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Old 07-19-2011, 01:15 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Hi guys- I've been out of SL for years but sporadically lurk here even so... I've been saving some of this up so be prepared for a tl;dr.

I'm a librarian, so this is an issue close to my heart. Plus, Borders is the only bookstore nearby that invites loitering; I'm sad to loose one of the few places I could have a coffee and browse. I'd like to think that public libraries may benefit from a bit of increased traffic as brick and mortar bookstores atrophy, but as library funding shrinks along with everything else... well, if a library didn't put in the coffee shop already they may have to wait a while. B&N did do better with eBooks and also did well in contracting with college bookstores. As textbooks go e and the market expands that advantage may dwindle. Independent bookstores will struggle on until they can't stand it anymore. I expect print-on-demand services will grow. If that leaves Amazon the defacto winner it will be a tragedy- and don't discount the desire of publishers to go e: not only is digital cheaper to produce, but the use of licensing to trump copyright means the market is much easier to control. HarperCollins, for example, recently introduced a limit on ebooks licensed to libraries of 26 check-outs before the book self-destructs. I can't afford Overdrive's (the biggest ebook provider to libraries) fees for my small school library- I would have to commit 1/2 my annual budget to the service (worse: stop paying the annual fee & lose access to the thousands of dollars of content already licensed). Not to mention that publisher's DRM makes a lot of the available content unusable on our school's Apple OS devices. Will it get better? Of course it will. Yet I worry that we are in danger of will loosing much in the exchange.

IMHO- the future of physical book publishing is likely to resemble the example posted by Renaissance Guardian: small niche runs for collectors, the nostalgic, the intellectuals, the hold-outs. The side effect, says LibraryThing founder Tim Spalding: the death of small libraries like you might find in a hospital, church basement, or hotel lobby- and perhaps the death of larger libraries as well. I won't go into much more about this- it would be way tl;dr except to say that he's got a good point. Unless the law is altered to re-affirm the rights of consumers/society in the face of expanding EULAs we are on the cusp of undermining one of the great social contracts.

One of the reasons I keep circling back to SL forums is that it is one of the few communities that discusses copyright in any depth (depth and FUNNY- a killer combo). So, as creators and consumers of digital content what rights should be inalienable (that is, unable to be contracted away)? What rights that you enjoy with physical books (In the US for example: fair use, doctrine of first sale) need to be preserved? What do you want the future of books, bookstores and libraries to look like?

p.s. If you like to geek out on this stuff as much as I do you may be interested in Robert Darnton's post-mortem of the Google Book settlement and call for a national digital library which can be found here:
Suggested Readings - The Future of Law Libraries: the Future is Now? (search for it- I didn't want to link you straight to the PDF).
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:16 PM   #52 (permalink)
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(By the way, I used to go to Pennsic partly to shop for books and blacksmithing tools, so have fun there if that's where you are going)
That is *exactly* where I am going! And for a lot of the same reasons! Need to add to my scribal and brewing book collection.

Oh and of course fight.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:44 PM   #53 (permalink)
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PUT BOOKS ON THEM! At least...that is what I am planning on doing. As soon as I figure out how I am going to get all 10 of them into my BFs apartment.
Do what I did and have them put together in there. I have come to the conclusion that I can not easilly move now since my bookcases are too big to fit through the doors.
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Ok, I have to ask, WTF is this thread even about and why is it hundreds of posts? I am out of vodka so I don't feel like reading it to find out.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Yes, like hyperlinks, but much better than what's available today. Not just a link to where you can purchase the source, but a link to the actual source. This would require a revolution in scholarly publishing, where an open-source archive (something like arXiv in the sciences) becomes the norm. And, moreover, I want superb, digitized access to special collections, so that when I'm citing an original source, the reader can see the original source, rather than being assured that I really did find it in an obscure archive in Ceará. And I want to be able to drill down into the published work that I cite, just as you can drill down into the surface text of the book I'm putting together (in this hypothetical universe). And I want source material, published or not, that is linkable back to others who have cited that material. I want the ultimate networked/linked archive/library, and I want it available free to me and to some kid in Patagonia.

