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Books, books, books...lolz, don't need 'em...

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Posts

  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Drez wrote:
    Munacra wrote:
    Hoz wrote:
    It doesn't help that most books are terrible. Being a reader is like navigating through a minefield, the wrong step wastes you a good chunk of time and maybe some sanity.

    Same could be said of pretty much everything. Mediocrity is not just reserved for literature.

    Yep. The same goes for poetry, games, music...etc.
    It's Sturgeon's Law. 90% of everything is crud.

    Including these statistics, I suspect.

    sig.gif
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    This would seem more reliable
    According to the 1999 National Household Education Survey, the percentage of the population aged 25 and over that read a newspaper at least once a week, read one or more magazines regularly, and read a book in the past 6 months was:

    50.2% of the population aged over 25,
    53.7% of the employed population,
    48.1% of the unemployed, looking for work, and
    42.4% of the population not in the labor force;
    30.5% of people with a household income of less than $15,000,
    43.9% with a household income of $15,001 - $30,000,
    49.9% with a household income of $30,001 - $50,000,
    53.6% with a household income of $50,001 - $75,000, and
    65.8% with a household income over $75,000;
    53.1% of the White population,
    46.9% of the Black population,
    28.5% of the Hispanic population, and
    50.2% of the population of other race/ethnicities.

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • Marblehead JohnsonMarblehead Johnson Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I bought 116 books at the local Library Sale. Total expenditure: $22. Some of the books are dry, or textbookish (Human Mosaic is really interesting, though, and my wife has read "The Science Class You Wish You Had" twice...) I've gone through about 10 or 12 of them so far (stuck on The Rum Diary, I never get time to finish it!).

    It's true, a lot of people take the Bill Hicks Waffle-House approach to reading:

    I was in Fyffe, Alabama last year. After the show, I went to a Waffle
    House. I'm not proud of it, I was hungry. And I'm eating, I'm alone and
    I'm reading a book, right? Waiter walks over to me:

    "Hey, what you readin' for?"

    Is that like the weirdest fucking question you've ever heard? Not what
    am I reading, but what am I reading … for?

    "Well, God damn it, you stumped me. Why do I read? Hmm … I guess
    I read for a lot of reasons, and the main one is … so I don't end up being
    a fucking waffle waiter."

    But then, this trucker in the next booth gets up, stands over me and goes:

    "Well, looks like we got ourselves a reader."

    I'm like, What the fuck's going on here? It's not like I walked into a
    Klan rally in a Boy George outfit, God damn it. It's a book!

    Then again, walk into a Chapters, and it's hardly high-class reading in a lot of sections. They all have Starbucks', and Rachel Ray practically has her own damn section.... yick.

    Also, from above:
    65.8% with a household income over $75,000;

    Explains the prices at Chapters, too...

    Magus` wrote: »
    It's human nature to derive meaning from that something that actually lacks it in order to suit your goals.

    Dismayed By Humanity Since 1992.
  • eric.eric. __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2007
    Explains the prices at Chapters, too...

    You got that right. The prices there are just awful.

  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited February 2007
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Hoz wrote:
    It can but it's easier to predict quality with other mediums. And a wrong choice doesn't have nearly as bad of an impact.
    Books, generally, have a pretty low cost of entry (speaking as someone who buys books on amazon usually after the paperback is available) compared to things like DVDs and games. And there is nothing that makes you read the whole novel "just to see if it gets better." If the book hasn't grabbed my interest in the first 50-100 pages I usually put it down and do something else.
    I could never possibly just lay a book down once I've started it. That's why I typically do want to have an idea that it's actually going to be good - so I usually read classics or authors that I know.

  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    redx wrote:
    amazon and shit. Really, aside from gettin that day, there isn't much reason to go to dedicaded brick and mortar bookstore. Starbucks and WiFi, I guess.
    Browsing.

    Iif I'm looking for a specific book, or something like a textbook, then I'll go to Amazon or the like.

    If I'm just looking for recreational reading without any pre-conceived idea of what I want (most of the time), I much prefer going to a store and picking up whatever catches my eye, maybe reading a page or two at the beginning to see if it's likely to be to my taste.

    If I'm looking for a reference, how-to, or self-help book, I definitely want to look it over and page through it, preferably compare it to other books on the same topic to see which one is going to be the most useful, before I spend my money on it.

