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Does this sound like a bad idea to you?

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Something very random that popped out of my mind when I was reading how some US libraries are planning to make e-audio books which are going to be available online. Of course, the benefit is, everyone just wins! :lol: Yes, I thought of it when Krause was getting too big and wondered if an e-book would be nice.

 

Basically if you have a computer (you most definately have one when you are reading this right now), you can just read any e-books online!

 

No late fees, no forgetting, no torn books, no spilling coffee over them, etc. I guess the only negative side is that your eyes might get tired after reading too much off the monitor screen which *could* be bad. ;) Or you might miss reading texts off from papers.

 

Nevertheless, I was wondering *what if* this was applied to numismatic books. Often, such books are so ridiciously expensive and geez, I honestly don't know if my local library has all the numismatic books that I want to read. You see, grabbing any random 5 numismatic books would easily blow more than a 3 figure digits (assuming that each book on average is 20 USD :/) and unless it is a very decent book like Krause, the likely chances of you reading it and referring to it every single day till the books are worn is pretty "slim" unless you happened to be a dealer or a numismatic scholar... :ninja:

 

Just my random thoughts today. ;)

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Guest Stujoe

There are some works that I would rather buy as an E-book than a regular book. Something like Krause comes to mind because the searchability would be great for what I use it for. Breens Encyclopedia would be another.

 

Things like US Mint and Coinage or any Bower's book, I would rather have in paper because I typically read them in bed or my recliner. Magazines, I usually read on the throne so I have not gone to the E-version of CoinWorld and probably never will. :ninja:

 

One thing I am thinking of buying as an E-book is the old The Numismatist magizines (that one of our newest members I believe offers for sale). Short articles like that, which are more reference and are not easily available in paper form, I would read on the computer.

 

So, I guess for me, it depends upon what it is whether I would be interested in an electronic version. For reference works, I would love it. For leisurely reading, I would hate it. I am not sure that many Numismatic publishers will be going to an e-book format though because of copyright concerns. But I could be wrong.

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It would depend on the price. If I had to pay the same price as the book I'd rather have the book, or if it was some sort or monthly fee, maybe online. I agree Krause would be much easier to search so that would I think I would.

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All I can say is that I saw Krause and Sears catalogues in CD and DVD format, but is boring to search the coins. I prefer the old fashioned paper... even if it is about 3000 pages book!

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I don't do subscriptions of any kind so i'd probably have to buy the book.

 

On the topic of libraries the only numismatic books my local library (and this is a city centre library) does is Spinks, Silver Coins of England, a 1960s reprint of Kenyon's Gold Coins of England (original edition published in 1887) and a few very random book that are entilted "beginner's guide to Coin Collecting" all of which were generally written in the 1950-70s time frame. That's you're lot.

 

My next nearest town has only about half of that material available.

 

The third nearest town has a 2004 Spink and a 20th century Century Krause, plus some random books on German coinage.

 

 

The numismatic material is severly lacking around these parts and generally was last checked out in 1992, probably by me. :ninja:

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I agree a lot with what Stujoe says, but I think I still prefer the krause in paper.

 

Most catalogs may be electronic, for me, like e.g. red book, my dutch coins catalog etc, because these are kinda specialized to one country. Krause is much more universal, listing all countries

 

An electronic version would be very nice indeed, if you know what you look for. If I know the coin I have in my hand and I need info on it, e-Krause comes in handy.

 

But if I don't know that coin I have in my hand, have no idea what country it's from, what denomination it is and I have to determine that by looking at pictures and compare those to what I have, the paper version is way more handy.

 

Just to check, I opened my 2004 Krause on a random page. There are obvese and revers picturese of 32 different coins on the two pages I can see now. In 3 - 5 seconds I can roughly see if the coin I have in my hand is on that page or not. Try that in an electronic version....

 

I think I'd rather have a colour krause than an e-Krause.

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Guest Stujoe
60 catalogues? How many cd-rs are there? 40? I can put that under 7 dvd-rs and they shouldn't cost any more than 10 dollars.

 

Yes, but you are paying for the informaton, not the media. :ninja: Or are these pirated versions or something?

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Guest Stujoe
I agree a lot with what Stujoe says, but I think I still prefer the krause in paper.