As some obscure German hack once said, when the relations of production becomes fetters on the means of production, the integument is burst asunder and the expropriators are expropriated. But then, he fucked the family maid, too.
So multiple levels of citations, right? The first level would be easy, since it is pretty simmilar as a liscensing model to where some amazon books allow you to look at a few pages to decide if you want to buy it.

For the 2nd level and above maybe have some sort of deal for a book where, in exchange for the exposure of showing the cite sources to the world from your book, you have to expose your cites from the books you cite as well? This is a minor tweak (nothing completely new) to the existing model of selling books and/or giving people permission to quote them.

Of course, the book world will need to change anyway to keep up with a new paradigm of book reading and sales. Small things like this though are not exactly a deal breaker though if the tradeoff is staying in the game.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:59 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Renaissance Guardian: you sound like you might be a professor or similar scholarly type. Open access journals (think scholarly publishing's version of GNU ) are very much a war being waged as we speak-- primarily because digital content providers started charging OBSCENE prices for access to journals by libraries. One study found a 51.9% increase in cost for medical journals between 1996 and 1999 and a 32% rise from 1999 to 2002. They're possible because academia is set up to compensate authors in other ways such as tenure, research grants, etc. Open Access only works when authors don't get paid and the costs associated with publishing are covered by fees or grants.

I love your vision of a sort of deep citation and think you're someone who should absolutely read Darton's "Can we create a National Digital Library?"

Here's one of my favorite quotes from the article:

Quote:
"Despotism and priestcraft" have an antiquated ring to them, but the danger of restricting access to knowledge is as great today as it was two hundred years ago. Here is a copyright notice attached to a recent electronic edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was first published in 1865:

Copy: No text selections can be copied from the book to the clipboard….

Lend: This book cannot be lent to someone else.

Give: This book cannot be given to someone else.

Read aloud: This book cannot be read aloud.1

Contrast that statement, made only yesterday, with the following remarks by Voltaire after the publication of his Questions sur l’Encyclopédie in 1772: “It is hereby permitted to any bookseller to [re]print my silliness, be it true or false, at his risk, peril, and profit.” As Lewis Hyde put it in his recent book, Common as Air, an enclosure movement is threatening to destroy our cultural commons, the world of knowledge that belongs to us all.
Creative Commons is an excellent model, and I could see how Kara's concept of setting up licensing agreements for e-citations could be used in a similar way... but it would only work in a world where authors controlled their copyright rather than assigning it to publishers. In the US we already have the right to include quotes from other's works- it's fair use. It's only in the digital realm where we sign a ___load of contracts limiting our rights that it breaks down.

And just to go right over the tl;dr limit one more time- it's important to understand Stewart Brand's famous quote in its entirety when thinking about the realities of all this:

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"Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine - too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, 'intellectual property', the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better."
—spoken at the first Hackers' Conference, and reprinted in the May 1985 Whole Earth Review. The quotation is an elaboration from his book, The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, published in 1987.

Last edited by Sophia Tantalus; 07-19-2011 at 10:01 PM. Reason: crappy sentence structure
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:11 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sophia Tantalus View Post
Renaissance Guardian: you sound like you might be a professor or similar scholarly type. Open access journals (think scholarly publishing's version of GNU ) are very much a war being waged as we speak-- primarily because digital content providers started charging OBSCENE prices for access to journals by libraries. One study found a 51.9% increase in cost for medical journals between 1996 and 1999 and a 32% rise from 1999 to 2002. They're possible because academia is set up to compensate authors in other ways such as tenure, research grants, etc. Open Access only works when authors don't get paid and the costs associated with publishing are covered by fees or grants.

I love your vision of a sort of deep citation and think you're someone who should absolutely read Darton's "Can we create a National Digital Library?"

Here's one of my favorite quotes from the article:



Creative Commons is an excellent model, and I could see how Kara's concept of setting up licensing agreements for e-citations could be used in a similar way... but it would only work in a world where authors controlled their copyright rather than assigning it to publishers. In the US we already have the right to include quotes from other's works- it's fair use. It's only in the digital realm where we sign a ___load of contracts limiting our rights that it breaks down.

