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marnixR
Post  Post subject: book town  |  Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:29 pm
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yesterday i visited Hay on Wye, which has the distinction of being a book town, with something like 30 bookshops

just an idle thought that occurred to me : what would happen to their business model if every book only existed electronically ?

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15uliane
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:55 pm
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They'd go out of business of course. We wouldn't really need any distributers beyond a few international ebook markets. Books would come straight from the publishers to the customer.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:19 am
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i think it might turn into some sort of town-sized museum, a bit like Bliss Hill's Victorian town

still, life would be all the poorer for it - which is not the same as saying it couldn't happen

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John T. Scopes
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:43 am
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I suspect hardcopy books will be around so long as Generation "X" (i.e., those of us born in the 1960s) is still around, for too many of us grew with them and are too comfortable with them -- while being somewhat too distrustful of new technologies to completely embrace eBooks. Yes, there is the advantage of storage -- as I write, I am surrounded by 3 walls of books and have many more stored in boxes -- but ultimately, reading a book for me is more than just an interpretation of symbols someone else has arranged in some meaningful pattern; there is a tactile experience of holding a book, smelling it, being able to flip pages back and forth, and ultimately not fearing that the radiation given off by some screen or electronic device is killing me. I also don't have to turn it off on flights. I'm not a Luddite, I just don't see any particular advantage to switching to eBooks. I know the younger generations are embracing them more, and, well, I wish them luck.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:48 am
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John T. Scopes wrote:
Yes, there is the advantage of storage -- as I write, I am surrounded by 3 walls of books and have many more stored in boxes


isn't that also a disadvantage ? storage space clutters up living space ?

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GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:53 am
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An interesting side note about the label "Gen X", I was born early Seventies and I also call myself "Gen X", and I learned the label from younger friends who called themselves "Gen X".
I don't yet possess a dedicated e-reader unit, but I would like one. Mainly due to ease of carrying and massive storage capacity. The equivalent of thousands of books can be carried via a mass of less than a pound.
But I am also personally very fond of old fashioned books, for all those reasons that any book lover would list.
I find older books, pre-fifties, cloth or leather bound, to be especially irresistible. I was telling a younger friend, early twenties, about an older Lewis Carroll I had just found at the GoodWill, and she actually thought that was very cool.
My own store of books I call my "Faustian Pile". In order to understand the age one finds themselves living in, it is important to engage in at least some of the popular fiction of the time. Harry Potter goes down as easy and pleasant as water. I will probably forego any Stephanie Meyer. [/ramble]

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:40 am
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marnixR wrote:
just an idle thought that occurred to me : what would happen to their business model if every book only existed electronically ?


My wife and I had the same discussion just this evening about an iconic bookstore in Denver called The Tattered Cover. It now resides in a converted theatre - the old Lowenstein, and has a nice restaurant in the building and a music store that sells used CDs and LPs next door. The whole complex revitalized a rundown unsavory stretch of a major city thoroughfare when it moved from its former location in a pseudo-posh part of town, due to exorbitant rents.

The bookstore has old leather chairs where you can sit and read a whole book if you like - no one will try to make you buy it. Unfortunately the science section is considerably smaller than the religion section, and the science fiction and fantasy sections are lumped together as if they were the same thing, so not everything is perfect.

But I have my Kindle and haven't bought an actual book for quite some time and I do worry that this symbol of civilization may soon go the way of the slide rule.

(I did go in the record store however, and got a mint copy of Alice's Restaurant for $3 to be played at Thanksgiving.)


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:54 am
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i don't have a Kindle, but what quite often happens is that i see a book i like in the book shop, then go and buy it from Amazon, because it's usually cheaper
the irony is that i'm fully aware that i'm contributing to the death of the book shop, and still i'm not changing my ways

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John T. Scopes
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:36 am
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Quote:
isn't that also a disadvantage ? storage space clutters up living space ?


I was referring to the advantage of storage for e-books, and highlighting the point by mentioning that hardcopy books take up so much room in my home.

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"Ideology offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them." - Václav Havel, "The Power of the Powerless," 1978


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SkinWalker
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:07 pm
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I have a Kindle and I'm continually surprised at how much I rely on the print versions of books as well as the Kindle/PDF/Mobi version. The Kindle is convenient for reading while on the treadmill or driving -I can use the rudimentary text-to-voice. I like the Kindle' highlight feature, I can see what other people who bought the book think is important since it wirelessly updates highlights if you choose to have that feature on. And I like the ability to search for key-words and phrases since many indexes are insufficient.

But, if I own the print version, I'll generally do most of my reading on that. I like to write in margins (in pencil of course), even though I can put notes in my Kindle. I like seeing images and tables the way the author intended them, though there are some Kindle books that do a very good job of this.

And, for my figurine research, there's just no substitute for printed media. But, maybe the new Kindle Fire will sell me on it :-)

Finally, there's just something completely satisfying about browsing the stacks of a bookstore (preferably a small mom & pop store) or library. I like being surprised by what I find, intrigued by what I see, and tempted to spend far more than I should have after leafing through a text on ancient cultures, science, or literature.

I like them both and often take my kindle with me to the bookstore.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:30 pm
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i wonder how public libraries would handle something like a kindle ?
i'm sure someone has already mulled over plans for temporarily placing a read-only copy onto a kindle as part of a public library loan scheme

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:35 pm
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marnixR wrote:
i wonder how public libraries would handle something like a kindle ?
i'm sure someone has already mulled over plans for temporarily placing a read-only copy onto a kindle as part of a public library loan scheme

Indeed, they already have something like that in place where I live. The library purchases the ecopy, then you get a library card and download the book to your kindle, wherein it automatically expires after a given time period (like 10 days), and is then freed to someone else who wants to check it out. It's a lot like a licensing system, and users who want to read it are queued up on a waitlist. The next in line is notified when the previous borrower has finished. It's a supremely great deal for people who love to read and are low on cash, as all you need to cover is the few bucks for a library card and you can read all year round.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:46 pm
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you see, i got a few of my coding books at work so that the other people in the office can peruse them if they want to
i wonder what i would do if i had them on a kindle and wanted other people to have access to them
as it is now, the paper copies are mine, and mine to decide who to give access to - would i have that same option with a kindle ?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:52 pm
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AFAIK, not yet, no (but I'm hardly an expert on Kindle technology). Sounds like you want it to serve as a shared drive from which people can download materials.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:18 am
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or at least be able to peruse the content without having to be in the possession of my kindle

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:59 pm
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maybe i'll be able to report first- or second-hand from people that use Kindles - bought one each for both our children

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: book town  |  Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:42 pm
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marnixR wrote:
just an idle thought that occurred to me : what would happen to their business model if every book only existed electronically ?


only 2 years on and the answer is becoming more clear : Hay-on-Wye v Amazon: Politicians join fight to stop closure of bookshops in historic town

2 weekends ago i was in Hay-on-Wye and have seen with my own eyes that 3 prominent bookshops in the main street have now closed
maybe the big bookshop chains will be ok, but these small shops need protecting, seeing how they probably pay as much tax as thieving Amazon

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"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


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