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Pros and Cons of electronic books?

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Dragonlair
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Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Dragonlair » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:39 am

This is kinda "Other Hobbies" and kinda Cross-Stitch.

I got to thinking about all the craft books you can get for kindle besides all those we all have in PDF, PAT, JPG and other formats. Ebooks in general and cross-stitch books specifically, what are the pros and cons of using this form of book?

Because I am no longer nearsighted, I am finding normal print books more and more difficult because there is no control over the font or the font size. I have some large books but the font is very small and they are hard to read. That is where my thoughts went with this entire idea.

I know I'm not getting all in either way for ebooks, but here are some of the ideas I had.

Pros:

The font type and font size can be customized to fit your specific need. It may cause you to turn pages more often but at least you can read it easily. I don't know about Apple or the Nook, but there are about a dozen different fonts available for the kindle software (including reader apps, kindle, and fire) as well as varying sizes. You can even customize the background color and the brightness of the display.

You can have so many books in a little device and they take so little physical space -- just the size of the device!

Ebooks tend to be lower in cost (if not free) than physical books, except for mass-market paperbacks. That is, if they are new. Older books can be cheaper but not always, especially if looking for hardback.

Your books won't wear out! I've noticed that new print books, even hardback, don't always last that long. I'm not talking about the cheaper publications of "book clubs" but new general books. After a few readings, I've had some start to split the spine and in some cases, the cover try to come off. Your ebooks will always look new. You just have to clean the smudges off your screen from time to time.

You can't lose your place! At least with Amazon, Whispersync allows you to close your book and then open it again on another device and just continue on as if you opened the same physical book!

Grouping your books into "collections" is like setting your own customized bookcase or at least shelf. This makes it much easier to choose what book you want. You can even set "read" and "unread" collections to keep track of which books you have already read or have not yet read -- maybe even "current" for those you're reading now.

Automatic updating is one of the nicest features - when it works. If the author puts out an update of the book and does not change the code, you can automatically receive the update. With print books, you would have to buy the new edition.

Most ebooks have DRM (copyright protection) built-in and that makes it harder for someone to take your copy unless they take your entire device and then you can block their access to it by calling the company and having it black-listed. Some publishers issue their books without DRM and that makes it easier for you to share the book within your family. Baen Books and MacMillan do this that I know of.

Without having to buy multiple copies of the book, you can have it on multiple devices. Some are limited to something like 4 or 6 and others are unlimited.

It's far easier to find free ebooks than free print-books. True, some are just old, and out of copyright but still - the number of free books available numbers in the thousands, just at Amazon.

Cons:

Initial cost of a portable ebook reader is coming down but it has to be factored into the cost of books. With all the free books available and free readers for existing tablets (Kindle for PC and Kindle for Android for example), the cost factor isn't that critical. Kindle for PC does run on laptops and there is a Kindle for Mac as well.

It's not quite as easy to pop back and forth with maps or other appendix like information with ebooks. It's possible but I'm not that good at it. I usually just read. Gi{{ WH_:{

You can't print a page with true ebooks (not pdfs or jpgs) unless you use screenprint and are using an ereader app for the PC (such as Kindle for PC).

Ebooks are licensed for the individual and within certain countries. That can make it difficult for some to get the book they want.

You cannot "share" books unless the other people have access to your account and therefore ALL your books and more. Books are licensed through a single account. Amazon has ways to kind of "merge" 2 accounts in a single device but I don't know how well that works.

Since you're just looking at a screen, you cannot mark a pattern, whether it be cross-stitch or crochet or knitting or whatever as you can a physical copy of the pattern.

Zooming doesn't always work well with images which is what most cross-stitch patterns would be.

You must use specified software to be able to access the books in the first place. This is true even of PDF, PAT, and JPG. It's even more so for kindle, Apple, Nook, Google or other books.

-----------------------------

These are just some of the thoughts. I'll probably think of more (both ways) myself. I have a fair number of cross-stitch patterns that I found free at Amazon.com. I have noted that the craft books don't stay free as long as other books! I even found a free book of Disney designs. I suspected it of being copyright violation so I reported it. If Amazon determines something to violate copyright, they will not only remove the book from their site, they will remove it from the libraries of those who purchased it. I hope they give refunds but I don't know. That hasn't been done in years. The Disney book I found is still there but no-longer free.

