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The Reading Poll Expand / Collapse
Posted Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:38 PM



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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Reading Poll

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Post #758689
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 2:14 AM

Right there with Babe

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I guess I read only about 5 books a year, and one or two might be technical. I really should up this as I enjoy reading.

I still prefer to read paper books. I don't have a Kindle or anything like that - I've only read using Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Reader on an iPaq. I don't get on with either of them.

I think I see another angle with this second question, Steve. If 1984 can be pulled off of your personal electronic bookshelf without your consent, then so can more revolutionary books, like Mein Kampf. Not so great if you're just studying 20th century Germany. - my blog - my experiences with SQL Server 2008
Post #758875
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 4:00 AM



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I'm ashamed to say I'm only reading about 15-20 books a year, a mix of novels, history & technical. It was so much more before the kids got older and I got involved in Scouts. I've been making a conscious effort to read more, just because I like it.

On the one hand, I am bothered by Amazon's approach to the media on the Kindle. Not so bothered that I didn't order a DX earlier this week. Amazon says they've changed the rules and won't do that again, but, to a degree, we're suffering at their whim. It's not like buying books. But, reversing the argument, it's not like buying books. You're going through this media so that you don't have to have stacks of paperbacks around the house, the ability to clean out the device & toss stuff that is the equivalent of candy is the whole idea behind going digital. Personally, I like stacks of books all over the house (although I never found that Destroyer novel, so now it's lost to history). I'm just not crazy about having Amazon get more insight into what I read and when, but hey, if you write reviews and maintain a wish list... they've already got most of what they need. I suspect it's just part of the changing world and we'll have to deal with it.

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Post #758908
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 4:41 AM
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I like to read a lot - when I took the train to work I used to read a lot more than I manage to now. Difficult to judge exactly how many books I read, because I'll frequently dip back into books I already know well simply for the enjoyment of reading things I like (fiction, technical, history ...)

I also write and critique aspiring writers, so it's yet more reading that's difficult to quantify.

As for e-readers - I've tried a few e-reading systems, but I have to say I prefer a real book. I've been staring at screens since early childhood, and I have no problem gleaning information from them, but the feel of a real book is something different and tangible. Perhaps a good hand-held e-reader would work .. but I like a bookshelf full of real books. (Ok, so I covet a library, with one of those ladders on wheels!)

Not entirely sure about the issue of having the e-books removed. Would be much simpler if a court-order had been obtained (although how that would work internationally I'm not sure.) The censorship issue is, again, equivocal - whilst paper books can't be removed remotely, they care much harder to distribute quickly - so that's a swings-and-roundabouts argument.

In principle I have to support the concept of intellectual property rights - it's how I make my living after all - but the rights management system is so far behind both people's expectations and the reality, it's difficult to see how it could ever catch up.
Post #758925
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 5:38 AM



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I read nonfiction and history books at the exclusion of others, technical, fiction, etc. almost to a fault. Someone previously mentioned the idea of tracking "undesirable" books such as Mein Kampf. I've contemplating reading the original text, but in my stuffy little world I don't want to add fuel to fire, I suppose in some little corner of Washington, there's a file with my name on it...
Seriously, there is, and I don't need anything additional in there.

But all that pales in comparison to what I think is a much larger problem. Let's suppose one day someone gets the idea that group X way back in history is being unfairly targeted/tarnished/exposed/whatever... I think it would be a much easier task to have someone go out and creatively edit a "file". In this case, the file is distributed across everyone's electronic version.

For example. Let's suppose Da Man didn't like the exposure of certain elements of the Imperial Japanese Army and their conduct during the occupation of the Philippines. Wouldn't it be so much easier to simply edit a few paragraphs, delete a page or two, "lose" a picture, etc then to go in actually accept that some people did some horrible things? I'm sure there are a bunch of Germans wishing they had thought of that...

