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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Paper books vs. E-books (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Corey Harris
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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.
R.T.
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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.
acmp
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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.
acmp<><

"Well if I had one wish in this god forsaken world, kids
It'd be that your mistakes would be your own"
Lee Darrow
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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.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Parson Smith
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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. Smile
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
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calexa
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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....

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Chris
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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.

Chris
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
what
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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.
Magic is fun!!!
Nick B
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Chris

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!

Nick
Nick
Corey Harris
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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.
revlovejoy
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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.
Corey Harris
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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.
Chris
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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.

Chris....

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.

Chris....
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
burgerinc
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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.
Chris
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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.

Chris....
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
Lee Darrow
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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.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Mitchum
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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.
Parson Smith
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I like hard copies,too, but it surely is convenient to carry a library around in my pocket.
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
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acmp
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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.
acmp<><

"Well if I had one wish in this god forsaken world, kids
It'd be that your mistakes would be your own"
sharingan
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I think e-books will not, but cd's where is text and videos.
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