18
   

THE EXCELLENCE OF BOOKS

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 01:10 pm
I have a book from which I randomly read. But it is very long and involved. As it is available, in its entirety, on line, I have learned to search specific passages on the computer, but, when reading for pleasure, I still grab the book.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 03:39 pm
@Setanta,
Kindle automatically keeps your place in every book you are reading on it.

You'd just, like, put it down and go check the other book...or, if you had both on your Kindle, close one book and check the other.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 03:41 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

How would i consult Mowat if i were using a kindle to read The Sea Road? If the answer is to consult the book as i actually did, then what the hell do i need the kindle for?


Er...because you keep some books on Kindle and some not?

I don't get the import of your question.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 04:11 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Setanta wrote:
How would i consult Mowat if i were using a kindle to read The Sea Road? If the answer is to consult the book as i actually did, then what the hell do i need the kindle for?



Er...because you keep some books on Kindle and some not?

I don't get the import of your question


If you're going to have books in physical form anyways then why have an idiotic unfriendly feeling gizmo?


and another thing rabbit, if the Kindle falls in the water when in the tub, will it still be usable? A nice book can dry out.

and another nother thing, what's the effect that egrets the Kindle wll experience if you leave it in the direct sun on a super hot day? Will it survive? A book will.

Can a Kindle be run over by a car and still be able to exhibit the contents? A book can.
Can a Kindle be used as kindling in case of major emergency?
A book can.

Can a Kindle fill the shelves and bring a sensuous soundproofing to a room? a few hundred books can.
Can a Kindle... well, you get the idea...Kindle=WASTE.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 04:24 pm
@Sturgis,
It's not either/or.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 04:31 pm
I love books, but I sooo want a Kindle (or more likely a Nook). My niece loaned me hers for a long trip. She had 169 books on it. It fit in my purse. I could adjust the screen so I did not need reading glasses and I didn't need additional lighting because I could adjust the screen. I want a Nook because my local libraries now have free books to download, but right now they can only do Nooks. Books as we know them will be gone in 10 years, so says a friend of mine in publishing. Although more material than ever will be available due to free or inexpensive downloads and people self-publishing. This assuming we don't blow ourselves up or environmental collapse. If that happens we will be back to painting in caves.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 04:56 pm
@Green Witch,
If we can still make paint.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 05:14 pm
@dlowan,
mashed onion skin makes a nice yellow, almost a saffron colour
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 06:02 pm
@dlowan,
Blood from the giant cockroaches we will have to kill for food.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 06:08 pm
@Green Witch,
The textbook market will be gradually heading towards kindles and things like them. Textbooks are obsolete shortly after printing and in grad courses, most of our texts are actually articles from the science literature. This also is good for the authors who get a chunk of the proceeds that make up the class list.
I get a Uni discount for the entire list and the Uni press service compiles the papers onto a kindle format or other e-reader.
I see the book store shelves getting depopulated by the science books.
HOWEVER, the other liberal arts, like ENglish lit and undergrad intro courses, still use texts some are on kindles and some not.
This market is also growing at a rate faster than I woulda thought when Set posted this (I asked the procurement guy at the bookstore)

I dont believe that books will be dead in 10 years however. There will be a market for these things and special publishers like hobby presses (Taunton,Foxcatcher,Schiffer, Interweave etc) will always have a ready market for their tabletop and specialty books that feature heavy graphic content for use in studio crafts. I dont think that visual arts and crafts will rush to convert to Kindles when many of the texts are oversized by choice.
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 06:49 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

I still like a real book, but I've recently started reading some books on my ipod touch

some books lend themselves nicely to audio as well, the Harry potter sreries read by stephen fry was one


All of my HP books are read by Jim Dale {American version} except for Chamber, which is read by Fry...I like Dale a great deal better, I think it's just the fact that he has a classic voice, perfect for narration work.....but they could be read by Kermit the frog, or Ray Romano {same voice} and I would still listen to them.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2010 08:12 pm
@farmerman,
My friend thinks printing will just be too expensive for a shrinking market of buyers. Printed books will still exist, but the production of new ones will be small and elite.The so called coffee table books already look great on an iPad. Magazines and Newspaper also will move to iPad type technology and you will have to pay in the form of subscriptions. Yes, the textbook market is leading the way to digital. I think English Lit will definitely go to electronic sooner rather than later. You can already download all of Dickens for very little money and easily compare passages from different books with a simple search. If you just want to see all the lines one character speaks you can isolate their quotes. A student could afford to have a huge reference library literally at their fingertips.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 12:44 am
@farmerman,
I agree...I am loving my Kindle for textbooks and classics...only cursing copyright issues and the fact that some have not transmigrated to e-form. It is literally saving me hundreds of dollars. Likely thousands over the rest of my career.

