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Re: North south divide

Postby brucie » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:08 pm

Just as a point of curiosity. I am still waiting, so have had a quick skim of the digital version and fully appreciate all the work that goes into producing it. The question is...

Is it just me, or does anyone else really struggle (and dislike) reading digital versions of printed materials? I can't for example read a book on a kindle or iPad. I have tried, but I really don't like the experience and it makes my eyes tired very quickly. The same goes for magazines etc.

Is it just me? Am I just a luddite? :D
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Re: North south divide

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:22 pm

No, It's not just you!

I've had a falling out with Routledge -- the publisher that owns the Focal Press brand that prints a good majority of technical books for our industry (and many others).

Earlier this year they used the Covid crisis as an excuse to stop sending out physical paper books for review. Instead they now only send links to e-book versions.

Now I appreciate that paper books are expensive to print, and can be expensive to post... and e-books obviously remove both of those overheads. However, I absolutely will not spend many additional hours in front of my computer trying to read complex technical books, just to write a half-page or page review.

It can often take a week dipping in and out of a technical tome, to get a good grip of the content, and it was a source of both relaxation and great enjoyment to sit in a comfy chair at the end of a day, reading a book on miking techniques or vintage instruments, or whatever... but sadly, tiz no more it seems!
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Re: North south divide

Postby desmond » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:25 pm

Personally, I *love* digital materials.

I have a long list of books on my iPad that I always carry with me, and can choose to read/re-read whenever I want to. I don't need a separate light in low light conditions, and my iPad is much smaller and lighter to read than most books. I can search within books (eg reference books), save my place, invert the screen or change it's brightness based on available lighting conditions... I can even get my book to read to me if I want to reset my eyes. The list goes on.

But mostly it's about having my stuff available, without having to manage shelf loads of books or carry them around or choose which thing I want to consume and bring with me ahead of time. I just don't really want rooms full of shelves of paper, or plastic (CD's/DVD's etc), I find that physical stuff more of a burden - I consume *way* more digitally than physically.

But this is largely a generational thing I think. Kids are coming up these days and a lot of their learning is digital - at some point in the future, shelves full of physical books might end up being anachronistic and historical curiosities, rather than a practicality.

I've never particularly enjoyed the physical experience of holding and reading books, the way it's imbalanced to hold unless you're in the middle, breaking the spine and damaging the book to read it, and so on...

Is it just me? Am I just a technogeek? ;)
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Re: North south divide

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:40 pm

Don't get me wrong; I'm no luddite and I use digital materials every day.

All of the user manuals for everything I use in the studio are stored in digital formats in a folder on my desktop, and they get referenced regularly. And I certainly appreciate the ability to perform searches and add bookmarks etc etc...

I also regularly read the SOS magazine in its PDF form on my MS Surface and enjoy the benefits of that format enormously...

But for me there's a big difference between reading a 160-page magazine where I'm often skipping articles and adverts, compared with a dense 400 page technical or academic tome where I need to absorb every page... And for that, I very much prefer paper in the hand and time away from a screen.

Perhaps it is an age thing, but it is what it is.
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Re: North south divide

Postby desmond » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:46 pm

Well, it's just a preference - there are pros and cons to both ways of consuming media, of course.

At the moment, we are I guess fortunate to live in a time where there's a choice.

I wonder what the physical/print book/magazine industry looks like in 20 years...

Will real books eventually go the way of vintage synthesizers - collected and fetishized and only affordable by collectors, with their prices way out of line with the value of their contents, while the "developed" world uses digital materials almost exclusively for the day to day..?
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Re: North south divide

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:49 pm

desmond wrote:At the moment, we are I guess fortunate to live in a time where there's a choice.

...Not if you're dealing with Routledge there isn't! :( ;)

Will real books eventually go the way of vintage synthesizers - collected and fetishized and only affordable by collectors, with their prices way out of line with the value of their contents, while the "developed" world uses digital materials almost exclusively for the day to day..?

Yep...
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Re: North south divide

Postby blinddrew » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:06 pm

It's interesting because there is a lot of evidence to suggest that most people read differently online verus off. People read quicker online but actually take in less information.
What's not clear yet is how much of this is directly related to the medium, how much is related to the behaviour that's connected to it (sitting at a desk with lots of options vs sitting down in a comfy chair to concentrate), or how much is down to the learned behaviour that says most of what you get in an internet search return is not relevant so we've trained ourselves to search, skim and (most importantly) discard a whole chunk of what we read on a screen.
It's altogether possible that the generations coming through who have learned to study online will have developed their own behavioural mechanisms for dealing with this and will never even we aware of the challenge that is poses to non-digital-natives.

Anyway, I was happily sat in bed last night with my paper copy... :D
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Re: North south divide

Postby zenguitar » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:23 pm

My copy has just popped through the letter box.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: North south divide

Postby Folderol » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:41 pm

So far I've yet to see a digital equivalent of sticking fingers between pages, and quickly flicking back and forth between two or three of them - something I've done a lot of with technical references. sometimes viewing part of both at the same time.
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Re: North south divide

Postby Forum Admin » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:49 pm

zenguitar wrote:My copy has just popped through the letter box.

Andy :beamup:

Thanks for letting us know. They were collected by Royal Mail on 16th November from our UK printer, and typically would be in subscribers' hands within 2/3 days, to tie in with the magazine UK on-sale date of 19th November.

Anyone whose December subscriber copy has not yet arrived, please be patient; it should be arriving this week.
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Re: North south divide

Postby Ian Shaw » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:03 pm

brucie wrote:Just as a point of curiosity. I am still waiting, so have had a quick skim of the digital version and fully appreciate all the work that goes into producing it. The question is...

Is it just me, or does anyone else really struggle (and dislike) reading digital versions of printed materials? I can't for example read a book on a kindle or iPad. I have tried, but I really don't like the experience and it makes my eyes tired very quickly. The same goes for magazines etc.

Is it just me? Am I just a luddite? :D

No, not just you. I can't seem to take in information or concentrate properly when reading on screen. Probably a syndrome of some kind. Product manuals on screen are a nightmare. Just can't take it in
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Re: North south divide

Postby brucie » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:56 pm

Phew. Glad I am not alone! As I mentioned I really do see many of the advantages, especially the iPodification of books and reading material, having everything on tap. But I really do not like the experience and also as mentioned, the ability to jump around a few pages. Keep a finger in a page (or two!) to reread a section. Long live paper pages! :)
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Re: North south divide

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:12 pm

zenguitar wrote:My copy has just popped through the letter box.

Andy :beamup:

So did mine at lunchtime today - greatly reassuring, as I was beginning to wonder if the printers were having problems.


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Re: North south divide

Postby MOF » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:26 pm

So far I've yet to see a digital equivalent of sticking fingers between pages, and quickly flicking back and forth between two or three of them - something I've done a lot of with technical references. sometimes viewing part of both at the same time.

I agree. My copy of SOS arrived today 25-11-20, I live in Nottingham.
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Re: North south divide

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:41 pm

Folderol wrote:So far I've yet to see a digital equivalent of sticking fingers between pages, and quickly flicking back and forth between two or three of them - something I've done a lot of with technical references. sometimes viewing part of both at the same time.

That's what I use Tabs and Tiling for ;)


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