And just to go right over the tl;dr limit one more time- it's important to understand Stewart Brand's famous quote in its entirety when thinking about the realities of all this:
You've pegged me to a "t". I started thinking about Deep Citation when I read Darnton's recent book, "In Defense of Books." And I completely agree about the academic journals problem. The problem in the US is that scholars shy away from publishing in open-source journals because they're not as prestigious as those published by scholarly or commercial presses. I think Brazil has the right idea - government subsidies for scholarly journals combined with a requirement that subsidized journals publish open-source in SciELO.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:47 PM   #57 (permalink)
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You've read Darnton!

Even if we think we can do without record labels and publishers we still need/want curators. Curators deserve to be paid, too- although in this era of passionate sharing for free it will be harder. I haven't read "Curation Nation" yet, but it's on my list.

I'm not an academic librarian but I can see how academe would be slow to change. Even beyond the complex system for funding scholarship (and maybe making a bit of extra) there's the fact y'all are still running around in gowns based on medieval clothing. Seriously though-- there's few other groups better positioned to pull off a shift. I'm pulling for you because WE NEED YOU TO SUCCEED. There's so much important information that is simply too expensive.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:56 PM   #58 (permalink)
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And- since I've been off topic a bit here- I'll add that I went to my local Borders today. It was like attending a wake. It was one of the busiest days I've seen, full of people paying their final respects. I noticed a woman who wasn't an employee helping a customer for 10 or so minutes. When the woman being helped finally cottoned on to the fact her helper didn't work at Borders she asked her if she did, to be sure. The woman replied "No, I used to work here. My husband and I both did. It's where we met."
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:13 PM   #59 (permalink)
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I spent countless hours in the Ann Arbor store back before they expanded. It was somehow comforting to know it was still out there. I already feel like there is an empty spot.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:19 PM   #60 (permalink)
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I just wanted to add that I don't think ebooks will ever completely replace printed books. If there is a word for book-o-philes, I'm one of them. You just can't replace that.
I agree, I have a Nook now and it IS real nice but I still prefer lounging around through our huge book collection, and the old bookstores in town.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:23 AM   #61 (permalink)
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I have a Kindle app on my ipod touch and I do use it, but the first thing I seem to do whenever I move to a new place is accumulate a small pile of books, often bought used. If I didn't move so often, I'd probably have a fair sized library by now.

I used to hang out in bookstores a LOT, and college libraries before that. And before that, the very nice town libraries - northern New England towns make that a priority. If people of modest means can't get their hands on information it's so bad for society on so many levels. That worries me a lot. When you don't know how to get information or do research, you're just a pawn, and pawns tend to be angry frustrated people who don't know how to meet their own needs.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:24 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sophia Tantalus View Post
I'm a librarian, so this is an issue close to my heart. Plus, Borders is the only bookstore nearby that invites loitering; I'm sad to loose one of the few places I could have a coffee and browse. I'd like to think that public libraries may benefit from a bit of increased traffic as brick and mortar bookstores atrophy, but as library funding shrinks along with everything else... well, if a library didn't put in the coffee shop already they may have to wait a while. B&N did do better with eBooks and also did well in contracting with college bookstores. As textbooks go e and the market expands that advantage may dwindle. Independent bookstores will struggle on until they can't stand it anymore. I expect print-on-demand services will grow. If that leaves Amazon the defacto winner it will be a tragedy- and don't discount the desire of publishers to go e: not only is digital cheaper to produce, but the use of licensing to trump copyright means the market is much easier to control. HarperCollins, for example, recently introduced a limit on ebooks licensed to libraries of 26 check-outs before the book self-destructs. I can't afford Overdrive's (the biggest ebook provider to libraries) fees for my small school library- I would have to commit 1/2 my annual budget to the service (worse: stop paying the annual fee & lose access to the thousands of dollars of content already licensed). Not to mention that publisher's DRM makes a lot of the available content unusable on our school's Apple OS devices. Will it get better? Of course it will. Yet I worry that we are in danger of will loosing much in the exchange.
The biggest reason I have yet to switch away from physical books is those types of policies towards libraries. It also makes me less trusting of how reliable any e-books would be for re-reading. I do think the readers are great for vision/mobility issues where its hard to hold a book and see the print. Its a shame they're currently taking lessons from the recording industry instead.

