tell anyone: "Books Books Books" You get more out of books than you will anything else. You can twist and mix up concepts to form 'new ideas'- ideas that you'll be proud of; because YOU came up with them. Vice Versa: you're watching a DVD visual clip- you then are prone to think that's the only way the technique is to be done. There's no room for growth or 'tweaking.'

Buy books- not e-books. Keep the fading REAL magic shops alive, and don't settle for online sources of info- except the MagicCafe forums! ;) Grow a library- not CD disks. They look a heck of a lot nicer on a shelf. You don't need many, but if your like me- you get a lot. Because knowledge truly is power. It's also good to have the source readily available to you whenever you need it. With e-books; heck you have to pray that the file isn't corrupt.

And if you have a dial up internet access: Waiting 48 hours for a 50 mega-byte file to download; to me isn't my ideal idea of a way of consuming valuable magical knowledge. I could take a day trip to Baltimore and visit the REAL magic shop, learn a few spoken lessons, and buy a book...

Words to ponder. Buy books. Learn.

Matt Tomasko
Ok here is my argument for this. What about the magicians that release a lot of their work on ebook. Like Lee Asher has about 3 that are only available on Ebook. R Paul Wilson only offers one real book on his site the rest are all Ebooks. Are you saying that we shouldnt buy their works since its not in actual paper book form? Like I have said on here before. I have tons of real books, I also have a lot of Ebooks. I spend most my time behind a computer at work and at home doing webpage design. So ebooks are just handy for me, I have a Laptop that sits next to my bed as well. I have found my ebooks as a great investment. There really isn't a lot of Ebooks out there any ways if you think about it. Lybray.com probally has the largest collection and I own most those already. Just waiting for Card College 2 to come out on Ebook now.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Jun 21, 2005 09:48AM)

Good arguement. I do also know many great performers that have some of their works on e-books. Al Schnieder has some great theories and presentations on an e-book format. Lee Asher as you had mentioned does as well.

Perhaps it's because I grew up with magic books, books- not CDs. I don't really know why I prefer the hardbound copies more than the disks. I suppose it's a matter of choice. I personally am a hound for knowledge. I collect any set of books that I can. I have a vast aray of them. An entire room is filled with bookshelves. All of which I've read. Lecture notes, magazines- I just admire them from an artistic level perhaps. I guess you could call me a collector of art- art being the books themselves.

Some may believe that having too many books isn't good. That one magician only needs a few like 'Showmanship for Magicians' or 'Card College' volumes- some feel that those are all that's needed for a lifetime. Of which I agree also with. But I'm a full time performer who also likes documentation of magic by means of books. If reading and learning were a possible second occupation- I'd be in that line of work. I suppose one day I'll look into e-books. Considering them a new source of magical information. I just haven't gotten to that point.

Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: pkg (Aug 7, 2005 05:13PM)
I just love the smell of paper!!! and books have this certain "magic" to it! have admit though that searching in an ebook is way easier.!
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Aug 7, 2005 06:14PM)
I prefer e-books first. I like to download my magic e-books to my laptop and I can read them even in bed or in the kitchen. Electronic media is suppose to save trees and save on production cost. The beauty of the e-books is that you can print the pages you want or the entire book. What ever happen to the paperless home office? :)
Message: Posted by: pasharabbit (Aug 10, 2005 07:04PM)
I come down solidly in the middle on the ebook versus paper. First nothing will ever in my opinion replace the dignity of print on quality paper. For reading the resolution of paper in print is beyond compare. The slant of the monitor for example will cut down speed and comprehension. The lower resolution of monitors vs print. The big advantage is technically an ebook should never go out of print. The real adavantage is when text is organized in a way that print cannot match. Embedded video, speech to text, search capabilities and massive archival abilities are unique to the medium. However very few ebooks take advantage of these capabilities making them in my opinion second rate versions of printed books. Added to this that most ebooks are priced comparable to printed books they don't fit my catagory of bargains. For small independent and niche publishers they make production of books possible due to lower inventory and printing costs. Although a really well produced ebook should take as much editorial and production skills as a book. You just don't run the presses. I suspect for magic books which are definitely a niche you'll see ebooks expand. Lybrary.com is a very good example of this publishing using many of these capabilities. For myself I'd shell out for a Dover reprint, they are cheap and printed and I can read them without a computer.