    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Here's a similar study I found for the UK

    Some interesting highlights:
    In a survey of 2,000 adults, a third had not bought a new book in the previous 12 months. 34% said they did not read books. (Expanding the Market, Book Marketing Ltd, 2004)
    ...
    A survey of 4,000 people for the BBC RaW literacy campaign 2006, found that reading was an important activity for 79%, more popular than sex (69%), TV (67%) or computer games (15%). However, although 82% of the population say they enjoy their reading, a significant proportion, say they do not (17%).
    ...
    From the age of six girls read more books than boys and this trend continues through their lives. Girls are three times more likely than boys to borrow books from a public library. (Reading the Situation, Book Reading, Buying and Borrowing in Britain, 2000)

    So it seems that many statistics seem somewhat contradictory (see item 1, 34% don't read, but in item 2, 79% say they do read). So it really seems to depend on the who they ask and how they phrase the question.
    Senjutsu wrote:
    28.5% of the Hispanic population
    Wow, that is just shocking to me. I wonder what the factors that contribute to this are. I assume education is a reason, but still, to be almost half of the rate of whites and about 33% less than blacks is shocking to me. I mean, that number is less than those with a household income of less than $15,000 (which was 30.5%).

    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry Pratchett

    George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. ~ Neil Gaiman
  • gimmickgimmick Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Drez wrote:
    In today's digiosphere, which permeates everything and everywhere, it is hard for someone to choose to read over listening to their iPods, playing their Nintendo DSes, watching movies on their HDTVs, and so forth. If anything, I'd say technological advancement is basically an elaborate war waged against book publishers.

    I used to read a lot. And then I stopped. Now, I have to actively force myself to read - which I do - but those stats are not surprising considering all the fancy, shiny diversions people have nowadays.
    I think you're hitting the nail on the head here. I love reading and all, but a lot of the time I have to force myself to pick up a book; even one I love.

    I mean, right now, I feel like I should be working my way through the Brothers Karamazov (which I'm loving), but until I force myself to actually pick up the book and read a few pages, it feels like a chore (after that I can't put the book down, but okay). I still get through books at a reasonable rate (and it doesn't help that I'm a slow reader), but this, I dunno, apathy seems to have drastically cut down how much I read.

    I blame the internet.

    look at this retarded sig. just look at it!!!
  • Marblehead JohnsonMarblehead Johnson Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Senjutsu wrote:
    28.5% of the Hispanic population
    Wow, that is just shocking to me. I wonder what the factors that contribute to this are. I assume education is a reason, but still, to be almost half of the rate of whites and about 33% less than blacks is shocking to me. I mean, that number is less than those with a household income of less than $15,000 (which was 30.5%).

    I think they're too busy working 4 jobs a day.... or standing on the corner, drinking cervcas, and looking tough. Just going with the evidence American TV presents to me.

    Magus` wrote: »
    It's human nature to derive meaning from that something that actually lacks it in order to suit your goals.

    Dismayed By Humanity Since 1992.
  • elevatureelevature Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    eric. wrote:
    Explains the prices at Chapters, too...

    You got that right. The prices there are just awful.

    They are, but Chapters doesn't set the prices. The publishers do. Indigo has no control over the pricing. Even the 30% off bestsellers thing is a deal with the publishers, sell the books cheaper but give them prominent shelf space, put them on endcaps, all things which sell lots of copies to make up for the markdown.

    This is also why the Canadian prices are so much higher than the US prices, despite the strength of the Canadian dollar. Newer titles are priced to reflect the change, but it takes a long time for a publisher to go through its entire backlist and reprice everything. It's happening - you'll see a lot of books with different sticker prices than what's on the book itself - but it's a very slow process.

    All that said, I work at Chapters, and even with my 30% discount it's often cheaper for me to go to a remainder/overstock or used bookstore and shop there. I do most of my buying at work but that's just because I'm there all the time. But we hate the prices as much as you do.

  • tulkastulkas Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I can't stop reading.

    Reading has become an expensive hobby for me (I've spent 120 dollars or so on books alone in 2007). If I'm ever discouraged by a crappy novel, I just pick up Walden and read the first 20 pages. That's enough to make me see the beauty of literature again. Perhaps literature is one of the most difficult mediums to get enjoyment out of, Hoz . . .

