Electronic devices

Reviews and commentary on books, films, etc.
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browerpatch
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Sat May 19, 2012 6:33 am

I love books. I love handling them, reading them, I can't imagine not having them. My wife laughs at me because when we give ourselves books as gifts, $100 buys 50 or 60 books (which she uses in her classroom as a gifted education teacher for grade 3 - 5). The same amount might buy one or two books for me. Until the only hand-binder/restorer I knew of closed a few years ago, I would select an old/rare book one year, and have it repaired/restored the next year.

That being said, I haven't much regard for modern electronics. I'm convinced that most technological developments are not always advances. I believe they are monthly steps down the road to planned obsolescence, and are intended solely for the redistribution of wealth.

I'm embarrassed to admit I bought a "Nook" last year, mostly because of the access to public domain reading material. I've downloaded several books I've dreamt of reading but could never find or afford, including Rapheal Semmes' "Memoirs of Service Afloat and Ashore in the Mexican War". What a treat. After seeing a mention here of "Modern Pig-Sticking", I downloaded it, and have been enjoying it.

So, I thought I'd better check to make sure having one of these devices doesn't jeopardize my standing here in the forum (I promise not to bring it into the clubhouse), and I thought I'd ask if any of you fellows own or use similar devices? If so, what good reads have y'all been able to find?

Frank Brower
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Pat Holscher
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Sat May 19, 2012 8:24 am

browerpatch wrote:I love books. I love handling them, reading them, I can't imagine not having them. My wife laughs at me because when we give ourselves books as gifts, $100 buys 50 or 60 books (which she uses in her classroom as a gifted education teacher for grade 3 - 5). The same amount might buy one or two books for me. Until the only hand-binder/restorer I knew of closed a few years ago, I would select an old/rare book one year, and have it repaired/restored the next year.

That being said, I haven't much regard for modern electronics. I'm convinced that most technological developments are not always advances. I believe they are monthly steps down the road to planned obsolescence, and are intended solely for the redistribution of wealth.

I'm embarrassed to admit I bought a "Nook" last year, mostly because of the access to public domain reading material. I've downloaded several books I've dreamt of reading but could never find or afford, including Rapheal Semmes' "Memoirs of Service Afloat and Ashore in the Mexican War". What a treat. After seeing a mention here of "Modern Pig-Sticking", I downloaded it, and have been enjoying it.

So, I thought I'd better check to make sure having one of these devices doesn't jeopardize my standing here in the forum (I promise not to bring it into the clubhouse), and I thought I'd ask if any of you fellows own or use similar devices? If so, what good reads have y'all been able to find?

Frank Brower
I'm like you. Books are one of the few things that I cannot imagine living without. Indeed, one of my favorite photos, which I unfortunately no longer have a photo of, is of an Afghan fighter during the their war with the USSR, sitting under the demolished arch of a building, with his AK near by, engrossed in a book.

Anyhow, I don't have a Nook or an Kindle, but I bought my wife one. I haven't been tempted yet, but what I'll note is that it took my wife from being a moderately dedicated reader to a fanatically dedicated reader. She's now never without a Kindle book she's reading and reads all the time. Indeed, she likes it so much that she's gone from one of those folks who only read books she was definitely wanting to read, to reading about any book if it happens that there isn't one that she's immediately interested in. Novels, politics, whatever, she's reading it. There must be something to the medium. My daughter has somewhat followed her lead on the Kindle. My son remains, in spite of his love of electronics, mostly a traditional book reader, devouring a lot of history, but he will occasionally use it.

What my son has exploited, on my wife's Kindle, are the free books available from Amazon on it. They'll upload Kindle versions of low selling works for free. Just the other day, for example, they offered a free edition of the Memoir of a WWII Soviet fighter pilot. We probably wouldn't buy it, but for free, what the heck.

