Friday, 7 December 2012

December Lulu Code, Ebooks vs Print

It's nearly half way through December but there's still time to exploit a code and get yourself a little gift for Christmas. ;)

Books and eBooks from 20% off- Enter code
- Save up to $25. Expires December 31, 2012. Only valid in the US Store.

Like many other people I fascinated by wrestling match between traditional book markets, ebooks and print on demand.  If I can afford them and they are actually available on the shelf I often favour great big musty reference manuals - or even pamphlets of printed rules over reading on a screen - but the convenience of PDFs and other ebook formats is beginning to appeal. Certainly educational texts do very well on tablets - tutors can annotate the texts - they are searchable, reading lists can be downloaded in minutes.   However, when it comes to gifts, it's difficult to beat the physical artefact, and being a fan of indie published games, sometimes that would mean a print-on-demand purchase from a site like Lulu.

Recently I received an email drawing my attention to a graphic of charts and comparisons between real book use and the electronic form and how the future of libraries may be affected by the way we perceive and access texts.  Like Allison, I definitely believe that there will always be a role for physical dead tree books.

Allison Morris's graphic:

(Please Include Attribution to With This Graphic)E-books Infographic

Interesting stuff. :)


  1. I've said elsewhere to deafening silence (ignore, I suspect, as a crank) that physical books will not only survive ebooks, but probably outlast them.

    Ebook readers are made from finite resources, some already known to have reached their peak of supply - oil-based plastics and some rare minerals in the circuitry.

    Of concern is the fact that some of those rare minerals are mined by child labour in Africa under dangerous and appalling conditions, but we in the west prefer to ignore that fact so long as we can have our toys of convenience.

    Real books on the other hand can be made from renewable resources, such as paper produced from plantation trees. With an ever growing global population and diminishing resources I foresee a time ahead when traditional technologies, based on renewable resources, will win out over our current love affair with electronic goods.

    Most people react to the above either by burying their head in the sand, believing the good times will last forever, or by getting angry at the person mentioning such distasteful practices as child labour and modern day slavery. This is a shame.

    The image you posted Billiam is both interesting and gives me hope. Give me a real book any day.

  2. Rare minerals and child labour - now that's a new angle. *impressed*
    Reminds me of the fact that I like digital photograph because as a vegetarian I used to worry about gelatine in film - but that's on a much smaller ethical scale.

    We need more portable electronic goods which only work for a year! Destroy, burn, digitize!

    It was interesting to read recently that Ian Livingstone was very surprised about the number of copies sold of the paperback of Fighting Fantasy Blood of the Zombies - Mr L has long purported that FF-books had their place in the past only. Ironically, the FF games which I bought last year for my iPad are now no longer available to download (even as "previous purchases") and weren't supported in the last OS upload all because Big Blue Bubble Games no longer held the licence. No guaranteed longevity. Ephemeral. I'm one bad back-up/update away from losing them all - I was apparently just "leasing" the code or something. Maybe like librarians breaking into your house to steal back the novels which you'd thought you were buying.

    In terms of roleplaying games - there must be players out there who still prefer to have bound and printed books over PDFs, or simply like both. I do get frustrated at people who dismiss books outright.

    From a collecting perspective I find myself sighing when I see the inclusion of software on a CD-ROM or download codes. Hopefully bit-torrenters are backing all that stuff up for future generations. ;)

    Thanks for commenting. :)