Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee

Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee, post.

In the ebook age, paper books are more and more becoming aesthetic objects rather than carriers of information.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the ebook age, paper books are more and more becoming aesthetic objects rather than carriers of information.


No, they're not. Paper books still VASTLY outnumber ebooks and are favored by people with brains. Ebooks are for the NASCAR set or those who, though they may not like NASCAR, are operating on the same level.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Oh my god, you're so right! I don't like sports, but I'm really a neanderthal, that's why I like ebooks! Thanks for making me see the light.

Anonymous said...

That you equate liking sports with being a neanderthal (and that you haven't caught up with the latest about neandertals) shows you are in fact an idiot. But even without that, only a fool thinks that ebooks are the future. Governments will find it easier to control. And prices will go way up when they're no longer the underdog fighting for a piece.

ttl said...

Ebooks, though, are not "carriers of information" at all.

Or, to put it in more modern terminology: a paper book is a medium, but ebook is not.

Ebook is merely an abstract concept. Essentially a marketing term. How do we know this?

Because if you take the HTML file out of an ePub file, and publish it as a web page, we do not call the resultant web page an "ebook".

It is reasonable to assume that all information existing only on magnetic/Flash media will in the not too distant future disappear. All it takes is one slightly more intense pulse from the big yellow thing, and it's erase to zero.

Paper books of course will continue to exist, like always have.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Well, the text of a paper book can also be taken out and presented in a magazine or a web page (or on a memory card, or on stone tablets, or in sky writing). (In fact many books existed first in chapters in magazines, like many of Dickens' books.) That doesn't make it any less a book.

And a big enough meteoroid could hit the earth or the sun could go nova, and all the paper books would go too. That doesn't mean they don't exist.

It's not clear if you're arguing 1) that the term "book" can't be used about ebooks, or 2) ebooks are inferior. They are two different arguments.
Re 1) even if it isn't in the dictionary yet, it will be, because millions are already using the term. Languages change.
Re 2) There are pros and cons to all forms. If you prefer "pbooks" as some call them now, fine with me. But I know that I hardly need list the upsides to ebooks to a bright and educated person like yourself.

... e-book is by the way in the dictionary:

e-book  [ee-book] Show IPA
noun
1. a portable electronic device used to download and read books or magazines that are in digital form.
2. a book in digital form.


(The first one I most hear called an e-reader, but what the heck.)

ttl said...

It's not clear if you're arguing 1) that the term "book" can't be used about ebooks, or 2) ebooks are inferior.

Neither. Just making the observation that an ebook is not a medium. And yet, people speak of it as it was.

The meaning of book is "bound together". Ontologically, as an object, a computer harddisk is closer to a paper book than an ebook is.

Also, there is hardly any difference between the concepts ebook and webpage. The difference is only conceptual, marketing related.

And a big enough meteoroid could hit the earth or the sun could go nova, and all the paper books would go too.

That's a meaningless argument. In that case people would die too, and it wouldn't matter.

In contrast, there have in all likelihood been several events in the past where all electronics (had they existed back then) would have been wiped to zero.

Joe said...

Paper books have a track record that goes back thousands of years. E books only have a few years.
It will take time to see if E books will catch on or go the way of the 8 track player.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Fair point. Anything is possible.

Still, I know where I'll bet. Ebooks sales just surpassed hardcover sales, by dollars, in the US.
So, I'll bet you twenty bucks that by 2020 ebooks will be dominant. (Sell better than paperbooks in the US.)

I'll pay too if I loose. In 2005 I bet a local friend that house prices would have gone down by 2007. It did not go as fast as I'd predicted, so I paid him his twenny Sterling, though he'd forgotten the bet.

Joe said...

I'll file that away and revisit in five years. Just to see how it is trending.

Dave Nielsen said...

Still, I know where I'll bet. Ebooks sales just surpassed hardcover sales, by dollars, in the US.

If it's hardcovers I'm not sure that necessarily means anything. Hardcovers are so ridiculously overpriced that I doubt many people who prefer paper books buy them. I wait until paperback or get the audio book.

Sometimes I wonder if the listed price is so high to begin with so that Amazon can appear to be giving such deep discounts. Even with the discount they're usually quite a lot, though.

So, I'll bet you twenty bucks that by 2020 ebooks will be dominant. (Sell better than paperbooks in the US.)

It could be that people born now will just be so used to ebooks that they will see reading paper books as equivalent to choosing to use a typewriter instead of a computer's word processing program. Something that even to our generation is unthinkable. Anyone with a romantic notion of the typewriter (they might picture themselves as Hemingway) will be disabused of it after a few minutes.

However, I hope it might end up something like what we see in Star Trek. Books and everything else were long electronic by then but paper books still existed, just of much higher quality - Spock gives Kirk a gourmet quality copy of A Tale of Two Cities for his birthday.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Some people love hardcovers, for the ownership value. Or to get a fave author sooner.

Numbers:
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/ebooks-top-hardcover-revenues-in-q1_b53090

Paperbacks sell more, but not as much more as one might think.