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Dave Pawson wrote:
> I've heard this discussed on one of the docbook lists.
> The conclusion was that readers place different value on
> a print book and the same content on the web.
> Just human nature?
> I guess that allows for two versions to meet two different needs.
> Or perhaps two different groups of people.
> I'm curious what this group of 'readers' think of this evaluation.
For me, there are more factors than that. For starters, I like books
and think that a good book has some kind of inherent worth - or at least
it should be so regarded. I like holding and leafing through them, and
I like to be able to return to particular places. I like having less
eyestrain than reading on line, and I get esthetic pleasure out of
feeling good paper and reading fine printing. I appreciate a good cover
and a high quality binding. Unfortunately even good publishers seem too
often to be cheapening up their paper.
On the other hand, paper books are way too expensive. Maybe not in
terms of production costs for the publisher, but for the user. And it
is convenient to be able to start looking through a book at once, as you
can on line.
For me, the best of both worlds would be that I could test drive books
on line, buy paper copies of the best ones for a reasonable price, be
able to mark up and bookmark books on line somewhat like I can do with
paper ones, and have the online quality good enough to at least avoid
eyestrain. I would buy some paper books in this world, but fewer than I
do now. Or maybe not - if I could sample more of them, maybe I would
end up getting more, not less. Hard to say.
At least I would be able to avoid some of the real bombs I have gotten -
the ones that looked good enough in the first five minutes but turned
out to be lousy. Maybe a free test drive, and if you want to keep
coming back, a modest charge. I don't know - it seems to be a tough
business to be in.