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waywardwind,I knew you weren't asking for specific books but Amazon has over a million books to choose from, according to their ads. Your question would be difficult to answer without specifics.. e.g. I was looking for a book about the 1929 Great Depression but Amazon only had four books that dealt with the subject. The local library had a lot more than four to choose from but I need more than two weeks to complete a book. I guess there's pros and cons on any subject, choices,wants and needs.
I used to rely on newspapers but with their downsizing, a lot of investigative journalists left. I use newspapers as an AP source of credibility, but then I have to buy weekly magazines such as the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Times, and Newsweek for more depth.
Mike...I wasn't asking specifically which books you download but, rather, the types that are available. I can find whatever I like in print format, but I don't know if I could find what I would like in the electronic format.
I also like to get books at the library book sale. A buck for a hardback in good condition is hard to beat and half that for a paperback. I'm too cheap to buy new hard back books and even paperbacks are getting kinda high. Then, I just really like to read a BOOK -- sorta like reading a newspaper rather than the same stories on the computer. I'm not only old, I'm old fashioned.
When i read about the book sale at the library, I thought to myself "Nah, I can get them cheap at Amazon". I don't think that book will ever go out of style simply because there will be those who 1. prefer to hold it in their hands and turn actual pages and 2. Not everyone will have an e-reader. It will save a few trees though!
What kind of books am I able to download? That's a near vague question. The kind of books I download would put you to sleep in that whirlpool..... My books on the iPad are so boring, it makes a great sleep inducer with a great back light. I still like hardback books but I'm making that slow transition of reading while waiting on long wait lines and appointments. Makes it a lot easier but I've had a couple of anxious moments such as spilling a cup of coffee on the iPad and I almost forgot it at my doctor's office. ...My wife was surprised that I still had the quick moves to remove the iPad from the coffee spill.....I don't many left..:-)
Mike...What kinds of books are you able to download? Are the menues getting bigger all the time? I would hate to buy one of the things and not be able to get what I want. I've got a sneaky feeling that your taste for pass the time, read for fun books and mine are not the same. One other concern of mine is durability. I have a whirlpool bathtub in which I climb with a book and read till my toes get all pruney. There have been some dropped books when I've nodded off. I would HATE to do that with a $100 - $200 electronic device. My wife'd strangle me. If I wreck a fifty cent paperback that I bought at the library book sale, I'm not too upset. I just wait for it to dry. The I-Pad might not take kindly to being submerged.
I agree with the points katduncan makes but let me add a couple more.
I usually read books off my iPad now because it's more convenient. I can change the font to old person size, place my finger over a word and the definition pops up, I can highlight phrases without distorting the book, I can cut and paste sections and send them to an e-mail account or a word processor for future references. As long as remember to handcuff the iPad to my wrist; I'll never lose or misplace a book. A typical e- book costs about $9.00 and can be downloaded in a matter of seconds instead of a wait line at Hastings... Did I mention bypassing Laurent to get to Hastings?
I dont think its about one replacing the other because of the buyers. Everyone I know who uses ereaders, buys paper books as well. I think its just a more convenient way to carry a lot of books at once when traveling or out during the day. People who love to read will always buy paper books even if they own a kindle, nook, kobe or ipad.
When the day comes that they start releasing books only in the e-format, that is what will kill paper books. Publishers who decide its less costly to put out a pdf file than an actual book. It won't be up to the consumers at all.