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At 21:10 15/10/2003 -0400, Jim Ancona wrote:
> "Two publishers have approached us wanting to do a hardcopy version of
> http://philip.greenspun.com/internet-application-workbook/ (the textbook
> for 6.171 at MIT). Both have lost interest when we said that we wanted to
> keep the text online. To a traditional publisher the Web is a place for
> stuff that isn't quite good enough to sell."
Is there perhaps another reason for publishers not wanting to have their
printed books online, that they're not so willing to admit to? This being
that if people can check it online, and it's not very good, droves of them
might decide not to buy it. There's a big difference between being able to
use a book for a couple of hours/days before deciding to buy, and having to
decide standing up for ten minutes in a bookshop.
I think my main reason for buying a paper book when the book is online would
be that I can study a paper book in a more relaxed manner (which,
incidentally, is supposed to make the learning process more efficient). This
is because with a paper book I can read it anywhere
(garden/train/couch/desk/waiting room) and don't have worries about dropping
it, having it stolen, or batteries running out. I also think I can spend
more time on a paper book simply because I have more options for adjusting
my posture and staying comfortable.