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Okay, I broke down and bought a Kindle.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Valka D'Ur, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    Well it's not very sci-fi in terms of the post-nuclear landscape. Most of the world is still there, and it's only the 80s or 90s or something, so it's got the same level of technology as the late 80s.

    It's much more an alt-history and mystery novel than it is sci-fi.
     
  2. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Well, there are the older novels - On the Beach, Alas, Babylon, The Chrysalids (that one gave me nightmares), a lot of short stories, and others that I'd have to take a look at my book collection to give you proper titles/authors (there's one by Ben Bova, in which a huge solar flare wipes out the surface of Earth that was facing the Sun; the people in the underground nuclear sites decide "the enemy" has nuked them, and lets the missiles loose on the other half of the world - really depressing stuff). My books are currently packed away in boxes, since I haven't yet had the time to get everything set up.
     
  3. CKS

    CKS Deity

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    A lot of longer fanfic is available in epub or mobi format, at least in the fandoms I read. But a nice thing about the Kindle is that it can read plain text, so I just copy most of my fanfic directly to it, without reformatting (Calibre is a nice program for converting formats). If it is HTML, I just save it as text and ignore the (usually minimal) formatting marks. The only problem I've run into is manual line breaks in stories originally posted 15-20 years ago, which make for awkward reading unless I use the smallest font (or the third largest font); sometimes I remove line breaks before I save a story, but usually not. The smallest font works okay for me, and the third largest is good for reading by night light while the kids are falling asleep.

    The Baen free library is great, but also check out the Baen CDs, (available at http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/ ) as these are mostly different titles. The Fifth Imperium also has the Project Gutenberg science fiction collection available. This is mostly old to very old stuff, but there are exceptions, and it is easy to browse through.
     
  4. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Which fandoms do you read? I've been hunting Star Trek stuff from the '70s through '90s... some of the stories people are asking $50 for on eBay is actually available for free if you know where to look, and don't find the illustrations essential.

    I'll check it out, thanks! :)
     
  5. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    Kindles are decent and should be fine, though I wouldn't recommend to someone else to buy one or an equivalent competing product if they haven't already. The convience of actually reading on an e-reader is the only thing that would be worth it, which I get is a big plus for a lot of people. Otherwise, I've tended to find that the books one can get are ultimately not too much different than what is already out there. Old, public domain works and the like, there's no difference with a particular commerical ebook and any associated service than what can already be found on anyd Internet connecte computer, and new releases are practically the same as with physical copies either purchased or at public libraries. Price reduction in actually purchasing works isn't as much as it clearly should be without the costs of publishing a printed book so you're not gaining that much as a customer there.

    The occasional things I'd really be looking for, say a book that's something 50 years out of print (which means in other words, still in copyright in the US) where tracking down a physical copy would be difficult; finding that for free on some ebook library is still not likely to happen. Ideally that's what I'd want any kindle-like product service to look like, at this point paying for the physical device instead of reading a paper book or reading on a regular computer monitor would not be worth it for me, as you don't really get a huge library of works that may be unique or hard to find that you can then access for free.

    It is nice if your local public libraries offer ebook checkouts, and I do still find it hilarious that public libraries are often forced to have limited copies of ebooks that they have to check out like physical books. By that I mean not just not having a new release in ebook form, nor the typical checkout period being only for 3 weeks or something, that's all expected operation of a library. It's just silly when other persons have checked out the "maximum number" of copies they can't lend out any more and have to have a waiting list, that's a relic I expect will have to go away eventually but won't change much of the above.
     
  6. CKS

    CKS Deity

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    I'm reading a lot of Lois and Clark stuff right now, having recently rediscovered it (so there is a large backlog of stuff by decent writers). Usually, though, I tend toward Xena, Stargate, and Star Trek (TNG/DS9/Voyager), plus original works written by the authors I like.

    @Earthling: A kindle is cheap and easy to carry around. I can read it without my family thinking I'm stuck on the computer, and I can switch stories whenever I like. At this stage in my life, it is worth it.
     
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The libraries here have ebook downloads now. Yours might too. :dunno:
     
  8. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    The problem is that the DRM is so much of a hassle that it's easier to spend the 60 seconds it takes to acquire any book from an illicit source.
     
  9. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I don't have a library membership, and refuse to get one. I support them twice a year at the book sales, go in to read and relax a bit, have lunch at the kiosk, etc. but I refuse to pay for what our property taxes ought to be covering.
     
  10. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Yeah, having to pay an extra membership to a public library would be annoying.....
     
  11. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    A few years ago I bought the Sony reader and discovered I prefer physical books. I like marginalia and I scribble notes and I keep favorite books forever.

    So when I bought my Kindle, it was to use as an inexpensive minitablet. I take it to work for wireless news, music and Internet (including civfanatics forums). I don't have any books on it at all.
     
  12. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    We're not talking about the Kindles that are tablets. We're talking about the e-ink ones.
     
  13. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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  14. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Thank you, but I'm not into modern mysteries like those. I also don't shop amazon.com - I'm in Canada.
     
  15. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    "Wool" is a great series.

    "The Journeyer" is a great story as is Jenning's "Aztec".

    I can also recommend the "Forever war" and the first three of the "foreigner" series.
     
  16. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I read Aztec many years ago, and one of the sequels. I've got another in the series I haven't read yet.
     
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I thought I'd update this a bit, since it's over two months later. So far I have not actually spent any money on downloading books or stories. I've found some free stuff I'm enjoying, though - lots of classics, historicals, a sample chapter from a novel a friend wrote (Noah J.D. Chinn, whose name some of you might recognize if you ever followed the Fuzzy Knights webcomic; Bleeding Heart Yard is his first published novel), and a free download of one of my favorite mystery novels by Mary Monica Pulver - Original Sin.
     
  18. really

    really Deity

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    I have a kindle - I haven't had the time to read anything much recently.

    It went missing for quite a while and I thought I might have left it on a bus - it turns out it had fallen under my bed and I only found it while cleaning.

    I bought one for my soon to be wife - it is linked to my amazon account and she uses it a lot more than I do so now I get lots of rubbish novels being suggested as something I might be interested in.

    I have plenty of physical books that I bought but never read to get through before I buy anything new.
     
  19. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Fortunately you're not marrying her for her taste in literature then. :)
     
  20. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Valka, I saw you liked post-apocalyptic novels and I wondered if you have every read A Canticle for Leibowtiz? It is far and away my favorite post-apocalyptic novel.
     

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