    But it is certainly the most satisfying medium when you find a book you enjoy.

    tulkas
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    What I've been wondering is why no one makes a ebook reader product, say the size of your average paperback, with an illuminated display, and text sizing options. There are so many benefits it's not even funny that it's not being done. Bookmarking. Saving paper, and saving space for people that can't lug their books around with them everywhere (college students and businessmen, anyone that travels)
    A book in that form would last far longer than a book that could have its binding come undone, or get wet inside a backpack or whatever.

    the only realy reason I can think of is that people love having huge bookcases, are attached to books as physical objects, and publishers not wanting to deal with cutting retail prices or having their industry changed around in any way.

    edit- ok such things do exist, but from what I've seen they're all too big, and come with other, unnecessary features. There should be something cheap, small, compact, and specialied to only display text.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    tulkas wrote:
    But it is certainly the most satisfying medium when you find a book you enjoy.

    WINNAH.
    Interesting, while some of the new stats posted seem significantly better than the op, still, defining reading by "AT LEAST ONE BOOK IN 6 MONTHS" is a bit stretchy(as in, of all those %, how many would have been eliminated if it was 2(OMG SHOCK AND HORROR TWO!!!) books in the last 6 months?) and if you add the "lie" + "can I pass that manual/textbook as a book? Sure I can.." factor, the picture would be similar.
    Still, it's interesting to see the income profiles.
    Truth or bigger egos & need to feel better with ones self?
    I really didn't expect the correlation to be so strong....
    What I've been wondering is why no one makes a ebook reader product, say the size of your average paperback, with an illuminated display, and text sizing options. There are so many benefits it's not even funny that it's not being done.

    Because THE LAST thing publishers want is to get their products digitalized. RIAA bitching about DRM and giving online stores all kinds of headache is nothing compared to what book publishers would do to avoid seeing their products widely available in an easy to share format.

  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Sam wrote:
    What I've been wondering is why no one makes a ebook reader product, say the size of your average paperback, with an illuminated display, and text sizing options. There are so many benefits it's not even funny that it's not being done. Bookmarking. Saving paper, and saving space for people that can't lug their books around with them everywhere (college students and businessmen, anyone that travels)
    A book in that form would last far longer than a book that could have its binding come undone, or get wet inside a backpack or whatever.

    the only realy reason I can think of is that people love having huge bookcases, are attached to books as physical objects, and publishers not wanting to deal with cutting retail prices or having their industry changed around in any way.

    edit- ok such things do exist, but from what I've seen they're all too big, and come with other, unnecessary features. There should be something cheap, small, compact, and specialied to only display text.
    There've been tons of eBook readers tried, they all failed. Expense is only part of it. Bulk and battery power are up there, as is the cost of eBooks (like with music downloads, people appear resistant to pay anywhere near as much for the virtual product as they would for the real product), incompatibility (every reader has had it's own stupid file format), etc, etc.

    But in the end, the big technical hurdle is display resolution. Your average book page is around 1200 dpi. Your average cheap mobile screen 72 dpi. Extended reading will rape your eyes. That's why Baen has been so successful in post entire books online for free. People start reading, get hooked, and get tired of the shittiness and eye-strain of reading from a screen vs paper.

    Edit: and 1200 is for shitty cheap paper-backs, to boot. The really high quality print you see in high-end media can be upwards of 2000 dpi. There's simply nothing that can do that while being portable and power-efficient, let alone cheap.

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Senjutsu wrote:
    Sam wrote:
    What I've been wondering is why no one makes a ebook reader product, say the size of your average paperback, with an illuminated display, and text sizing options. There are so many benefits it's not even funny that it's not being done. Bookmarking. Saving paper, and saving space for people that can't lug their books around with them everywhere (college students and businessmen, anyone that travels)
    A book in that form would last far longer than a book that could have its binding come undone, or get wet inside a backpack or whatever.

    the only realy reason I can think of is that people love having huge bookcases, are attached to books as physical objects, and publishers not wanting to deal with cutting retail prices or having their industry changed around in any way.

    edit- ok such things do exist, but from what I've seen they're all too big, and come with other, unnecessary features. There should be something cheap, small, compact, and specialied to only display text.
    There've been tons of eBook readers tried, they all failed. Expense is only part of it. Bulk and battery power are up there, as is the cost of eBooks (like with music downloads, people appear resistant to pay anywhere near as much for the virtual product as they would for the real product), incompatibility (every reader has had it's own stupid file format), etc, etc.

    But in the end, the big technical hurdle is display resolution. Your average book page is around 1200 dpi. Your average cheap mobile screen 72 dpi. Extended reading will rape your eyes. That's why Baen has been so successful in post entire books online for free. People start reading, get hooked, and get tired of the shittiness and eye-strain of reading from a screen vs paper.

    Edit: and 1200 is for shitty cheap paper-backs, to boot. The really high quality print you see in high-end media can be upwards of 2000 dpi. There's simply nothing that can do that while being portable and power-efficient, let alone cheap.

