Cidu Bill on Jun 1st 2013


On the other hand, you can also have every one of them safely backed-up. Just saying…

Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, Jimmy Johnson, comic strips, comics, humor | 46 responses so far

46 Responses to “Books”

  1. mitch4 Jun 2nd 2013 at 12:19 am 1

    I mistook this at first — thought Arlo was talking about “spoiling” a book by revealing the end or a hidden twist. But how could that apply to hundreds? (Complicated by his alerted hair in panel 2 looking like a speech connector line, so it wasn’t clear that the exclamation comes from Janis offstage.)

  2. Jeff S. Jun 2nd 2013 at 01:07 am 2

    My wife and I went to see the new Star Trek movie. She brought her Nook with her and read right up until they ran their PSA about turning off your phone. They need to add ‘readers’ to the list of things to turn off, because they are brighter than most phones.

  3. James Pollock Jun 2nd 2013 at 01:14 am 3

    If you only have one e-reader, that backup doesn’t do much for you.

  4. Cidu Bill Jun 2nd 2013 at 01:32 am 4

    I don’t know how it works for other devices, but if you have a Kindle, everything you’ve bought is automatically backed up on Amazon’s site. And I keep copies of all my Kindle and Audible files on my computer.

  5. James Schend Jun 2nd 2013 at 02:03 am 5

    My e-reader is from Amazon, and all the books are always stored on the Amazon server where I can re-load them at any time.

    You can buy stand-alone e-readers without an associated bookstore but, as the comic demonstrates, that’s kind of putting all your eggs in one basket…

  6. James Pollock Jun 2nd 2013 at 02:18 am 6

    If you can read a book on a computer screen, good for you, I guess… but I can’t.

  7. farmer Jun 2nd 2013 at 04:27 am 7

    Bill #4,

    Isn’t the other tradeoff of that, that you’re forever stuck with that one company if you want to KEEP your books & backup? That’s one of the main things keeping us from trying such a thing, I like my freedom of choice and don’t want to be locked up in one company’s insidious loyalty program. You’re still putting all your eggs in one basket, just one named Amazon.

  8. LarryLunts Jun 2nd 2013 at 05:53 am 8

    There are thousands of free public domain e-books available for download at the Gutenberg Project.

  9. The Bad Seed Jun 2nd 2013 at 08:18 am 9

    If you don’t want to get locked in with one bookseller, then get an iPad or (iPad Mini). They come loaded with Apple’s iBooks app, and you can also download the free apps for Kindle and Nook. And yes, all of them keep records of the e-books you’ve purchased and let you download them to other readers. My apps are signed into my Mom’s account, so I can read anything she’s bought.

  10. The Bad Seed Jun 2nd 2013 at 08:23 am 10

    p.s. By “other readers”, I mean other e-readers by the same company, of course, if you upgrade or replace the hardware. I think maybe the Android e-readers (Color Nook, Kindle Fire) might allow you to download e-reader apps from competitors, but I’m not 100% sure of that.

  11. Elyrest Jun 2nd 2013 at 08:23 am 11

    Having ruined more than one book, while reading and bathing, I’d never take an e-reader in the tub with me. The books were always readable after drying, but they sure weren’t purty.

  12. Colleen Jun 2nd 2013 at 09:23 am 12

    You can buy specialized cases, but Ziploc bags work just fine when you want to take your e-reader to the beach or bathtub.

  13. Carl Jun 2nd 2013 at 11:11 am 13

    @James Pollock, I read most books these days on my phone screen. Having it with me all the time is a huge, huge advantage and modern screens are excellent.

    And I’d never use Amazon or Apple books. DRM is poison. I buy dozens of DRM-free books from vendors like Smashwords and Feedbooks.

  14. Cidu Bill Jun 2nd 2013 at 12:40 pm 14

    I have books and audiobooks from multiple sources, so I’m not locked into anything. I’ve got everything backed up on my computer, even if somebody else is also backing me up.

    I assume Kindles won’t allow you to use, say, a Nook reader, but that’s reasonable.

  15. Cidu Bill Jun 2nd 2013 at 01:02 pm 15

    I have to point out, James (6), that just about everybody who reads books on their computer/Kindle/phone has at one point told somebody “I could never read books on a computer/Kindle/phone.”

    And like Carl said, always having your books with you, with no effort on your part, is an advantage you can get used to real fast.

