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View Diary: e-books: who owns my digital library? (184 comments)

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  •  Thanks for the overview ... (3+ / 0-)

    I suppose if I mostly read fiction I would find ebooks  convenient and not mind the move away from "dead tree" books.

    However, most of the books in my library are reference books and I annotate heavily.

    I find the linear nature of the ebook experience to be annoying. Using post-it notes sticking out of the top of my books I can skip around the book to connect dots between ideas. That just doesn't work on an e-reader .

    So I worry about the future of reference books as the business model of most publishers begins to dictate the necessity of a migration to ebooks on economic grounds.

    Kudos to the librarians for becoming the first line of defense for democracy on several fronts. Who could have seen that coming? Well, maybe Ben Franklin ...

    "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

    by annan on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:44:36 PM PDT

    •  Oh! and I also like to have a stack of (5+ / 0-)

      books on the table when I'm doing reference work. One more reason to dislike the general move to e-readers!

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:46:53 PM PDT

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    •  Most of my non-fiction, outside of political works (5+ / 0-)

      is in hardback format. I have trained myself to highlight digital works that I am reading for a Monday Murder Mystery diary so that I can quickly find passages, but I prefer the post-it note method myself.

      And even if someone doesn't use reference material the way you do, can you imagine a digital cookbook? There are some cases where a physical book just can't be replaced. At least not yet.

      We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty - Edward R. Murrow

      by Susan Grigsby on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:51:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Notes in the margin. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Susan from 29, annan

        YES! This!

        •  Another weird quirk of mine is that I never left (6+ / 0-)

          notes in the margins of a physical book. Same with highlighting, unless it was a textbook.

          Don't know why, it just never felt right to mark up a book. But post-it notes I use all of the time!

          We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty - Edward R. Murrow

          by Susan Grigsby on Wed May 08, 2013 at 02:16:26 PM PDT

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          •  Oh I am bad--I love writing in books. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Susan from 29, high uintas, annan

            Especially technical books. However I am picky about what I put in there. Mostly cross referencing on particular subjects, or in the case of my wildlife manuals, additional information from other sources that should be in there, but isn't, or direct observations.

          •  I'm with you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Susan from 29, high uintas, annan

            I don't like highlighting passages.  My main reason is that if I reread, the highlighting can keep me from new insights about what I am reading.  One of my few grouses with the Kindle, besides the book ownership issue, is that even with highlighting turned off you can still see the shadow of the highlighting, and the annoying note "click here to see how many have highlighted" or something to that effect.  I don't want to see the highlighting and I don't care how many people have highlighted; these are just distractions to the story.

            But I can't readily go back to regular size font for reading, and I really like the non glare aspect of the Kindle.

            Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

            by barbwires on Wed May 08, 2013 at 03:03:37 PM PDT

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          •  We've all have our quirks when it comes to (5+ / 0-)

            annotations. Having had the opportunity to do archival research in a personal library, I have to say that it's magical to read margin notes in the original researcher's own hand. It's like going back in time to read over their shoulder, seeing the connections they were making in real time.

            Of course, that's not to say that I expect anyone to have any interest whatsoever in my margin notes! But they do have their place and I only make them in books I expect to reference again in the future. I consider it a form of journaling, where I can document my thinking in a specific context.

            The same issues exist with email versus snail mail. I've also done archival research in the Library of Congress, reading the carbon copied letters (remember those?) that a famous psychologist wrote during his lifetime.

            Unfortunately, that's an era that's come and gone for historical research documentation. Going forward I'm afraid that the victors truly will rewrite history and no one will be the wiser.

            "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

            by annan on Wed May 08, 2013 at 04:39:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, you can bookmark and highlight e-books. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29, RiveroftheWest

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