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E books Versus Real Books
Books Real and Virtual
Anytime a new technology comes into existence, there is this need to predict doom and gloom upon the current world without examining the reality. First let me say that I am a book lover. I like reading books, which wasn't always a part of my reality. As a child I was a terrible reader. I barely passed speed reading in high school, and I cannot read through a book in a few minutes. My wife even accuses me of moving my lips when I read.
I love to read. I love the feel of books, the smell of books, the texture of books, I have dozen book cases in my home, and another dozen boxes filled with books I have read. I also love e books. E books are not the end of libraries, bookstores, and booksellers. E books are an opportunity to expand education, making it more affordable, increase access to more literature than ever before, and to make learning easier.
On a rainy day, I love sitting in an overstuffed chair by the fire and reading a good Mystery, Science Fiction, or Comedy. I want a book in my hands as I read. An e reader is an acceptable substitute, but it comes second to a book.
When I learn a new computer language, or game development engine, I want both. Initially I may buy the real book, but not always. Sometimes an e book will be available sooner, and I do not wan to wait for the real book to get started. Sometimes I will buy both at the same time. Why, you ask? Because each serves a different purpose in my learning process.
Recently I purchased a book on the Unity 3D development engine. I bought both. The e book I bought in the PDF format because I wanted access to it on my computer. Very often when I am learning a new development tool there is some programming involved. I am a lazy typist, and if I can copy and paste while using the development engine on my computer rather than type hundreds of lines of code, I will copy and paste. It doesn't mean I wont read through the code to understand what it is doing, but I will not waste my time typing when I can be moving forward with the learning process.
Which E Book Reader or Tablet
I am not yet a fan of computer tablets, though in the future that may be the direction to go, but I do like the idea of having a portable e reader, and I do want additional bell and whistles, and I have set an arbitrary price of $250 for my choice. Right now I think the Nook and the Kindle are the best bets, the only real question is rather you want to interact with a brick and mortar bookseller or a virtual one. The following link is to a site that has reviews to a number of e book readers.
E Reader Reviews
- eBook Reader 2012 | Compare Best eReaders | eBook Reader Reviews - TopTenREVIEWS
Compare the best ebook readers available. Side-by-side comparisons of features and prices of top rated ereaders. Easily see which ebook reader stands above the rest. Read professional in-depth reviews and articles helping you choose the best ereader
My advice in this area is to select the features you want and pick the device that best meets your needs. Be aware that new versions will be coming out and the real question is rather you want an e reader now, or will you wait, and for how long. There is always the idea of getting a touch screen tablet, but that would most likely raise the price a bit, but the features would improve dramatically also.
E Reading on The Computer
I read most of my e-Books on a computer. I should also explain that most of my e-Books are technical books. Using the computer while reading a technical e-Book is has a number of advantages for me the reader, and for the writer of the technical book. An e-Book allows for content searches, it can provide links to websites that can provide more in-depth information on a related subject that is not being explored in detail in the e-Book, it can provide links to audio and videos, and it can provide links to functional online demonstrations.
Additionally, e-readers for the various formats are free to download to computers so anyone with a computer can take advantage of the low prices of new eBooks.
Ironically, the use real books in conjunction with an e book can be extremely useful when I want to review something else related to what I am reading in the same book, so I find myself using both at the same time while I am learning to use a new technology.
It shouldn't be about making a choice between e books and real books, but rather about embracing a new technology and finding out how it will best work for you. There will be times when I find an e book more appropriate for my need than a real book, but the opposite is just as true.
While that is true today for me as a reader, as an author I have discovered that my books can be available to a larger number of people at a lower price. I still love the feel of holding a book, "but the times they are a changin".