  16. Jeff Jun 2nd 2013 at 01:09 pm 16

    I don’t have any e-readers, but its apparently possible to remove the DRM from e-books so you can back them up.

  17. Mike Jun 2nd 2013 at 02:23 pm 17

    I have to second the ziploc tip. It works great.

  18. turquoisecow Jun 2nd 2013 at 02:42 pm 18

    I have a classic Kindle, without a color, back-lit screen. I find it no more difficult to read then a book, and certainly with less eye-strain. The downside is that you need to have a light on, but that’s a downside to the paper versions also.

    And I have non-Amazon books, obtained elsewhere online, free, on my Kindle. So I suppose those aren’t auto backed-up. And I have some of my own personal writings on it, but those are backed up on my laptop. Of course, i don’t often take books near water, so unless my Kindle is caught in a flood, I’m safe.

  19. Cristiane Jun 2nd 2013 at 03:01 pm 19

    I used to be an opera singer, and I can’t tell you how much I wish the Kindle had been in existence then. Most of the jobs I did were in Europe and they mostly lasted 7 or 8 weeks, so I would take two big suitcases, one of them half full of books - English-language books were incredibly expensive over there (I imagine they still are). Mind you, I still ended up spending a ton on them anyway. But the fact that I now have a device with 350+ books that weighs half a pound is just mind-boggling to me.

  20. mitch4 Jun 2nd 2013 at 03:24 pm 20

    Cristiane — Recently I’ve seen some touring pianists actually perform from scores displayed on what looked to be IPads.

  21. Boise Ed Jun 2nd 2013 at 05:24 pm 21

    [2] Jeff, why should one pay any attention to the advertising that precedes the actual entertainment?
    [13] Carl, I don’t see how one can read more than a couple of screensful on any phone. It’s bad enough on a tablet. Although I must admit that the tablet is very handy when travelling.
    [20] Mitch4, I’ve known band members to play marches from an iPad, but those are smaller pages. I don’t think I’d want to try to read a five-page, 9×12 piece of music from a little screen.

  22. Carl Jun 2nd 2013 at 05:33 pm 22

    @BoiseEd–Have you looked at one of the newer phone displays, like Apple’s “Retina” or the equally-good one on my Android phone? It’s bright, sharp, and you can pick your own font (including type size). It’s actually better than a book for those with bad vision.

    @Mitch4, teleprompters for small productions have largely been replaced by tablets on stands, sometimes with a mirror to reflect and magnify the text.

  23. Jeff S. Jun 2nd 2013 at 06:54 pm 23

    Boise Ed… The Cinemark theaters here in Tulsa have three “turn off your phone, moron” PSAs. One before the previews start, one during, and one close to when the movie starts. Even before the previews start, there is a thing they run that has tv and movie previews, so there are things worth watching before the movie starts.

  24. NoAlias Jun 2nd 2013 at 08:02 pm 24

    Thank you Mitch4 for noting the difference between Arlo’s hair and a possible speech connecting line. I saw it as the line and wondered how Arlo knew to visit his wife in the bathtub.

  25. Elyrest Jun 2nd 2013 at 09:54 pm 25

    I know that people here are loving e-readers and I admit they seem to be ideal for traveling. I’ve never used one and, although I know a few people who have them, I have never read anything on one. Leaving travel out of the equation what reason would there be to get an e-reader? I rarely buy books anymore and almost all of my reading is through the library. I can get almost any book I want and I don’t pay anything to read them. I know I could borrow some e-books from the library, but so far haven’t seen any that I want to read that aren’t already hardbound.

  26. Carl Jun 2nd 2013 at 10:09 pm 26

    @Elyrest, the only advantage of an e-reader if you read only library books (that I can think of): convenience. Again, I have dozens of books with me on my phone at all times. Waiting room? No problem. Standing on line? I can read a book. As LarryLunts pointed out above, there are literally thousands of free ebooks, including the complete works of Twain, Dickens, and so forth.

  27. Cidu Bill Jun 2nd 2013 at 10:33 pm 27

    Also, Elyrest, as long as you have a smart phone, you don’t have to “get an e-reader”: just download the Kindle app or something similar. If you’re in the habit of surfing the web using your phone, you can get the “Push to Kindle” app, which can instantly download an article, convert it to Kindle format, and save it in your Kindle folder.

