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What Kind of Books?

What subjects to you buy to read?

Ebooks? Printed? Or Both?

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  •  Are you asking what subjects we enjoy reading or in what form we like our books? If the latter, it’s print books for me. I very much dislike reading text on a screen.
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  • oncewasoncewas Librarian
    I generally only buy ebooks but will buy print books when the price is right. I don't read fiction in print book format thought. If I buy a print book it will be a non fiction topic.
  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    I love old paperbacks, but I also have some favorite authors who only release ebook.
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Are you asking what subjects we enjoy reading or in what form we like our books? If the latter, it’s print books for me. I very much dislike reading text on a screen.

    I asked both questions Ron. What subjects, and then in what media :)

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I will rephrase it then. (And correct a typo :(  )

    What subjects do you buy to read?

    (And as) Ebooks? Printed? Or Both?

  • Print is greatly preferred. I will read an ebook, but it feels awkward and contrived, like writing left-handed. Ink on paper is satisfying not merely to the eye and the hand but to the mind and the soul as well.

    I read murder mysteries / crime dramas when I can find a good one. I will read general adventure if it's written well. Legal thrillers are good, within reason. Histories are good -- my last trip to Powell's gave me Mary Beard's SPQR, which I loved and will read again.

    I have a collection of Zane Grey Westerns, and have read many of them, primarily because they were my father's. Also within arm's reach are two books by A.J. Jacobs and one by Bill Bryson. Bryson's book, A Short History of Nearly Everything is self explanatory, but Jacobs's books are not. The Know-It-All is the story of his self-challenge to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, cover to indices. The Year of Living Biblically is the story of his self-challenge to live exactly as dictated by the Bible (Jacobs is a non-practicing Jew).

    McAleer's biography of Rex Stout is on my shelf, along with a technothriller, a couple of political books, Marina Lewycka's A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (Which, oddly, is not in Ukrainian and is not a Short History of Tractors), and Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. Eclectic is my reading, and electric are the lamps by which I read.

    I will not abide, however, a romance novel, not even one disguised as a thriller. I will not have such a book in my house.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I will read general adventure if it's written well.

    How do you know until you have read them? Via a review? Or do you already know you enjoy some writer's works because you have read others?

    I will not abide, however, a romance novel, not even one disguised as a thriller. I will not have such a book in my house.

    I fully agree with that, but what do the females in your house think?

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 18
    When you get as old as me, you'll love eBooks, especially if you have a Kindle. (Amazon provides a free one.) You can enlarge the print----- so much easier to read! I like biographies, historical novels and true crime books.(I'm studying the psychology of crime.) Mind you one of my favorite books is "To Kill a Mocking Bird.
    PS. I also read poetry books.

  • I will read general adventure if it's written well.

    How do you know until you have read them? Via a review? Or do you already know you enjoy some writer's works because you have read others?

    I will not abide, however, a romance novel, not even one disguised as a thriller. I will not have such a book in my house.

    I fully agree with that, but what do the females in your house think?

    I judge a book as well-written after I've read it, but I'll judge it as reprehensible hogwash on the spot if it violates any of several rules, such as violating the laws of nature (there's no such thing as an EMP grenade; You can't make a critical mass that small). I can often tell in the first few pages if a book is worth buying, though I'll admit that I've had a couple of false positives.

    There are currently no females in my house, and for me to consider taking one in would hinge in part on what she reads. For me to live with a romance-reader... she'd have to be a mighty good cook.

    On the subject proper: I just bought three books on world religion, for research purposes, and I also bought the latest Lee Childs / Jack Reacher book (adventure, violence, gratuitous machismo). Before that I bought three books that were available through Lulu.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    When you youngsters get as old as me, you'll love eBooks,

    I dislike how some publishers charge the same for an ebook as they do for a printed one. I can buy a few printed books from a used bookshop for the price of many ebooks! Anyway, I like the tactileness of a real book. 

    especially if you have a Kindle. (Amazon provides a free one.)

    They do?!! My son bought me my Fire. I very soon asked him to send it back for a refund because I did not like the way it had to be set up to an Amazon Account. I now have an Android tablet instead. (So I can be spied on by everyone, not just Amazon :) )

    You can enlarge the print----- so much easier to read!

    And see just one section at a time? I prefer the old-school, see the whole page method, and just wear my reading classes.

     I like biographies, historical novels and true crime books. Mind you one of my favorite books is "To Kill a Mocking Bird."

