Tuesday, August 17, 2010

DVDs and free internets

Hate to break it to you, Ray, but the libraries you remember barely exist anymore.


Mike W. said...

You mean they weren't overrun with masturbating hobo's in Bradbury's day?

Joanna said...

The man still uses a typewriter, for Pete's sake. I wish I could be his assistant/apprentice.

I love how he gets mad when people insist F451 was about censorship, when he's said over and over that it's about TV.

Crucis said...

Libraries are going along the wayside. I'm in the process of converting to ebooks. So far, I can fit those portions I've converted on a flashdrive. Ebooks will be much cheaper by Christmas and the trend will continue.

it won't be long 'til we're all librarians of one sort or another.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Yeah, kinda sad to walk into my branch of the W-E Library and see all the DVD racks instead of books. Of course, you know this means that with the economy so bad, they'll soon come a time for cutbacks to the Library System (Proles don't need to read, just vote for free Housing and Health Care and 99+ weeks of unemployment) and since we can find anything on the Internet, the need for Reference Librarians will disappear and all we need is the out-of- work kid from Blockbuster to hand out the DVD cases. Yeah, who needs books, anyway?

Andrew said...

I respect the man, but he is missing, well, a LOT of points.

It's the message, not the medium, Ray. The "Internets" -- all of them -- like all information revolutions, is a democratizing force.

Or maybe he doesn't like that just anyone can be published now?

Andrew said...

Oh -- a great book about information revolutions, by another crotchety old man:
A History of Mass Communication: Six Information Revolutions (Fang Irving E., Focal Press 1997)

Fang taught this book at the U of MN. I took it as my last college class, a mere 12 years after I started!

Ed Rasimus said...

With schools graduating students who can't or don't read, and have no interest beyond their latest Tweets and text msgs, why would anyone want a place filled with books written by dead people (figuratively)?

The irony is the wealth of information, indexed and accessible, which the I'net puts at their fingertips--and libraries put at the fingertips of those who can't afford a decent computer or connection.

I'm waiting for the next convolution which should be libraries with a huge stock of Kindles or iPads that you check out with access to several books from the collection. Only problem is how authors will be compensated for royalties. Not insurmountable but a consideration.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Only problem is how authors will be compensated for royalties."

Our favourite librarian can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they get compensated for royalties from libraries now, except for the initial purchase. I assume the same thing would hold for e-books, as well.

Barnes & Noble already has a "lend" function on their Nook e-reader - it lets you lend your copy to someone else with a Nook (or the Nook software on a computer/Android device), and they can access it for 2 weeks (unfortunately, you can only do this once per book). The publishers/providers could easily do a "library version" that allows unlimited lending. This would make the Nook perfect for libraries right out of the box. I don't know if Amazon or Apple have anything similar or not.

"I'm waiting for the next convolution which should be libraries with a huge stock of Kindles or iPads that you check out with access to several books from the collection."

I think the biggest problem with that model would be the frequent need to replace $100+ devices. Given how people (in general) treat borrowed communal resources like that, I would expect a high rate of minor damages (i.e., not enough by itself to keep it from working and justify charging the patron) accumulating that would cause a high failure rate. I see the Nook model with the library as the lender and the patron using their own device as far more likely and workable, especially if Amazon and Apple get on board with it.

Crucis said...

Jake, Baen, one of the largest Science Fiction publishers, already has a free library of ebooks written by many of their writers. They also include CDs of ebooks in some of their hardback editions.

Baen recognizes that creating popularity of a writer, sells books and one way to do that is to provide free ebooks. You can also buy ebooks of their current editions cheaper than the dead-tree versions. I can afford two or more ebooks for the price of one dead-tree copy.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...


Most of my e-books are from Baen and Webscriptions (I believe they have Tor on board, as well). That's generally the first place I'll look for something I want to read.

It's also a good source for stuff from their publishers/authors that's out of print or just hard to find.

I love the Advance Release Copies. I can read a book a month or two before it's actually released, and pay about half what it will cost for the hardcover when it comes out (though the ARC's are still more than a paperback or most e-books - you're paying the extra for the early release).

Project Gutenberg is another good resource for free e-books.