Much as I hate to recycle my classics library, I will likely be able to get rid of at least a couple of bookshelves and have some room to move at my place!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 07:05 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

mashed onion skin makes a nice yellow, almost a saffron colour


If we still have onions...
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 10:36 am
You can make red and yellow dye from moldy agave cacti. They will probably survive but not up here...
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Oct, 2011 03:53 pm
I'm not pro or anti (I'm a librarian, of sorts) but I just found this and this seems as good a place to post it as any - I think Set will like it....

http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lm5ljtHpXk1qzxfy9o1_500.jpg
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2011 10:46 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:


If you want to refer to a map or an illustration, i find that much easier by holding the place with my finger, and flipping back an forth. Perhaps i'm just clumsy, but i find that works better than switching between open windows on a monitor.


Wathathink, goys and birls?


I think you were on to something, and this author agrees

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/books/review/will-the-e-book-kill-the-footnote.html


Quote:
Essay
Will the E-Book Kill the Footnote?
By ALEXANDRA HOROWITZ
Published: October 7, 2011


When my dog, Pumpernickel, first found a stray grape on my kitchen floor, she licked at it, tumbled it around in her mouth and spat it out. She accepted a lot of food from my plate not traditionally thought of as interesting to dogs: carrots, broccoli, bagels. But she would not eat grapes, nor was she fond of raisins.


More than a decade later, I included this anecdote in my book about dog cognition, to open a chapter on domestication. I had subsequently learned that raisins — and grapes — “are now suspected of being toxic to some dogs, even in small amounts (though the mechanism of toxicity is unknown) — leading me to wonder whether Pump was instinctively averse to raisins,” as I added in a footnote.

A footnote. I did not include the facts about the toxicity of grapes in the anecdote itself, because, well, it’s not part of the anecdote. I did not include it in the main body of the chapter because, well, it has nothing to do with domestication. But I thought it was note-worthy and maybe even important, so I assigned it to the small type at the bottom of the page.

Since typing that small type, I have received dozens of angry and concerned queries about the anecdote. Why had I fed her grapes? Did I not know they were toxic? After some back-and-forth, I was surprised to discover that these incredulous comments often came from readers of the electronic version of my book, where the footnotes are shunted off to the end of the text, relegated to being mere endnotes. If footnotes are at risk of going unread, endnotes are even more so.

All this is discouraging for a champion of footnotes like myself. The footnotes are among the first things I look at when I pull a book from a store shelf. My editor gamely tolerated my inclusion of many in my own book (though we removed more than we left in). I would be proud to be a footnote in someone else’s work.

Of course, scholarly books are still full of footnotes. The prototypic footnote is the source note, providing a citation for each proclamation in the text (early annotations were sometimes called “proofs”). These footnotes range from useful to pedantic, sometimes lending an air of authority, sometimes providing a map of the writer’s path. Legal writing in particular is rife with these footnotes, perhaps an acknowledgment that law is built on laws-past.

But I champion another species of footnote: the wandering footnote. These digressive notes, seeing a sentence that some might consider complete, determine to hijack it with a new set of ever more tangential facts. In the wayward note, the bumps and curves of the author’s mind seem to be laid plain on the paper. I came of intellectual age hearing the author’s sotto voce asides in the philosophy essays I loved. I still recall footnotes that begin, enticingly, “Imagine that . . . ”; “Consider . . . ”; or even, in one of J. L. Austin’s famous thought experiments, “You have a donkey. . . . ” I had the feeling of being taken into confidence by a wise fellow during an erudite lecture, and being told something even more clever and lucid.