    So not SF or F then?  :(

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I judge a book as well-written after I've read it,

    That is the best way. But what caused you to buy them? I usually trust certain writers, but at times one of my sons will buy books by newbies, and if he likes it I will give it a read. (BTW, I only bother with SF & F fiction.)

    but I'll judge it as reprehensible hogwash on the spot if it violates any of several rules,

    It depends what they are surely? Because some get broken all the time. Just because you don't know they do does not mean it's nonsense.

     such as violating the laws of nature (there's no such thing as an EMP grenade; You can't make a critical mass that small).

    There is, because they don't need to be atomic. Tech does evolve. What 'they' don't have now, 'they' may have next year. (Or now, but keep it secret as they do with aircraft research.) Many things are protected against them anyway nowadays.

     I can often tell in the first few pages if a book is worth buying, though I'll admit that I've had a couple of false positives.

    Some books start of boring, but once one gets in to them, they cannot be put down.

    There are currently no females in my house, and for me to consider taking one in would hinge in part on what she reads. For me to live with a romance-reader... she'd have to be a mighty good cook.

    That's unbelievably sexist and controlling. But it would be a worry if one's partner read a lot of  escapism romance novels. Make one wonder why so many are sold.

    On the subject proper: I just bought three books on world religion, for research purposes,

    Would the internet not serve that purpose?

     and I also bought the latest Lee Childs / Jack Reacher book (adventure, violence, gratuitous machismo). Before that I bought three books that were available through Lulu.

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 17
    I had to google "f fiction." Interesting article----https://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/05/health/kids-teens-fanfiction-partner/index.html     I did watch Star Trek on TV but I'm afraid I'm not a fan of science fiction books.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Fanfiction is not liked or allowed by many copyright owners. Often publishers and/or copyright owners of films will ask well-known writers to write novels based on their franchises.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Trek_novels

    The stupidest groan I heard someone say about SF and F is that it's not real. What fiction is?!


  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 18
    Ah fantasy books are very interesting as is fantasy art.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Some is astonishing.

    I have around 400 Marvel comics from the 1980s (when I bought them in fact) often just because of the art.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=marvel+comic+art&FORM=HDRSC2

    And of course I just love these from Discworld >>   https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=discworld art&qs=n&form=QBIR&sp=-1&pq=discworld art&sc=8-13&sk=&cvid=DE2909C59EFA4EB498E4C66FE28667A0

    And this is one of my own Discworld ones on some site 

    The stories are equally as good. https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/

    some more are being made in TV series.

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 17
    "There are currently no females in my house, and for me to consider taking one in would hinge in part on what she reads. For me to live with a romance-reader... she'd have to be a mighty good cook."
    Could the above be "tongue in cheek?" Mind you Skoob you say " such as violating the laws of nature." Would creating a hybrid fall into that category? 
  • Larika said:
    "There are currently no females in my house, and for me to consider taking one in would hinge in part on what she reads. For me to live with a romance-reader... she'd have to be a mighty good cook."
    Could the above be "tongue in cheek?" Mind you Skoob you say " such as violating the laws of nature." Would creating a hybrid fall into that category? 

    Me, tongue in cheek? Surely you jest! Actually, I'm far more concerned that the females in my life have no serious addictions or diagnosable psychoses. I could tell you some stories...

    I do appreciate smart women, and a smart speed-reading woman bibliophile would certainly catch my eye.  

  • Violating the laws of nature would mean a story that is not science fiction causing things to happen -- well, the EMP example is a good one. You can burn out an electronic device at close range -- millimeters -- by inducing current. But to knock out all the devices in a building, or even within a room, or even within a few feet of you, would require a nuclear explosion.

    And if you set off a nuclear explosion in a small room, you are not going to be concerned about the radio not working.

    Hybrid Android Cyborg Robot-people Cybermen? Put 'em in a sci-fi story and I'm good with it.

  • "On the subject proper: I just bought three books on world religion, for research purposes,"

    "Would the internet not serve that purpose?"

    Since I am looking for case studies with certain very specific characteristics, no, the internet per se will not serve. The internet is good for general over-views, or for specific topics that are already well defined and indexed.

    But when one begins to tightly qualify the sort of thing one seeks, it becomes harder to force the search engine to be sufficiently specific.

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    I take your point Skoob about the EMP. My book about a hybrid is a fantasy novel so I'm not violating the "laws of nature." However I have just taken out an historical novel from the library and the opening chapter is all "tell." Unfortunately although I've revised my hybrid tale, I've focused on the the cover and the punctuation (I relied too much on my programme Dragon) and not enough on content. Mine too has too much "telling," particularly the opening chapter. I should rewrite the whole book but I wanted to get my message out there. I have revised my book The Pig Child and given it a new cover.The novel is about the fulfillment of a man's dream to create a hybrid. He succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, but his selfish act causes problems for Patsy, the half human, half pig child. However eventually Humanity realizes all creatures in our world are related.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Violating the laws of nature would mean a story that is not science fiction causing things to happen

    The laws of nature have been violated many times in the past.