What other benefits or detriments are there comparing ebooks and print books?
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Diane
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Beaj
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Beaj » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:31 pm

Diane, your article was very thought provoking. >}[
I have a Kobo e reader. The extent of my experience is... find a book...free is good ...download book...read the the book, but not necessary right away. I can use all the options available that were mentioned but so far have not required any adjustments..re; font, brightness etc. I have not used it for patterns of any kind...with my vision it would be too time consuming to have to pick it up and down to stitch or follow a knit or crochet pattern so those I print.
Being honest I would prefer a paper book but find the e reader handy to pop into a case and use in our van or elsewhere ...like on our back deck...it can be set aside on the table and the wind we experience can't blow it away when I go for a coffee refill. ;}}
Thanks again...enjoyed that and definitely something to think about... (*) (*)
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Dragonlair
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Dragonlair » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:12 pm

Beaj wrote:Being honest I would prefer a paper book but find the e reader handy to pop into a case and use in our van or elsewhere ...like on our back deck...it can be set aside on the table and the wind we experience can't blow it away when I go for a coffee refill. ;}}


That was one of the pros I missed! You don't have to worry about your page turning on you or not being able to keep it open! I often have to use the salt/pepper holder to keep hardback books open on the kitchen table and this isn't an issue. Nor is having a small book blown away.

Reading outdoors is an issue for tables (fire and other android tablets) because they are backlit and hard to read in direct sunlight. It's not an issue for a true ereader, such as the kindle and probably your kobo that uses "e-ink". Even the kindles that have the light are fine because they are frontlit, not backlit.

One more pro for using a fire for reading is "Blue Shade". It's an option that turns the blue/white tinged light of the page to more of a red so it won't keep you awake like blue light can. I don't use it. I don't read just before going to bed.
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Dragonlair
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Dragonlair » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:41 pm

Bea,

Does the Kobo ereader have auto-updates as I mentioned that is done with Amazon ebooks? Amazon includes for the ereaders (such as Android, PC, Mac, iPad and even Samsung) as well as the kindle and Fire lines of products.

It's supposed to be automatic with Amazon but it often is not. I know others who have that line and they used to get emails all the time for updates before the auto-update was set up. I almost never got them, even when we had the same book! The Auto-Update was to eliminate the emails and automatically send it to all the devices that currently have it downloaded. It doesn't always work. I've gotten emails that say they can't do it automatically and it's fairly common that I, while looking for new books, discover a cover change or other indication that a book I have has updated. I just email Amazon and I get the update.

I read that Amazon and it's readers and tablets has gotten so big that Barnes & Noble has dropped the manufacture of the nook. They have their own reader software and still have their books.

I do know that Amazon's format is not compatible with anybody else. It's based on mobi and they've changed it even with Kindle for PC such that Calibre can't open their books from kindle for PC anymore. I don't know about anybody else.

There is a product that will load almost any ebook format (except the new Amazon format) and will allow you to convert from one to another. The results are not always what you want but it's good for putting covers on mobi books rather than the default format. It's Calibre. Currently it's version 3. You have to check the site for an old version if you're still running XP. It's a funny product. I get a kick out of it. At least 90% of the time I open it (usually to convert a book), it's got an update!
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Beaj
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Beaj » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:48 am

Hi Diane,
Firstly KOBO sends me almost daily e mails with updates that are available. They also have a library that I can use if I don't get time to snag my books on my reader and they will keep them there for me for whenever I get to them.
I belong to BookBub<info@bookbub.com> they offer free books and new releases that are for sale...
I have picked up the odd book from Amazon but not recently.
I have a Little free Library ..one for adults & one for children and have a front porch full of books so I just have more than I can keep up with for now. I have even snagged free books offered on Facebook and they cover all readers and give instructions on how one acquires them depending on what reader you use or if you'd just like it on your computer.
I'm not familiar with Calibre so will check it out...cause you never know when it could come in handy. Gi{{
I only got in trouble once when I ordered a Doll Clothes Crochet Pattern book from I think it was called The Library. The book was a few dollars cheaper there than Annie's price....What happened was I could download it and see it on my computer but could not print it. What a disaster as there was a some sort of block and the gentleman who owned the Library said it was Annie's way of protecting the Designer's copyright and he had no clue how to help me out. He never gave any thought to the fact that one would like to print the patterns so he just thought you could sit at your computer and crochet the articles from there. I spent quite a few hours doing research and came up with whatever it was...I at this time don't remember what it was called but it allowed me to print the booklet . I let the library owner know and he asked for what I had found & that was the first & last time I ordered anything from there. The owner was great and helped all he could but I decided I would wait for a sale...somewhere, instead of going that route again.. ;}} @};- @};-
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Dragonlair
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Dragonlair » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:47 am