In spite of my presence here, and my fair knowledge of computers, I'm in the reluctant category on electronic devices. I'm not sure why, but it may be because I was an early adopter of them for work, and because I make heavy use of them for work, so I'm a bit leery on them elsewhere. When I acquired an Ipod, however, I discovered the Podcast, which of course is in a different category from what you note, but I have come to really like them. I don't make use of many audio books, in spite of traveling a lot, but I do of Podcast, with history podcast in general being a favorite. The Pritizer Military Library has an excellent Podcast series of interviews with authors. There is a very good Podcast series on British History (I just finished up through the Romans). Another pretty good one exists on the history of Russia, through Russian Rulers. A really good one is Twelve Byzantine Emperors, which I highly recommend, which gives a fascinating look at the Byzantine Empire.

I just upgraded, reluctantly, to the Iphone, making me more linked in that ever. At least it has the podcasts, of course.
Pat

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Jim Bewley
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Mon May 21, 2012 2:16 pm

I too was reluctant to take the step to a Kindle. My wife took the leap first and asked for one for Christmas. Knowing I had best learn how it worked, to save it flying across across the room, I checked it out. I bought myself one soon after and really like it.

Now, from the standpoint of them replacing the hard bound book, consider this. My sister spoke to an author, at a book signing and asked what the thought of Kindles. He said that the first books were painted on cave walls. Then they were copied by hand. Then came thee printing press, leading to paperbacks. He viewed the Kindle as simply the next step in how a writer's stories are viewed. To him, the method was not important, as long as people kept reading. :thumbup:

Pat: You can add the free Kindle App to your iPhone and read your books on the phone or on the Kindle. If you start on the Kindle, switch to the phone, then back to the Kindle, the book will always be at the exact place you stopped reading on either one. You can adjust the font size, so reading on the iPhone is easy. You can also keep up with SMH, all at the same time. :D

Jim
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Tue May 22, 2012 3:25 pm

While I still haven't gone for any one of these "electronic books", if you would like to be able to store thousands of your favorite photos, high fidelity recordings of music & feature length movies in a small pocketable VCR that can be used anywhere, with stereo earbuds, or played back on your tv, you should look into an ARCHOS device. You can even add a small Sony video camera on a head band or other sert-up! Rechargeable batteries, built-in hard disc drives, fantastic sharp color screens, some even touch sensitive. Well worth investigating, either about 4 1/2 " screens up to 7 '' ones. Grant
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Pat Holscher
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Tue May 22, 2012 6:12 pm

Jim Bewley wrote:Now, from the standpoint of them replacing the hard bound book, consider this. My sister spoke to an author, at a book signing and asked what the thought of Kindles. He said that the first books were painted on cave walls. Then they were copied by hand. Then came thee printing press, leading to paperbacks. He viewed the Kindle as simply the next step in how a writer's stories are viewed. To him, the method was not important, as long as people kept reading. :thumbup:
I've heard the same argument made from those with a certain archeological/scientific bent but with a different result. Some claim that humans are hardwired to remember vast amounts of data, including history, based solely on hearing it, and that reading is actually a human invention that is fairly recent and to which we are not as well adapted. Those people sort of cheerfully predict a basic end to books entirely, to be replaced by the full return of the spoken word for everything.

I doubt that will occur, but I do think that there may actually be something to that, in spite of being a constant reader myself, in a family of constant readers. You see Ipods and Iphones everywhere now, and I suspect there's a class of individual who hardly reads books at all now. Indeed, I heard one person interviewed in a literary form declare that they were in that group. Sad events, in my view, if true.
Pat

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Jim Bewley
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Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 am

Pat Holscher wrote:
Jim Bewley wrote:I doubt that will occur, but I do think that there may actually be something to that, in spite of being a constant reader myself, in a family of constant readers. You see Ipods and Iphones everywhere now, and I suspect there's a class of individual who hardly reads books at all now. Indeed, I heard one person interviewed in a literary form declare that they were in that group. Sad events, in my view, if true.
I love to read and with my changing eyesight, different size print in some books, that I have no control over, causes eye strain, so I like being able to adjust the font size on my Kindle. I loved to listen to the old radio programs as a kid, so I do use recorded books on trips. If the reader is good, the story is fun to listen to.
I would hate to see printed books go away, but I am starting to embrace the new technology. I'm old, so I won't see where it leads anyway. :D

Jim
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