  28. Jeff S. Jun 2nd 2013 at 11:23 pm 28

    Until they change the name to “The E-Reader of Congress”, I will continue to read an actual book I got from an actual LIBRARY!

  29. fj Jun 3rd 2013 at 12:01 am 29


    I can check e-books out of my library without actually visiting the library. eAudio books, too. On the other hand, I *like* visiting the library.

    If you have need for reference books, having them on an e-reader allows you to easily keep them with you.

  30. Cidu Bill Jun 3rd 2013 at 12:04 am 30

    So what you’re saying, Jeff, is that when we boot up a Kindle, the terrorists win.

  31. Winter Wallaby Jun 3rd 2013 at 10:46 am 31

    Bill #15:

    . . . just about everybody who reads books on their computer/Kindle/phone has at one point told somebody “I could never read books on a computer/Kindle/phone.”

    So what changed? Do you actually like reading books on a computer as well as on a physical book? Did it take a while to adjust, or did you adjust right away? I’ve read things on the computer, but so far I’ve not enjoyed the experience nearly as much. (I recently got a Surface, but haven’t tried it out for full-length books.)

    Elyrest #25: At least one reason I’ve contemplated e-reading is that I sometimes see books that my library doesn’t have, and are expensive on Amazon for a hard-copy, but cheap on Amazon for the Kindle version.

  32. Kamino Neko Jun 3rd 2013 at 11:08 am 32

    I can’t read books on computer.

    I have NO trouble with them on my tablet (unless it’s in the bright outdoors and the screen is washed out by the sun), or on my father’s e-ink e-reader (which doesn’t have a backlit screen, thus the sun isn’t a problem). Reading on a tablet or e-reader is no different than reading a book, except my hand aches less since the tablet/reader doesn’t need to be held open, and turning the pages is slightly different.

  33. Mark Hanson Jun 3rd 2013 at 12:23 pm 33

    For myself, I read a lot of classics and out-of-copyright books. I can get these on the Kindle for a buck or two, or even free. Also, I read many new religious books, and quite a few publishers or authors have short-term specials on these ($1-$4) for buying them from Amazon.

    What I don’t understand is buying a new book on Kindle for 80% of its hardcopy price. You don’t own anything, and can’t sell it or trade it in. Someone have a rationale for that?

    So far (1-1/2 years), I’ve not spent over $10 on a single book (and that $10 book was $60 in print form).

  34. Jeff S. Jun 3rd 2013 at 01:02 pm 34

    CIDU Bill… If it’s a Kindle or one of the various iTunes systems, yes. If it is a Nook, not so much.

  35. Cidu Bill Jun 3rd 2013 at 03:46 pm 35

    What changed, Winter, is that they tried it and realized “Hey, this has its advantages.”

    I still don’t like reading anything long on a computer, maybe because sitting at my desk and reading seems unnatural; but I really find sitting in a comfy chair with a phone or a Kindle no different from sitting there with a book.

  36. Lola Jun 3rd 2013 at 06:23 pm 36

    That’s what happened to me. I was really concerned that print books would disappear and so I was really not liking the idea of eReaders and said I didn’t want one. Then……my daughter left her Kindle laying around a couple of xmas’ ago, I picked it up and was almost instantly hooked. One of the earliest books I read was the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and was awed by the prescient description of the Guide that would be exactly how someone would describe a Kindle.

  37. Winter Wallaby Jun 3rd 2013 at 06:50 pm 37

    Lola #36: Re Hitchhiker’s Guide: xkcd

    I’ve tried reading pdf’s on my Surface, and almost always found it annoying, but that may be due the pdf format. (Or maybe the Surface isn’t as nice as a Kindle.) I’ll have to give it a try with an ebook sometime.

  38. Todd Jun 4th 2013 at 03:40 pm 38

    Please don’t push an iPad for reading books. It’s because of Apple and the late unlamented Steve Jobs that we’re paying the same price for a license as for an actual paperback book.

    Jeff, you’re saying that the terrorists win if we buy a Kindle or iBook, but not if we buy a Nook? I wouldn’t call Apple and Amazon terrorists, just unrepentant evil. It’s amazing the people who trust Amazon but are afraid of Google. (”Google’s evil, I tell you. They want to know everything about you. And that can’t be good. Just a moment, my latest shipment of underwear and toilet paper just arrived from Amazon.” There really are TWiTs like that.)