In fiction, I was spoiled by Nicholson Baker, whose novel “The Mezzanine” is largely footnotes — including a four-pager that starts: “And escalators are safe. . . . ” (A door has popped up unexpectedly and opened! I’m going in!) Smitten with the small type, I sought out the broader history of the footnote, covered to within a millimeter of its life in Anthony Grafton’s study “The Footnote: A Curious History” and Chuck Zerby’s “Devil’s Details: A History of Footnotes” (both are heavily footnoted). Grafton led me to such rollicking footnoters as Edward Gibbon, whose judgmental, conversational and explicatory notes in “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” lighten a weighty read. Such digressions and asides were so enthusiastically used in the 18th century that one satirist wrote a mock dissertation consisting entirely of footnotes. Pierre Bayle’s best seller “Historical and Critical Dictionary,” first published in the 1690s, charmingly used footnotes to point out the errors in the scholarship of others. I’ll take Grafton and Zerby’s word for it that John Hodgson’s mighty “History of Northumberland,” published a century and a half later, is at least worth flipping through for its footnotes on footnotes on footnotes, including one traversing 165 pages.

I have since found that attitudes on footnotes tend toward the hyperbolic. One scholarly writing handbook celebrates the “cartwheel” of the footnote, while Grafton compares the drone of the historian’s footnote to “the high whine of the dentist’s drill,” a sign that we are in the presence of professionals. Legal footnotes — the subject of particularly contentious debate — are “a mother lode, a vein of purest gold,” one judge gushed, while another legal writer called them “lead feet below the line.” Footnotes are “a rhapsodic grace note” in a master’s hands, a journalist wrote. More often, however, footnotes are slandered as “forbidding,” “unsightly,” “like a fungus”; and even, as one footnote-weary professor put it, a “subversive breed of mice.” I have come across more than one author who chose “excrescence” to describe footnotes. Noël Coward reputedly said that “having to read a footnote resembles having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love.”

The footnote jousting could soon be moot, as the e-book may inadvertently be driving footnotes to extinction. The e-book hasn’t killed the book; instead, it’s killing the “page.” Today’s e-readers scroll text continuously, eliminating the single preformed page, along with any text defined by being on its bottom. A spokesman for the Kindle assured me that it is at the discretion of the publisher how to treat footnotes. Most are demoted to hyperlinked endnotes or, worst of all, unlinked endnotes that require scrolling through the e-reader to access. Few of these will be read, to be sure.

I admit to being somewhat mystified that technological innovation is imperiling footnotes. Computers would seem to solve what I see as the main problem they pose — to wit, edging in the superscript numbers on a typewritten page and measuring just the right amount of space to leave at the bottom. Footnotes really presage hyperlinks, the ultimate interrupter of a stream of thought. (But footnotes are far superior: while hyperlinks can be highly useful, one never finds oneself looking at an error message at the bottom of the page where a footnote used to be.) Even the audio book has solved the problem of how to convey footnotes. Listen to David Foster Wallace reading his essay collection “Consider the Lobster,” with its ubiquitous show-stealing asides: at a certain point, his voice is unnaturally distant, the result of a production trick intended to represent the small type of a footnote. Wallace’s e-book was not immune to de-footnoting, though; all these crucial asides now appear at the end of the book in the Kindle and iPad versions. Even the Kindle edition of Zerby’s history of the footnote is now full of endnotes instead.

Should footnotes fully disappear, I would grieve their loss. I do not find it disagreeable to bend my nose south and find further information where it lands. Surely the purpose of a book is not to present a methodically linear narrative, never wavering from its course, with no superfluous commentary set off by commas. In my mind, footnotes are simply another punctuative style: a subspecies of parenthesis that tells the reader: “I’ve got something else here you might like! (Read it later.)” What better thing? You get to follow the slipstreams in the author’s thinking at your own leisure.

A footnote: I’ve kept this essay annotation-free. But every sentence could have had a footnote, providing a source, further reading, a tangent, an explanation. Is the essay really better without them?



Alexandra Horowitz is the author of “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know.”




e-books, a home for the anti-digressives
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  2  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2011 11:29 am
The last couple of years I have spent travelling a lot on trains.
Many people read books or newspapers, so far I had not seen one single Kindle. Now I have - one lady was reading one. She was an American.
It did not look so interesting at all and on top of it it did not kill my curiousity as I could not see what she was reading.
Being a fan of books myself I want to know what my fellow travellers are reading.
I prefer books.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2014 11:00 pm
http://static.tapastic.com/cartoons/22/9d/a7/2d/938d6b01dc904d4383e1450de412ed10.jpg
http://tapastic.com/episode/31080
0 Replies
 
 

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