    This is true.

    We need e-paper.

  • CeloisCelois Registered User
    edited February 2007
    The stats seem almost made up and overly skewed. I think the major reason why a lot of people tend to dislike books and never get into reading them for pleasure is that people are forced to read books that they absolutely despise or not entirely ready for throughout K-12. I see Shakespeare being pushed on people at young age when they aren't ready to totally comprehend and enjoy it at that time. Nothing is worse than being forced to read shitty books in depth and write something on them. This probably leaves a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths after they graduate and never actually take the time to seek out great books at the library.

    I used to read a lot for pleasure, sometimes on my old PDA, other times with a nice hardcover book. I never actually went to a bookstore though as usually Costco, Library, or Amazon provides. Unfortunately, since I've started college I haven't had a lot of time to read unnecessary books for fun; let alone spend time to try to find good books among a lot of the shit out there. It also doesn't help that most popular books are gigantic poorly written shit-heaps like "Da Vinci Code."

  • Chake99Chake99 Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    On the crappiness of books-- I've been at a chapters where their astrology section was bigger than the science section :(.

    Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta.
  • TiemlerTiemler Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Aroduc wrote:
    I would LOVE to see the methodologies they used to reach those stats.

    Simple. Pick some trailer park in the midwest to conduct your survey.

    In other news, Bush's approval rating is up to 85%. And the earth is 5,000 years old.

  • eric.eric. __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2007
    elevature wrote:
    eric. wrote:
    Explains the prices at Chapters, too...

    You got that right. The prices there are just awful.

    They are, but Chapters doesn't set the prices. The publishers do. Indigo has no control over the pricing. Even the 30% off bestsellers thing is a deal with the publishers, sell the books cheaper but give them prominent shelf space, put them on endcaps, all things which sell lots of copies to make up for the markdown.

    This is also why the Canadian prices are so much higher than the US prices, despite the strength of the Canadian dollar. Newer titles are priced to reflect the change, but it takes a long time for a publisher to go through its entire backlist and reprice everything. It's happening - you'll see a lot of books with different sticker prices than what's on the book itself - but it's a very slow process.

    All that said, I work at Chapters, and even with my 30% discount it's often cheaper for me to go to a remainder/overstock or used bookstore and shop there. I do most of my buying at work but that's just because I'm there all the time. But we hate the prices as much as you do.


    Good info! I wasn't aware of that.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    zeeny wrote:
    What I've been wondering is why no one makes a ebook reader product, say the size of your average paperback, with an illuminated display, and text sizing options. There are so many benefits it's not even funny that it's not being done.

    Because THE LAST thing publishers want is to get their products digitalized. RIAA bitching about DRM and giving online stores all kinds of headache is nothing compared to what book publishers would do to avoid seeing their products widely available in an easy to share format.

    You're right. It's NOTHING compared to what book publishers would do. They would stomp their feet and then go curl into a corner and cry, most likely, because I don't think the book publishing industry has as much economic clout as the RIAA or MPAA or any other AA.

    steam_sig.png
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Tiemler wrote:
    Aroduc wrote:
    I would LOVE to see the methodologies they used to reach those stats.

    Simple. Pick some trailer park in the midwest to conduct your survey.

    In other news, Bush's approval rating is up to 85%. And the earth is 5,000 years old.

    And the most ironic part is you read all this in a book, didn't you?

    steam_sig.png
  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Drez wrote:
    zeeny wrote:
    What I've been wondering is why no one makes a ebook reader product, say the size of your average paperback, with an illuminated display, and text sizing options. There are so many benefits it's not even funny that it's not being done.

    Because THE LAST thing publishers want is to get their products digitalized. RIAA bitching about DRM and giving online stores all kinds of headache is nothing compared to what book publishers would do to avoid seeing their products widely available in an easy to share format.

    You're right. It's NOTHING compared to what book publishers would do. They would stomp their feet and then go curl into a corner and cry, most likely, because I don't think the book publishing industry has as much economic clout as the RIAA or MPAA or any other AA.
    In the sense that the book companies themselves don't make as much money, you're probably correct.

    However, most of the big publishers these days are owned by the same conglomerates that own the members of the RIAA and MPAA. So if they wanted to, they could bring just as much of their resources to bear on book piracy.

    sig.gif
  • PlutoniumPlutonium Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Do they consider Libraries to be Bookstores?

    Because, you know, it is possible to read a book without buying it.

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