  39. James Pollock Jun 4th 2013 at 05:28 pm 39

    “Please don’t push an iPad for reading books. It’s because of Apple and the late unlamented Steve Jobs that we’re paying the same price for a license as for an actual paperback book.”

    Why shouldn’t you pay as much for an ebook as a paper one? Sure, you save the cost of printing press, paper, and ink, plus warehousing cost. But you add the cost of server farms, Internet connectivity, web and database development cost.

  40. Jeff S. Jun 4th 2013 at 06:00 pm 40

    Todd… I wish I could explain why I dislike Apple and Amazon so much, but I can’t fully. I guess it’s because Amazon is a huge conglomerate, and Apple has always had a holier than thou attitude with their products.

    B&N are booksellers. That’s what they do (for the most part. I realize they sell other items too). Amazon sells everything under the sun, and probably parts of the sun as well. Apple sells electronics. That’s as close to an explanation as I can get.

  41. Jeff S. Jun 4th 2013 at 06:05 pm 41

    “Why shouldn’t you pay as much for an ebook as a paper one? Sure, you save the cost of printing press, paper, and ink, plus warehousing cost. But you add the cost of server farms, Internet connectivity, web and database development cost.”

    James… When you buy a book, you buy THE book; one price for one book. When you buy a newly released e-book, you pay the same price for the new e-book as the actual book, plus you had to buy the reader, plus all the stuff you mentioned, so you are actually paying much MORE for your e-book; several prices for one e-book.

  42. Elyrest Jun 4th 2013 at 06:43 pm 42

    Thanks everyone for all the input about e-readers. From reading all of the comment I’d say that, unless I start doing a lot of traveling, I’m fine w/o an e-reader right now.

    Carl - I’m usually a people watcher or a silent meditator when I’m waiting for things. I’m online all day at work and quite a bit when I’m at home. I find it peaceful to not distract myself.

    Bill - I don’t have a smart phone. Although I was an early user of computers - had one in the 80s - I’ve been behind the curve with phones and other recent devices. I’ve seen enough other people use theirs that a smartphone of some kind is coming soon.

    fj - I like visiting the library too. I’ve worked in more than one library and I visit libraries when I’m traveling to get a feel for local areas.

    Winter Wallaby - I’m moving to a more rural area soon and will have to give up the large metro library system I’m using now. I might change my mind about e-readers after my move. Then I’ll have to ask everyone for advice on the best ones.

  43. Meryl A Jun 6th 2013 at 01:53 am 43

    1 - When there is a blackout one can read books, magazines etc. in hard copy by sunlight or alternate interior illumination without end. E-readers need recharging. (After Sandy stores that had electric were letting people recharge their phones, etc. as it was a drastic problem that had not been thought of around here before.)

    2 - You can pass your book along to someone else. There are cases starting to make their way through the courts that ebooks are only for the purchaser to use and cannot be inherited, etc.

    Meryl A

  44. Cidu Bill Jun 6th 2013 at 02:14 am 44

    Except, Meryl, a Kindle can go days or weeks between charges, and most of them can be used in the dark (so I was able to read during the Sandy blackout).

    Of course, the book/e-reader thing isn’t an either/or proposition.

  45. Feelin Old Jun 6th 2013 at 03:53 pm 45

    I was one of those that wasn’t sold on the ereaders. I read a lot, and fairly fast so when on holidays always had to take a bunch of books.
    Last year I borrowed an ereader for a short trip, and although I still prefer the feel of a real book, found the convenience worth it.
    I now have my own kobo glo, although I still borrow physical books from the library.

    As for the power failure thing, I get better than a week with my reader easily, and not having the most stable power supply I have read plenty of time by candlelight, the back lit reader is MUCH easier. And I have an external battery pack that’s kept charged that I can use to charge it if I need to.

  46. Meryl A Jun 12th 2013 at 01:12 am 46


    Some people out here on LI were out for well over a week, 2 or more in some cases. Stores with electricity came up with the idea of letting people recharge stuff as it brought them into the store. My mom went every night to Panera’s in the village of Rockville Centre, which has it’s own electric plant and never goes down, to have dinner and recharge her phone.

    People were also reading more as they had nothing else to do and therefore needed to recharge more often.

    Me, I had to deal with a husband breaking down at the idea of no electricity and no gasoline.

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