 

Most catalogs may be electronic, for me, like e.g. red book, my dutch coins catalog etc, because these are kinda specialized to one country. Krause is much more universal, listing all countries

 

For me, I would rather have the redbook to carry along with me rather than a e-version (actually, I would like to have both of it, I think, since it is cheap) but that is because the US is my focus. Krause, I break out maybe once or twice a year and am usually just looking up a specific piece.

 

But, I certainly would agree that, for actually identifying coins, I would probably have an easier time in paper.

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I have to guess that the books being offered on CD/DVD in these auctions are copies rather than sanctioned publications. Part of the cost of something like a Krause is of course the printing and paper, but a substantial part is the research and updates.

 

I'd be very hesitant to purchase unauthorizied copies.

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I'm pretty dead sure those sold online are copies.

 

Having to travel around quite a fair bit from countries to countries don't really allow me to take along all my favorite numisatic books that I wish, so I am pretty much forced to scan every single page of what I have and read them on my laptop. But honestly, I am a lot happier that way, so that my books don't get ruined any worse than they are in right now. (100th+ handed copy - who knows how many people have read them) More importantly, books are TOO heavy. Good for people who don't really need to travel though or have a lot of storage space - unfortunately I do need to and my laptop is right now my means of everything, from communication to working.

 

I'm pretty much for ebooks at almost all costs. I mean, if you can have 4 Krause into one dvd - such paperweight into one disc, I am more than happy to store them away rather than they occupy my desk. Afterall, I live in a place where rent is ridiciously expensive and my space around me is just fit enough for a goldfish to happily swim around in circles all day long.

 

Of course, I am not saying that I don't understand the means of paperback version. Geez, I used to do maths pretty often and that's one thing you can't just read, type, edit on ebooks. Imagine the very decade when that can ever happen... it would be a nightmare. :ninja:

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I'd be very hesitant to purchase unauthorizied copies.

 

Thanks! Because the word for that is theft. It is no different from going to Iola, Wisconsin, finding the door open and taking the books.

 

Google has been scanning libraries, creating a monsterous warehouse of online archives. They ran into some copyright problems, but they are continuing with the project.

 

(The current U.S. copyright law -- "the Mickey Mouse Law" if you will -- set ridiculous time limits on these intellectual properties because Disney had a few that were about to expire at 75 years. So, now we have this to deal with.)

 

I am a book person myself.

 

I got my first email Thanksgiving Friday 1977. I joined by first BBS in 1983. I was a BBS host in the late 1980s. I touted online communication, "electronic democracy" and all the rest in the 1980s and 1990s. I even advocated an end to copyrights on the theory that electronic media demand new ways of doing business. (See here http://www.strano.net/snhtml/ipertest/meta...t1/marotta.htm) And, of course, I write the "Internet Connections" column for Numismatist magazine. Alll of that is wel, fine and good. The facts remain unchanged.

 

Books are more useful than computers in many ways.

 

1. What CDs do allow -- and I have Jorg Lueke's CD of The Numismatist Vols 1-6 -- is a search. Searching via book is painful and you cannot know that you found every instance. ("cannot" -- epistemologically impossible -- can NOT know ...)

 

2. Another advantage is the cutting and pasting. Copying opens the door to error. Cutting and pasting directly keeps us all on track.

 

3. Electonic media deliver extremely high resolution images at near-zero cost. I edit the MSNS Mich-Matist, and I am always disappointed in the degradation from computer to paper.

 

So, electronic media does offer some potentials. That said, books are still superior.

 

You don't have to shut them off when the plane is ready to taxi. The TSA guards are not puzzled by them. You can read a book without electricity. You can write in a book. You can carry a book in your pocket. You can toss it on the table when you come home. You can prop an uneven chair or table with it.

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Both laptops and books can be used as door stops... I've seen it done.

 

 

And hardback books are better than paperbacks for so many reasons, especially if they are leather bound with marble boards. But as an antique book collector by night and an assistant archivist at work by day i have my bias.

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I'm a big believer in e-books. I used to do consulting for IBM Mainframe computers. I celebrated when IBM started to issue CDs of their technical manuals and journals. I was able to search for something that was interesting me and find hits in dozens of manuals that were not necessarily directly related to the problem I was working on. I had the equivalent of a small library on my laptop with internet access to those publications I didn't have "locally". It was wonderful.

