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Would you be interested in switching to e-books?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 27, 2006

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Photo of Kristin Haeussler

“I would say no. I like having my book. I don’t have to rely on a computer, so I’m not limited to when or where I study.”

Photo of Tyler Curry

“No. I wouldn’t want to be staring at a computer screen all the time. I like the idea of buying textbooks online, but I want a hard copy to take with me.”

Photo of Zachariah Smith

“Economically it sounds great because textbooks are so expensive, but it hurts my eyes to look at a computer screen for extended periods of time.”

Photo of Kelsey Moffat

“I might, but I think I would get tired of staring at the computer. I would have to try one out to know for sure.”

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Nikki May 11 years, 10 months ago

Well, I'm not a student right now, but either way, I'd not do it. It might not be so bad if you had a laptop, but no, not my idea of easy.

H_Lecter 11 years, 10 months ago

I want to get ebooks programmed into the heads-up display on my car so I can read them while I'm driving.

It is so hard to hold a book, especially while I'm on the phone and trying to navigate a roundabout.

bmwjhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

No way. Words have less power when shown on a screen. They can be deleted and altered with hardly any effort at all. Books, somehow, feel like something of substance. Wouldn't you find a book more powerful if it were engraved on a stone tablet? Well, it would be heavy, at least. Books are more practical than stone tablets, but they hold an aura of substance. Computer images are fleeting.

ms_canada 11 years, 10 months ago

Although I do a lot of reading online, it is mostly reference study of history and stuff. I would not want to do all of my reading sitting in front of a computor. I like to lie down on the couch and read or sit in a deck chair in the sun. (or shade) When reading historical novels, I usually turn to the computor to check out the veracity of the historical inclusions in the novel.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 10 months ago

How would Lawrence hold it's annual book burning celebration? It would require too much fuel to ignite all those laptops and the smell would simply be awful. Plus, I wouldn't want to roast a weenie over those toxic flames.

paladin 11 years, 10 months ago

I think you would roast a weenie any chance you got.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 10 months ago

Thrag, We would never acuse you of being "stoopid." Some of us just love being able to "snuggle in" with a good book. Some of us like to see it standing on a shelf next to other favorite books...looking all pretty.

I do think that there is a place for e-books. The ? merely asked us if we wanted to "switch." Vague, at best. My daughter is getting a "smart board" in her classroom. The teacher can ask a ? and every child is given a remote control. The teacher will be able to monitor which children are participating in class and which ones are actually understanding the subject. The other students in class will not know who is who. Now this, I think is pretty cool. No chalk dust and it gives all the students equal opportunity to participate...not just the one who gets "called on."

average 11 years, 10 months ago

No. Either I own something I or don't. With a physical book, I can keep it indefinetly, or I can sell it to someone (even aside from the used-book racket... even out-of-date... I am allowed to sell it to a third party).

Many of the e-books out there, you own nothing. The content expires at the end of the semester. You are not allowed to sell it. Even if the content doesn't expire, the chances are very good that you won't be able to access the content... only readable (rights-managed) by some crappy software written by a ten-year-defunct company for a fifteen year old computer.

What I would like to see is more readings for classes... handouts, public domain, and fair use cuttings... provided online as part of the class. I for one don't mind reading on the computer.

paladin 11 years, 10 months ago

Since I'm trying to learn Chinese, it would probly be a good thing. I think Chinese for Weenie, or Weiner, is Weinel.

ms_canada 11 years, 10 months ago

Has anayone noticed that none of us posters has answered the days second question, What are you reading? I am reading the same book as last week, I have been busy. I am reading The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam will Shape the Future by Vali Nasr, Professor of Middle East and South Asia Studies at the Naval Post Graduate School near San Diego. It is very interesting and explains much of the mind set of the people who our lovely young men and women are being killed by in the Mid East. Yours in Iraq ours in Aphganistan. We lost another one yesterday.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 10 months ago

MS_C, still on last part of #6 of the Camalaud Chronicles...yes, I'll finish it this year as my sis has bought #s 7 & 8 and I'll want to read them. I've also started Ken Follets "Jackdaws" because I've never gotten around to reading that (even though Ken Follet is on of my faves). Also reading Frommer's "Hawaii" for some research I'm doing. Other than that, just researching stuff on the web (kinda like you).

paladin 11 years, 10 months ago

The Naval Post Graduate School is in Monterey, in California.

paladin 11 years, 10 months ago

That's an excellent book, by the way.

YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 10 months ago

No, because I enjoy sitting on the couch and reading.

bendaddy 11 years, 10 months ago

I probably couldn't study a course from an ebook because there is so much helpful information in the diagrams and sidebars. For pleasure reading, though, (novels and non-fiction, news stories) I much prefer an e-book. When I read from paper, I am always bending and tilting to get good light on the words. What I've enjoyed about e-books (on a backlit PDA) is always having enough light in a comfortable position, even in bed when my wife is sleeping. Just a mere twitch of a finger to turn the page. . .

badger 11 years, 10 months ago

I like e-books. I especially like the gutenberg project (, which prints public domain books online. I can load them onto my Palm and take them anywhere, and the other day I sat through a really dull meeting reading Bronte under the pretext of taking notes.

I'm currently reading "Jane Eyre" (e-book), a Charlaine Harris hardback, and "SQL on SQL Server 2005" (combination of print and electronic media).

ms_canada 11 years, 10 months ago

paladin - thanks for providing that info about the Naval school. I did not look it up. All I knew was that Vali Nasr lives in La Jolla. It is an excellent book.

Purell 11 years, 10 months ago

Guess who isn't here anymore?



Purell 11 years, 10 months ago

Opps, sorry to get your hopes up. It's still there.

gccs14r 11 years, 10 months ago

Depends on how they're formatted. I can't stand online docs that are formatted for printing.

hodgeca 11 years, 9 months ago

One thing that nobody seems to have experienced is an eBook reader. The newest of these are e-Ink devices, that are about the size of a paperback novel, extremely light, and they have innovative display technology that reads like paper (extremely easy on the eyes). These devices can easily hold all of your text books, referrence books, leisure reading, with room left for your favorite music or pictures of your cat wearing your dorm mate's underwear. Plus you can take notes in the margins of your book on the touchscreen, or hook up an external keyboard to really get down every utterance of your favorite professor. eBooks can be downloaded to the device, so that you do not need to be online while you read. I can tell you an obscene amount about eBooks, because I work with an eBook company - but we do not publish textbooks. I beleive that the BEST use of this technology is within the school system. To check out some eBooks for fun, take a look at To find out more about eBooks, go to or check out

-Catherine Hodge (DPPstore)

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