Print vs. e-book

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Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
For those who read both from paper books and e-books, how do you decide to buy your books? Some books are definitely more convenient to have on an e-reader. At the same time, it's hard for me to go completely paperless. I've been wondering how some of you have decided on which books to buy in print, and which to buy for the e-reader.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
If I want to have the book 20 years from now, I buy hard copy. If I'm reading for a transitory interest, I'll buy the electronic. The main exception would be when great Kindle deals pop up: I was able to get Hodge's commentary on the WCF for 99 cents a few weeks ago. I do so much on my 7-inch tablet from watching Brit TV, homeschooling with a few aps, and reading books and out-of-town newspapers. I can't imagine getting rid of electronic books, but I'm not sure if today's Kindle book will be tomorrow's 8-Track cassette.
 

baron

Puritan Board Graduate
I buy ebooks due to eyesight. I can enlarge print on my kindle. Also i have around 1400 books all over the house and have to start cleaning up the house for the holiday. I do some times buy the book in both formats. i did purchased the new puritan doctrine in book and ebook.
 

gordo

Puritan Board Freshman
Simple for me. I think about which books I would want if a giant EMP blast destroyed all electronics. Any book that falls into that category I make sure I buy a hard copy. So for me that is the bible (i can't stand reading a bible in my kindle anyways) and perhaps Matthew Henry's commentary. The rest, ones that are great books but I could live without, I just get on my Kindle (which is like 90% of my books).
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I buy ebooks due to eyesight. I can enlarge print on my kindle. Also i have around 1400 books all over the house and have to start cleaning up the house for the holiday.

Same here. I try to buy Kindle whenever possible to save my eyesight, my space, and my money.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
I would rather have the real book, but some books only come in kindle form, and some are just much cheaper in kindle form. I have those sort of books on my iPad. It is much better for storage as my library shelves in my office is almost full. The thing I worry about is what if Amazon gets rid of the books I bought from them.....would that delete my books on my iPad?
 

gordo

Puritan Board Freshman
The thing I worry about is what if Amazon gets rid of the books I bought from them.....would that delete my books on my iPad?

Not if you have them downloaded to your Kindle app. It would only delete them from the cloud.
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
A book that I old see myself using often that is copyrighted and will be for long time I buy paper to make sure the publisher can't delete it. Never buy a book electronically that you wouldn't care if it was stolen from your possession.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Joseph G.
Québec, QC
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I buy everything as an e-book if I can these days. No publisher or EMP blast is going to take them away from me, either, because I back them up on flash drive and an SD card hidden in a faraday cage....Along with a legacy laptop that can run on solar cells.

I have a fairly large print library, but I've come to like having an even larger library on something as small as a quarter. I like the e-ink display better than paper even.

Note--I use a large format Kindle DX reader which can render full size pdfs in a readable form. I have hundreds of volumes of old stuff taken from archives.org and google books--things that cannot be found in print. If I didn't have the DX, I wouldn't even try to read them on a regular kindle.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I buy everything as an e-book if I can these days. No publisher or EMP blast is going to take them away from me, either, because I back them up on flash drive and an SD card hidden in a faraday cage....Along with a legacy laptop that can run on solar cells.

I have a fairly large print library, but I've come to like having an even larger library on something as small as a quarter. I like the e-ink display better than paper even.

Note--I use a large format Kindle DX reader which can render full size pdfs in a readable form. I have hundreds of volumes of old stuff taken from archives.org and google books--things that cannot be found in print. If I didn't have the DX, I wouldn't even try to read them on a regular kindle.

Now we get into the whole issue of formatting. How do you get Google Books on your Kindle?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I didn't know that. What exactly is different about the DX that makes this possible?

DX is larger format. You can read a whole 8.5 X 11 pdf page fairly well on one screen.

It is important to make sure the pdf has been run through optical character recognition. Google book pdfs usually aren't, so I run them through Acrobat Pro to get the OCR on them. Without the OCR, they won't index and search won't work, and the pages load slowly.

The other thing about the DX is you can rotate sideways to get half a page in even larger format.

The downside to DX is that Amazon seems to have given up on it. It is only 2nd generation technology, which means you can't annotate pdfs. Doesn't bother me that much because I take notes on a tablet PC anyway. I figure it's like using someone else's book--you wouldn't mark one of those up anyway.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Now we get into the whole issue of formatting. How do you get Google Books on your Kindle?

Download as pdf to computer. Run OCR on it. Transfer to kindle with the USB cord. When you plug a kindle into your computer, it shows up like a flash drive. Transfer the pdf to the folder called "documents."

Some books from the internet provide a mobi version, which Kindle reads natively. But I don't usually go that route because of typos from OCR misreadings. Also, Hebrew and Greek don't render on a kindle in mobi format, but do fine in pdf.
 