I think the potential for revisionist history is a very near, and very grave danger. For the SW Geeks in the crowd, wasn't there a certain little creep that erased a planet's history/placement in the archives? And it was that other green muppet that cleared up the issue for Obi Wan? There aren't any green muppets here, but there are plenty of creeps who might want to hide something.

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Post #758954
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 6:22 AM


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I've only read two actual books this year and am in the middle of another. Most of my reading is newspapers (daily) and magazine subscriptions. Also I do alot of online reading, and others.
I disagree with your comment "It seems as though the problems are with digital goods since there doesn't seem to be a loss of goods from the original owner", as I believe there may be a loss to the original owner in the Amazon case. If Amazon or the publisher does not have permission to publish the content then the author (original owner) is likely not getting paid so they are losing the revenue they deserve.
This issue needs lots of thought and possibly new laws as more content goes online.
Post #758985
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 6:41 AM

Old Hand

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I read a lot of work-related books (and technical papers) per year, but I get very little time for enjoyable reading so I probably only manage about 3-5 'fun' books a year.

As far as individual rights go... Why doesnt that door ever swing both ways?

I would be happy to pay any author for any good material, books, music, video, movies, whatever... I dont care how old it is, if its worth watching or reading, I am happy to pay.

But I DONT think we should be paying for the slop that generally passes for "entertainment" these days.

So if I were King of the World there would be a new law.... NO ONE pays for books, movies, music, or television until AFTER they have consumed the entertainment. If you like it - you pay. If you dont - you dont pay.

Individual rights means everybody. Not just the authors. And living in an age where a great deal of "entertainment" is so brutally mindless, I think we should be voting with our dollars. THAT might wake up Hollywood, Authors, Wrtiers, and the present lot of purveyors of the crud that passes for "entertainment".

Most businesses operate because of quality of their product - so why not media. That would raise standards, generate more good stuff (instead of brainless crud), and raise the level of everyone. Most of all, it would squelch the continuing dumbing-down of the American consumer and THAT would be one giant step for our current state of affairs in media.

There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Post #759001
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 6:48 AM
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I read 3 or 4 books at a time, I read constantly. Any & all books in English are fair game; fiction, technical, history, biographies, horticulture etc. I probably finish about 80 -100 books a year. And yes, I too covet a REAL library.

I have tried audio books, don't like them. Don't have an e-book reader and don't wish for one. I like the feel of a book in my hand and the true portability of it. I can read in the bathtub, in bed with a flashlight, outside in the rain if I wish, anywhere, anytime.

As to the possibility of someone having immediate control over what I read - that is a big NO. I agree with Jason Miller that it is a big danger to allow anyone the possibility of re-editing already published books.

I do support the concept of intellectual property rights. The creator of whatever (fiction, software, music) deserves to be paid for their work.
Post #759012
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 7:04 AM

SSC Eights!

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I'm a voracious reader, and I read pretty fast. I'd estimate that I read about 100 books a year. Everything from fiction, non-fiction, and technical.

I'm glad that Bezos came out and did a mea culpa and admitted they handled the 1984 and Animal House thing incorrectly.

Post #759030
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 7:08 AM
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First I read about 8 books a year. I try to squeak in one biography/autobiography a year, the rest are fiction (mostly fantasy). Most of my technical reading is in the form of articles. As far as digital rights, somebody smarter than me will have to figure that out. Although I would like my digital rights to mirror the rights I have if I own a book, a CD or even a radio, well as closely as possible anyway. As for Amazon, they are dumber than me. Their clients trusted them to provide legitimate content for their (Amazon’s) proprietary reader. When Amazon can’t deliver on that trust, I believe that it is up to Amazon to eat the loss. Amazon should have worked with a proper license holder to cover the already sold content at a price that might even be a little inflated. Then pursue a full refund from the illegal supplier. The customer need not know anything other than they bought a book and they still have it. There were ways to handle this that did not involve being rude to the customer.
Post #759033
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