All of my books (free or otherwise), that I get from Amazon are on the Cloud. They keep copies of them so if I get a new device, I can just download what I want any time. That's the source of the updates but it doesn't always work. I do, occasionally go through the list there and if there is a manual update available, it will say "update" on the right side and I just click on that and it updates and sends it to all the devices that have that book.

My philosophy is - free? looks interesting? GET IT! It may not stay free (most don't). You can always remove later.

Amazon also keeps copies of my non-Amazon books (it calls them "Personal Documents") so those can be downloaded to new devices, too. Those don't get the updates. Gi{{

I currently have about 3850 books between Amazon and elsewhere. They're split into over 70 collections which keeps the searching reasonable. I do need to split up the Science Fiction (429 books) and Fantasy (390) books because those collections are a bit big. Sub categories of both those areas are fine.

It's so neat when I'm reading a great series (such as those by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.) and I finish one and can just, with a few taps (or clicks) start reading the next one - without leaving my chair!

As for your book that wouldn't print -- Most kindle books do not support printing. What they say to do is to load it into Kindle for PC (or mac) and use screenshots!
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Beaj » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:30 pm

Diane,
I forgot to mention ...if I had bought that Crochet Doll Clothes book from Annie's I would have had no issues printing it so the situation I had with the Library made no sense to me..so the set up was to Annie's benefit perhaps. I have purchased many pattern's from them and am able to print with no problem.. @};-
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froggy
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby froggy » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:14 pm

I have a Kindle Fire and Paperwhite eReaders. I have a fair amount of printed books, but have to say I prefer ebooks. With the folding stand up cover, I can eat lunch at work and read at the same time. I like having so many books at my disposal without having it way a ton. Just pop the Kindle into my purse and am ready if I to wait for someone or something.

Yep there are pros and cons for both printed books and ebooks. I too have the automatic updater not updating books, but not a big deal. I also have Calibre and like Diane says.........there always seems to be an update every time you open it. Haven't had to use it in quite a while. Hate that Amazon's ebooks don't like it any more.
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Dragonlair
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Dragonlair » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:39 pm

Some book publishers sell their books without DRM (Digital Rights Management) -- aka copyright protection. I know that MacMillan Publishers and Baen Books don't have DRM. I've also noticed that those Public Domain books on Amazon (those with a dual-tone -- Ivory over another color) don't seem to have DRM but that kinda makes sense. If it's public domain, there shouldn't be DRM.

However, I have found at least one books that SAYS non-DRM but has it. I got "Treachery's Tools" by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. a few weeks ago from Amazon. I love his books and decided to make a special backup of them. They're all supposed to be without DRM so I just downloaded as a transfer via USB. Then I loaded them into Calibre to see if they would open OK. This books did not. MacMillan and Amazon are now working out why it has DRM when it says it doesn't. I'm hoping for an update when they get it fixed (so far, it's still bad).

What is actually good is that that "Treachery's Tools" came out in kindle format last October and it wasn't until mid July of this year that anybody seemed to have noticed that! That shows not many people are trying to infringe on that copyright. If they had the plug-in for Calibre, they may not have noticed the issue, though.

If it's non DRM (or you have a true Kindle eReader - such as Paperwhite - and use the right plugin), you can open kindle books in Calibre. It's just those sent to the Kindle for PC that has the odd format that Calibre can't handle.

It's just been since Februrary (version 1.19 of Kindle for PC) that this format issue has existed. I suspect that Calibre will eventually decode the format and make it available, just as they did .mobi, .azw, and .azw3.
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Re: Pros and Cons of electronic books?

Postby Dragonlair » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:28 pm

I just noticed today another advantage of electronic books. I'm reading a print book that I don't have in kindle format. I noticed that the contrast between the print and the background (page) is much greater and more consistent in kindle than in print. That means that even if the font is a bit smaller, it's easier to read the kindle than the print.
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