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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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Dave V
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Sharingan,
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.
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rmoraleta
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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.
Dave V
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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."
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kaytracy
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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.
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Atown88
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I prefer ebooks there eaiser to store (in the computer) and don't take up space around the house
Mystician
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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 8½x11 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.
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Tabasco
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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
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gerard1973
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Some of the other Magic Café members mentioned many of these same comments in their posts but for me, I don’t know if it’s 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 don’t 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 reader’s 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 couldn’t 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.

Gerard
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Corey Harris
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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.
VBall
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I just like the smell of a brand new book... I have a problem.
Skeptic
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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.
evolve629
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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...
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Chris
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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.

Chris
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mormonyoyoman
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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.

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pedrothegreat
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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?

pedrothegreat
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mormonyoyoman
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Quote:
On 2005-06-09 18:58, pedrothegreat wrote:

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

pedrothegreat


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.

*jeep!
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Corey Harris
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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.
RCarruth
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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..
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Hideo Kato
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Quote:
On 2005-04-17 01:11, Mystician wrote:
My hard copy of Fitzkee's "Magic by Misdirection" is next to the bed.

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
Chris
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Quote:
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.

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