[Humanist] 24.264 e-book referencing and reading

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Aug 20 23:37:32 CEST 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 264.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Sharon K. Goetz" <skgoetz at yahoo.com>                     (34)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.260 referencing a Kindle book?

  [2]   From:    James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>                      (11)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.260 referencing a Kindle book?

  [3]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (98)
        Subject: e-reading

        Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 14:07:15 -0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
        From: "Sharon K. Goetz" <skgoetz at yahoo.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.260 referencing a Kindle book?
        In-Reply-To: <20100819195410.0F0A961D73 at woodward.joyent.us>

I'd be interested to know whether someone has indeed quoted from a Kindle
book using a numeric location. To my knowledge, the locations are
generated based on the Kindle's estimate of screen size. Thus the original
Kindle, the Kindle DX, and the Kindle application on my Android phone
might well show different location numbers for the same segment of text.

I currently use only the phone app and cannot test this idea, but I find
it striking that changing the displayed font size on one text can mean
going immediately from location 533 to 537, or from 533 to 535, or from
528 to 535....

Has anyone tested locations between devices?

Best wishes,
Sharon Goetz

On Thu, 19 Aug 2010, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>         From: Claire Clivaz <claire.clivaz at unil.ch>
>         Subject: Reference to a Kindle book
> Dear all,
> When you buy a book on a Kindle, you do not get the number of the pages o=
f the printed book, but only =C2=ABlocation=C2=BB (you can look for passage=
s with location's numbers).
> So, what is your opinion on this issue: In an academic work, can we quote=
 a reference from a Kindle book by replacing the number of the page by the =
number of the location? Or should we quote only the paper version with the =
number of the page?
> Did somebody already quote a Kindle book with a number location in a scho=
larly paper?
> Thank you in advance for your opinions,
> Claire Clivaz (University of Lausanne, CH)

        Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 18:25:41 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.260 referencing a Kindle book?
        In-Reply-To: <20100819195410.0F0A961D73 at woodward.joyent.us>

My guess is that you'd cite it as an electronic publication and cite
the page numbers in that version of the book.  Seems like there's
quite a bit in the latest MLA Handbook on epubs.

Jim R

        Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 07:28:12 +1000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: e-reading
        In-Reply-To: <20100819195410.0F0A961D73 at woodward.joyent.us>

[Following is an article from the online edition of The Washington Post. 
Note the argument concerning e-book readers vs the iPad. As far as I 
know, the former fall short for consistently readable versions of 
everything but specially prepared e-books. That is, they do not do well 
with pdfs one scans oneself. And I have found that in many public 
locations, such as trains, the lighting is too dim to make the E Ink 
technology effective for comfortable reading. I think, in other words 
that we're dealing here with two different styles of reading. 
Comments? --WM]

E-reading: Revolution in the making or fading fad?

The Associated Press
Friday, August 20, 2010; 3:33 AM

The Washington Post

HSINCHU, Taiwan -- The marriage of an American technology firm and a 
Taiwanese display panel manufacturer has helped make digital reading a 
prospective challenger to paper as the main medium for transmitting 
printed information.

Four years ago Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink Corporation and Taiwan's 
Prime View International Co. hooked up to create an e-paper display that 
now supplies 90 percent of the fast growing e-reader market.

The Taiwanese involvement has led some observers to compare e-reading to 
the Chinese technological revolution 2,000 years ago in which newly 
invented paper replaced the bulky wooden blocks and bamboo slats on 
which Chinese characters were written.

But questions still hang over the Taiwanese-American venture, including 
the readiness of the marketplace to dispense with paper-based reading, 
in favor of relatively unfamiliar e-readers.

"It's cockamamie to think a product like that is going to revolutionize 
the way most people read," analyst Michael Norris of Rockville, Maryland 
research firm Simba Information Co. said in an e-mail. Americans use 
e-books at a rate "much, much slower than it looks."

Another challenge for the venture is the ability of key customers like 
Amazon and Sony to withstand the onslaught of multifunctional computing 
devices which have e-reader capability, particularly Apple's iPad, whose 
five-month sales history has left their one-dimensional models 
struggling to keep up.

Researcher Chris Hung of Taiwan's Institute for the Information Industry 
says iPad sales are expected to reach 9 million this year, a figure that 
took e-books two years to reach.

Still, the dedicated e-reader manufacturers appear to have a lot to be 
happy about - at least for now. Sales in 2010 - four years after the 
first devices hit the market - will probably reach 10 million units, 
according to Austin, Texas based research firm Display Search, up from 
the four million sold in 2009.

And with e-reader prices coming down quickly - a drop from $300 to $100 
by 2011 for a 6-inch model seems a likely response to the iPad challenge 
- volumes could grow even faster, particularly with color and other 
innovative paper displays coming on the market to augment the existing 
glass-based monochrome version.

Kyle Mizokami, a 39-year-old freelance writer in San Francisco, has 
finished two dozen books in the last year on his Amazon-marketed Kindle, 
and counts himself an e-reader enthusiast.

"Having a Kindle has actually increased my reading," he wrote in an 
e-mail. "It's distraction-free reading, and I find it just as enjoyable 
- if not more so - than reading actual books."

Scott Liu, chairman of the U.S.-Taiwan venture, now known as E Ink 
Holdings, has an optimistic view of the e-reader's future, reflecting 
his confidence not only in the willingness of the marketplace to embrace 
e-readers in general, but also in his customers' ability to fend off 
iPad competition.

The display module Liu's company churns out is deceptively simple. It is 
produced by attaching a glass section to the back of a panel - a thin 
film produced at E Ink of millions of tiny microcapsules, each 
containing positively and negatively charged particles suspended in a 
clear fluid to show white and black spots. A processor and other chips 
are then attached to the panels.

"People read on digital paper exactly like reading on conventional 
paper, using natural light in the environment," Liu told The Associated 
Press. "In another five years, we could see a major change in reading 
habits, with more people switching to electronic reading."

As for the competition, he said, the iPad's liquid-crystal-display panel 
is vulnerable because it depends on backlight sources that cause eye 

The iPad "is fascinating, ... a multiple-purpose device," he said. "But 
it is not built for reading for long hours."

Still, many e-reading consumers seem to be opting for cell phones or 
tablet PCs like the iPad because their LCD panels display fuller color 
and can both play games and surf the Internet - abilities the dedicated 
e-readers lack.

Taiwan researcher Hung acknowledges that, but says that the marketplace 
appears to be big enough for both types of products.

"One can hardly finish Harry Potter on the iPad, while comic books don't 
look so good on e-readers," he said, highlighting the strengths and 
weaknesses of the two competing devices.

Liu says E Ink Holdings is aware of the LCD competition, and plans to 
introduce a limited color e-paper display later this year, with a fuller 
version set to come out "in a few years time."

He added that E Ink has also unveiled a prototype of a plastic-based 
flexible display which is "ideal for children to use" because of its 
resistance to breakage. But he said production costs are still too high 
to bring the product to market, and did not provide a launch date.

Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Professor, Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney,
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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