     -- well, the EMP example is a good one. You can burn out an electronic device at close range -- millimeters -- by inducing current. But to knock out all the devices in a building, or even within a room, or even within a few feet of you, would require a nuclear explosion.

    Apparently not. In the same manner that a nuke does not have to be as big as a car (400 backpack ones were made in the 1950s). It's just a matter of the right technology being developed, and $billions are spent on weapons research. But it is more practical to knock out a modern tank than to nuke an entire city.

    And if you set off a nuclear explosion in a small room, you are not going to be concerned about the radio not working.

    I would be a bit miffed if my broadband went off.

    Hybrid Android Cyborg Robot-people Cybermen? Put 'em in a sci-fi story and I'm good with it.

    Err, but they exist. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3397823/Man-moves-robotic-arms-MIND-brain-controlled-prosthetic-attaches-implant-patient-s-bone.html 

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/experimental-device-helps-paralyzed-man-walk-the-length-of-four-football-fields/

    The thing about SF, its writers try to envisage the future, often based on what is being researched today in some instances, and with some things, the future catches up very fast. Many research scientists also say they get inspiration from SF.

    https://www.cnet.com/pictures/8-predictions-arthur-c-clarke-got-right-decades-ago-pictures/

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    But when one begins to tightly qualify the sort of thing one seeks, it becomes harder to force the search engine to be sufficiently specific.

    That can be true.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    He succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, but his selfish act causes problems for Patsy, the half human, half pig child.

    Well, it would. Racism is bad enough, so image speciesism.

     However eventually Humanity realizes all creatures in our world are related.

    Many already know that. It's only mainly Creationists and others who think the Old Testament should be taken as an actual history, who don't believe it.

    Like far too many things in SF nowadays, your story is far from new. It's very hard to come up with something new.

    http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/New_Men

  • I'm reading "The Restaurant at the end of the Universe" it opens on a spaceship with an "Infinite Improbability Drive"
    You've got to admire a SF writer who just says, "I'm not even going to bother trying to explain this, let's just call it what it is"
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    You've got to admire a SF writer who just says, "I'm not even going to bother trying to explain this, let's just call it what it is"

    Indeed. Hitch Hiker's is almost Fantasy, but Don't Panic.

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile

    Many already know that. It's only mainly Creationists and others who think the Old Testament should be taken as an actual history, who don't believe it.

    I am not religious Kevin but I was reading the Quora Digest when I came across this comment.

     “I work at a state mental hospital. I can not say I have met the devil, but I am sure I have seen a demon or 2 there. People see the mentally ill and assume that what they do is because of a chemical imbalance or mental condition (for the most part that is true). But there are some things you see there that do not explain the norm of mental health care. I have seen a 70 year old, who can barely walk, jump up on a desk that is 3-feet high and have books and binders fall (no one near them) as she screamed at us in an unknown language . I have seen patients talk to nothing and say things to me about my family or friends that NO ONE knows about. I have seen changes in some of their eyes that can not be explained by words. I have felt dread doing location checks when passing certain rooms, but when I pass again it is gone.

    There is more to our world than we can know.”


    What do you make of that experience?


  •  ...

    Apparently not. In the same manner that a nuke does not have to be as big as a car (400 backpack ones were made in the 1950s). It's just a matter of the right technology being developed, and $billions are spent on weapons research. But it is more practical to knock out a modern tank than to nuke an entire city.

    There is a practical limit to how small the device can be made, and the miniaturization relies on reflection. You still need a critical mass under those conditions. Developing the right technology will not change the nature of U238, nor make the strong nuclear force abate peacefully.

    And if you set off a nuclear explosion in a small room, you are not going to be concerned about the radio not working.

    I would be a bit miffed if my broadband went off.

    If it were caused by a nuclear explosion, the neutron flux and gamma radiation would be bigger issues than whether you could download Minecraft updates.


  • Seamus said:
    I'm reading "The Restaurant at the end of the Universe" it opens on a spaceship with an "Infinite Improbability Drive"
    You've got to admire a SF writer who just says, "I'm not even going to bother trying to explain this, let's just call it what it is"


    Adams had a rare genius. The thing is, when I first read that, I thought he was making a parody of science fiction physics and mathematicians.

    Later I discovered that in Quantum Mechanics, they actually believe that the universe works like that... Silicon Chips work on the idea that there is a certain probability of electrons getting to places they can't possibly get to. It's a bit scary...

    I assume you've already read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe? For me, the best one was So Long and Thanks For All The Fish...

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