Science Fiction Today – Books for the Sunday Re-Blog

Here’s one of our A to Z Challenge posts this year, in the theme Science Fiction Today! I thought this one fit in well with the theme here on the blog.

Comparative Geeks

BBooks are still such an important part of not only how we get information, but how we get to experience all the various stories that people have to tell. At the same time the way that we read books has changed. The invention of the printing press made such a significant impact on just having access to reading and now we have the ability for anyone to have books.

This has made almost a different issue of the number of books that can be housed in one location. Libraries create a place to be able to borrow books instead of owning, but there is something about owning books that is really nice. Now we have all sorts of e-readers and tablets that can hold hundreds of books at one time and even add the ability to have interactive elements. This is already a huge step forward in how books are…

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X – Xerox

XAs we come to the last few days of the A to Z Challenge, I reflect back on the fact that I kind of had two threads of discussion.

One was about writing, books, and the craft. And I have that just about wrapped up with my posts last week, with Understanding and Voice and Writer’s Block. Though really, the conclusion to that line of thought will be tomorrow.

The other line of thought, however, has been about the business of writing. About Blogging and Journalism and the Internet. And I still have a bit more to say on that front, and it’s ending up in X and Z.

So while at first glance Xerox for X might look like some strange forced term or cop-out, allow me to explain. Like a few other brands have become, Xerox is a brand name that also became a noun and a verb for generally making copies. Think Google and Googling something. So to Xerox something is to photocopy it, right?

So, in our be-green, try-to-avoid-using-paper modern world, combined with our mobile-and-cloud-everything workflows, what’s happening to photocopies? Yes, in most of the offices I’ve worked in there’s still been a ton of paper generated. Yes, people still print out things that you send them digitally with the intent that they will read it digitally and not in paper. Yes, I’ve worked a job where we printed almost every email and kept it as a paper record.

Still, what is going to happen to Xeroxing things over time? As tablets move into the workplace, will we be copying things less and less? With increasingly simple online sharing and cloud access, will we need to bring or give paper copies less and less?

And as we stop using Xeroxed copies in the workplace, and use a digital copy instead, how will this change our mindset for personal reading? Will we be more inclined to read e-books and Kindles? My thought is, perhaps yes.

However, although email seems to have killed the written letter, and online news might be killing newspapers, are we really moving away from paper? Or are we just moving towards convenience? In which case, is sharing something online more or less convenient than Xeroxing something? Sometimes. Is an e-book more or less convenient than a physical book? Sometimes. However, until the answer is “most of the time” maybe things aren’t going to change, but simply plateau.

What do you think? If we move towards doing everything digitally at the office, will it change how we do things at home? Just ask someone checking their work email on their cell phone! Or let me know in the comments below!

K – Kindle

KThe Kindle was designed as a game changer. And it has filled the role of being the brand-name replacement for e-reader, like Kleenex for facial tissue, Q-Tip for cotton swab, or Hoover for vacuum (if you’re British).

And they’ve kept updating it over time. Adding the touch screen, having lots of versions available. We got some of the cheaper ones with ads for the lock screen: not intrusive, and some nice savings. Because where there’s money to be made is in the e-books.

I wrote about e-books the other day. And I’m honestly not sure what I was thinking, including e-books with Kindle in the list. Maybe I wanted to talk about e-readers as well as e-books. So while the Kindle itself is neat, let’s talk e-readers in general.

You can search them, adding search to a book. That’s neat and handy with non-fiction, and great for us quotes freaks trying to find a quote in a book. You can adjust the font, so that if you have a vision problem you can match what you are reading with what is comfortable. You can even have it read the words to you.

In fact, you can skip that and get your hands on audio books one your e-reader as well. I’ve only listened to a few, but Wil Wheaton’s reading of Ready Player One is worth the time, I assure you.

Add in the neat functions of e-books, like how many you can fit easily on a device and carry with you (or not fill up your bookshelf), and you have a strong case for saying that this is a game-changer of a device.

Yet here we are, still with books. The newness is still definitely a factor: the business side is all still being figured out. And the rights issues! Do we really own these books? Or if they magically disappear from the Cloud, what can we do about it? I know that subscription-based services are pretty strong business models these days, from Hulu to NetFlix, or even World of Warcraft. And there’s Amazon’s Prime service, giving you access to shows and movies and such as well. Maybe that’s a future business model for their e-books?

Gee, that sounds a lot like a library…

Is that Amazon’s future? After replacing bookstores, will they replace libraries? I guess time will tell! Or you could, in the comments below!

E – e-Book

ESo part of the goal in the A to Z Challenge is to keep the posts short, so I’m not 100% sure why I decided to tackle e-books in a short format! What sorts of topics could I discuss on e-Books?

I think really, the point of this post, to keep it short, really just needs to be, aren’t e-Books neat? The ability to have a whole bunch of books, on a single device. Being able to carry a virtual library with you wherever you go. Great for travel, which is when I get a lot of my reading done. Which might be bad, since I don’t travel enough…

But are e-Books neat enough? The answer is probably, not yet. What do you do when you’re done with it? Keep it forever. Okay… that’s a long time. So no donating it to the local library, no loaning it to a friend, no giving it to someone as a gift. No downsizing your collection – since, after all, it’s portable, so who would want to ever reduce the size of the collection? (Librarian Sarcasm)

Okay, there’s elements of some of those things you can do. And, better yet, there is a growing capacity for checking out e-Books from libraries. However, there is by no means an industry standard to this yet, as some publishers want to charge a ton for electronic access – something that’s done with print journals in databases, as well – because more people can access the book then. Or, they’re limiting access to how many people can have the book at a time. Or they’re adding a limit to the number of times a book can be checked out before it must be bought again. So it isn’t perfect yet.

So while I like my convenient books, I like my free access to books too – maybe especially books I’m not sure about, or books I know I won’t be reading again.

Where are you at? Completely adopted e-Books? Waiting to see? Half and half? And have you checked your local library for e-books? Let me know in the comments below!

The Sunday Re-Blog: 10 Daunting Book Series

10 Daunting Book Series.

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