Bible Belt Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Even though I am in Generation Y, I absolutely despise e-books and so I buy a copy of most everything. I do have many books in PDF that are free online but I rarely resort to them and I don't read through them. I use them solely as a searchable resource. If anybody is wanting to switch to all e-books, feel free to sent me your entire library. :book2: I'll even cover shipping! On a more serious note though, even reading from an iPad or Kindle gets irritating to me after a while. More power to those who can embrace technology!
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
The other thing about the DX is you can rotate sideways to get half a page in even larger format.

They upgraded the Touch a while back so you can turn it sideways. Makes the difference between whether it was usable for PDFs or not. Of course, for work, I have to try to read PDFs on a Blackberry - that's a real ordeal.

For the original question above. I'll go with ebooks for ease of reading, space, and price. I miss print, but for most things, can't justify it any more.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Most things I read I like to have in print format. It is easier for me to go back and find my place, get a little lost wandering around looking for it in a non frustrating way (unlike the bookmarks function on my kindle) and stumble over other things I also loved; and I simply enjoy physical aspect of a book I have carried around and read in various places, and whose author has become a friend. And then there's the happy appearance of a stack of books almost anywhere, and of bookshelves.

However my kindle is very convenient for carrying someplace I might be stuck awhile, and so I will load it with inexpensive things that are nice for sitting around waiting places, but that I will probably not be reading straight through: poetry, shorter theological things, childrens' books, etc.

I like the kindle reader on my computer better than the kindle itself for ease of locating bookmarks and highlights and notes. I will use that for the things available more readily in e format that it would be frustrating for me to try to read on my kindle.

I am very grateful for ebooks because of the availability of many things; and for the ebook readers because they have enabled some of my friends to enjoy what was very difficult to them previously because of eyesight, or the weight of a physical book, etc. But I hope 'real' books never go out of style.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If the electric grid is ever hit (and many hostile hackers aim for it), I'll still have 99% of my books. All I'll have to wait for is the sun to come up to read them. On the other hand I'd lose almost all of my own writings — which would be a great loss to me, as 99% of them are in digital format. I guess that means I should hurry and seek to get them into hard copy print (easier said than done).
 

Jackie Kaulitz

Puritan Board Freshman
I buy to-die-for books, anything that isn't available on ebooks, and books that I plan to loan out to others in print. Everything else, I try to buy in ebooks for the following reasons:

- Space. I realized my library is costing me an extra room of rented space, so I've been moving towards ebooks for that reason. Instead of a 2 bedroom apartment, I could fit into 1 bedroom if I don't buy all print books. That's often $300-500/mo savings. I could buy a lot of books for that much! :D

- Quoting. When researching, writing papers, preparing bible studies/sermons etc it is very helpful to be able to copy/paste quotes from ebooks and not have to re-type them! This is great for sharing paragraphs from a book with friends.

- Access. I can have all my books with me at all times. So I can pull up a book and have instant access whenever I need to reference something. It's on my phone, ipad, laptop and computer. So, wherever I am, I have all 70lbs of Calvin's Commentaries with me at all times. Plus the Institutes, Confessions, Bible Versions, and other Commentaries. Very useful to have with me at all times and not have to lug 10 books with me when I travel. :D

- Re-Highlighting. With difficult to understand books, I find that on the first read, I might highlight everything. But on the second read, as my knowledge grows, I might only highlight half of what I previously highlighted. It's helpful to have ebooks, because I can start the whole book over blank, as if I had never highlighted it before. With a print book, once I highlight it, I would need to buy a new book to start with a blank slate. With the ebook, I just reload it without highlights! It's like reading the same book fresh again!
 

Somerset

Puritan Board Junior
I like books - to the extent that I need to consider whether there is an element of idolatry going on. E books would be more convenient - I have to hold books up to read them. By the time I've held Prof Beeke's new work up for 1000 plus pages Popeye will be envious of my wrists.
 

CuriousNdenver

Puritan Board Sophomore
I still buy both print and e-books. I see a place for both, as well.

I use the highlighting and notes features on my Kindle frequently. I like that I can come back to it and go right to the places I highlighted or made notes on.

But, I also write in my print books - if they are thought provoking.

Price and how long I hope to have a book influences whether I purchase in print or electronic format. I am concerned about how long the Kindle format will be viable. It has benefits: space saving, easy on the eyes, portable. But, some Kindle books are now priced above print books. The space required to maintain printed books and the inconvenience of lugging them around makes me appreciate having the e-book option.

I always buy hard copies of textbooks, though. Somehow I find it easier to absorb class material when I have printed pages in front of me. Occasionally, I can recall where something is located in the book from it's location on the page.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The majority of the books I purchase are hardcopy. I have a load of freebies (and pdf files from public domain sources) downloaded for my Kindle on Mac. I also maintain a cluster of links to on line libraries for when I want to check something out, real quick, but don't want to use up any physical or digital space for the book.
 

thbslawson

Puritan Board Freshman
It simply depends on need. A lot of good theological and devotional books I buy. With e-readers now most public library systems have a way you can check out e-books for up to 21 days. While they typically don't have a lot of deeper theological stuff, this is a good way to get a feel for other types of books and decide if you want to buy them.
 
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