I might eventually give in anyhow if they would release more out of print books. This is one I have been trying to find for my kids Amazon.com: Used and New: The Ghost of Opalina, or Nine Lives While I would like for them to read the content of the book, there is no way that will be realistic at those prices.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:47 AM   #63 (permalink)
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If people of modest means can't get their hands on information it's so bad for society on so many levels. That worries me a lot. When you don't know how to get information or do research, you're just a pawn, and pawns tend to be angry frustrated people who don't know how to meet their own needs.
Question: How many of us have used the bookstore to read something our library didn't have handy? I know I have. I loved the big box bookstores because they had the best and most up-to-date technical reference shelf anywhere. And- because I know some of you are thinking it- sure, a lot of that comp sci related info *is* freely available on the internet (perhaps more so than in any other discipline). But how much time does it take to find? Or put together so you can understand the topic fully? Books often save the time of the user.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #64 (permalink)
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You've read Darnton!

Even if we think we can do without record labels and publishers we still need/want curators. Curators deserve to be paid, too- although in this era of passionate sharing for free it will be harder. I haven't read "Curation Nation" yet, but it's on my list.

I'm not an academic librarian but I can see how academe would be slow to change. Even beyond the complex system for funding scholarship (and maybe making a bit of extra) there's the fact y'all are still running around in gowns based on medieval clothing. Seriously though-- there's few other groups better positioned to pull off a shift. I'm pulling for you because WE NEED YOU TO SUCCEED. There's so much important information that is simply too expensive.
Yes, Darnton is the shit! I'm waiting for him to rewrite one of his early books for the internet age: The Great LOLCat Massacre. (I couldn't resist, sorry).

I agree with you about the need for curation. I appreciate the ease with which I can do bibliographic searching from my comfy chair at home, but this onrushing wave has wiped out the practice of print bibliographies, and that's a real loss. I don't think we'll ever see anything as good as, say, Maureen Patterson's "South Asia: A Bibliographic Synthesis" again, and that's sad. For that matter, the bibliographic essay is getting rarer and rarer. The Cambridge History of Latin America devoted a whole volume to its collection of bibliographic essays. Where are we likely to see that again. (Hence the level of the hypertext devoted to bibliographic notes - an attempt to recreate something like that). I really hope that the great research libraries aren't laying off their subject bibliographers. And then there's the spatial layout of really good libraries. I spent so many hours in Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago that I couldn't begin to count them. On five of the seven floors, the reading room was combined with a superb reference collection plus bibliographic tools and current journals. The main collection was in stacks apposite the reference collection. It was fucking brilliant. If libraries like that die, what will we have online to replace that superb spatial array? AFAICT, no one in the online universe is even thinking in these terms yet.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Have they announced how it will go down? The stores borders closed before were still open awhile so they could sell off their current stock on clearance, which other stores do when they close too. So Friday would be more of the start of the end than the day they lock the doors for the last time.

Interestingly, I am still getting the normal emails from borders trying to get me to buy a kobo and shop their sales. If I didn't know better I would have no reason to think anything big was looming.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:11 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Alas books stores, along with travel agents, are going to disappear from the high street. I absolutely love book stores, especially old dusty ones but you have so much more choice ordering online. I am not a fan of e-books so I hope printed books last forever but the stores, they are on their last legs.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:16 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Alas books stores, along with travel agents, are going to disappear from the high street. I absolutely love book stores, especially old dusty ones but you have so much more choice ordering online. I am not a fan of e-books so I hope printed books last forever but the stores, they are on their last legs.
I think there will probably still be some small independent booksellers around-at least for a while.

Does anyone think ti would be easier for governments to control information available in electronic form than in books that can be passed hand to hand underground (or have I read Fahrenheit 451 too many times? )?
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:28 PM   #68 (permalink)
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I think there will probably still be some small independent booksellers around-at least for a while.
They may actually prosper, my boss at work keeps telling me to go to a place called Hay On Wye, it's well known for books.

Hay-on-Wye - The Official Website

Those sort of places will have books the online stores will have forgotten about.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:17 PM   #69 (permalink)
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I think there will probably still be some small independent booksellers around-at least for a while.

Does anyone think ti would be easier for governments to control information available in electronic form than in books that can be passed hand to hand underground (or have I read Fahrenheit 451 too many times? )?
Hm. I think it might actually be harder to find and destroy information stored in electronic form in something portable, like an e-reader or even on a small storage chip than to find someone's big ole stash of paper books.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Hm. I think it might actually be harder to find and destroy information stored in electronic form in something portable, like an e-reader or even on a small storage chip than to find someone's big ole stash of paper books.
Harder to find info in electronic format? You have got to be kidding.

In an electronic device you can usually just run a search. Plus the data is often backed up on a cloud or can be controlled remotely (like Amazon being able to delete things from a kindle).

Not that finding things in a finite pile of books is impossible, but it takes longer and things can be missed.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:48 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Harder to find info in electronic format? You have got to be kidding.

In an electronic device you can usually just run a search. Plus the data is often backed up on a cloud or can be controlled remotely (like Amazon being able to delete things from a kindle).

Not that finding things in a finite pile of books is impossible, but it takes longer and things can be missed.
First you have to find the device. A small storage chip can hold a shit ton of information and be pretty easily hidden. Much more so than the equavalent in paper books. If you really had a need to hide a stash of books or information from the government, it would be much easier to hide it in multiple locations in electronic form.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:51 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I like books.

Great big papery, page-flipping, heavy ass books.

Love em.

When I need a book that's out of print (because most the books I own are technical manuals, and I have a perverse obsession with retro shit) I scour the net to find it... then print the fucker out first chance I get, and put it in a binder or folder so I can flip through it's papery goodness (usually while on 'the mercy seat' where I do most my thinking)

This being said... I really fucking hated Borders... nearly as much as Barnes and Noble.

Why? I honestly can't say - From the person who didn't know the layout of the store asking if I needed help finding anything to the bohemian wankers in an adjoining Starbucks (wow a double dose of hate there) - dunno... I never got that 'bookshop' feel I got at older style stores or book exchanges... anyways... hate hate hate - I've been using Amazon since it's inception.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:57 PM   #73 (permalink)
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I don't like Borders or B & N either one, but that's just part of a general not liking to go shopping in stores. I hate it. I don't care it it is clothes, books, shoes, furniture, household stuff, whatever the fuck. Personally I think internet shopping is the best thing since sliced bread.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:37 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Siggy View Post
I like books.

Great big papery, page-flipping, heavy ass books.

Love em.

When I need a book that's out of print (because most the books I own are technical manuals, and I have a perverse obsession with retro shit) I scour the net to find it... then print the fucker out first chance I get, and put it in a binder or folder so I can flip through it's papery goodness (usually while on 'the mercy seat' where I do most my thinking)

This being said... I really fucking hated Borders... nearly as much as Barnes and Noble.

Why? I honestly can't say - From the person who didn't know the layout of the store asking if I needed help finding anything to the bohemian wankers in an adjoining Starbucks (wow a double dose of hate there) - dunno... I never got that 'bookshop' feel I got at older style stores or book exchanges... anyways... hate hate hate - I've been using Amazon since it's inception.
Years ago one had to pass a very detailed exam designed to test your knowledge of books in order to be hired there. I remember walking to one and I was so excited when the person I was speaking to not only knew what the Malleus Malleficarum was, they led me to it in the store (in the Medieval Studies section). The last few years it seemed to me that changed. I had more trouble finding anyone who knew a great deal about such things and I was often just waved to a computer so I could search myself. I found that sad.

I think I am missing the old Borders that I remember before this dumbing down happened.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #75 (permalink)
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I might eventually give in anyhow if they would release more out of print books. This is one I have been trying to find for my kids Amazon.com: Used and New: The Ghost of Opalina, or Nine Lives While I would like for them to read the content of the book, there is no way that will be realistic at those prices.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for that one! I'm pretty sure I read it, too, when I was a kid. It's stirring a memory. There are still 154 copies in libraries. Get your librarian to inter-library loan it.

& yes, the restrictive DRM is a pain, particularly when it is all over the place with things like text to speech. If you know someone with a documented print disability (vision or reading) there is Bookshare, although you need to work hard to get a good computer voice to make it bearable.
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