 

Would I like to have all of the coin reference books that I like to use available in a similar manner -- you bet I would. Great for research and very portable.

 

I'd still prefer to have my library in paper but if I could only have one, I'd choose electronic.

 

Now for novels.... How's about a combo of audio and electronic. What a great combination. Read along and visuals with full audio capability. I'm in.

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There are some works that I would rather buy as an E-book than a regular book. Something like Krause comes to mind because the searchability would be great for what I use it for. Breens Encyclopedia would be another.

 

Things like US Mint and Coinage or any Bower's book, I would rather have in paper because I typically read them in bed or my recliner. Magazines, I usually read on the throne so I have not gone to the E-version of CoinWorld and probably never will. :ninja:

 

One thing I am thinking of buying as an E-book is the old The Numismatist magizines (that one of our newest members I believe offers for sale). Short articles like that, which are more reference and are not easily available in paper form, I would read on the computer.

 

 

Yes buy, buy! I actually have to reintegrate into my new web layouts as I get done. Generally speaking it would be great to have certain coin references as ebooks just because of the searchability. I contacted one author of a now out of print work but he really didn't see the need for an e-book. The conversions can be quite tricky plus copyright extend out for so long.

 

There's articles I'd like to convert on metrology but a few were written in 1964 meaning the authors current heirs have the rights. Finding some of those people can be impossible. It would be nice to at leats have the holders reaffirm their rights and update their contact information every so often.

 

Anyway, ebooks will become more prevalent. I'm sure our kids will be reading them on their phones soon enough.

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If you have a copy of the book, you can make an e-copy of the book for yourself, as long as you don't distribute it. The only problem arises is when you are trying to sell the e-book without the original book and also several copies of them at the same time.

 

But honestly, I think an online numisatic library would be a good idea, just because finding the right reading materials are ridiciously expensive. If it is a journal, sure thing, I wouldn't mind paying for them.

 

If I put phrase this out in another way, would it be possible that one could broaden their numisatic knowledge by having such library? Of course, you have google, but such infomation are usually very limited, if not impossible to find. I mean for example, if you tried to find some trial coins, sure, you can find US trial coins easily, but not for other countries. But you know, you can't always keep on buying books... they are TOO expensive. Of course, you can say that the writers need a living too... but you know, how much of the money goes to them from such publication? Quite a fair bit goes to printing, doesn't it? :ninja:

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  Of course, you can say that the writers need a living too... but you know, how much of the money goes to them from such publication? Quite a fair bit goes to printing, doesn't it?

QX, I have long advocated an end to copyrights. In the citation to my work above, is this line: "In his book Electronic Life, author and screenwriter, Michael Crichton, states that it is inherent in the technology of both computing and video to copy and transfer information. Himself a big earner of copyright royalties, Crichton says that the present system is archaic."

 

It is not just that authors "need" a living. Everyone does. We write here for free because we have day jobs. What incentive would there be to write numismatic books, or to create any other work?

 

With e-books, how would you pay writers?

 

Take Jorge Lueke's project. :ninja: Not only did he invest a lot of his own time, but he paid for help. If he were to put the Numismatist on a website for anyone to download for free, how would those clerical people get paid?

 

The clickable "paypal" escrow is one option. More directly, to read an e-book, you enter your credit card information. Then you can download it. That still leaves the problem of second-hand copying. Michael Crichton proposed getting around that by doing way with royalities completely and just paying all the artists more up front. ;) Pay them more up front and forget the residuals.

 

Fine. But Michael Crichton makes millions of dollars with his books and movies. So, coming up with millions more upfront is something to think about.

 

You rely on the Red Book, or Breen's Encyclopedia and they are far superior to online chatting. "What is this coin?" someone asks and we answer -- for free because we already paid for the books that paid the authors. We share information, but we do not create it. You have to pay the creators.

 

(2) Talk all you want about "how nice it would be... " but it is all just hot air. ;) How many here have actually downloaded or read any of the ebooks that I have mentioned in my columns? No one here has mentioned the one site everyone ought to know, and I can think of two more, besides.

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Hum. Mmarotta sure knows how to pack a lot of details in one writing - I like it. lol @ qx

 

One of the sites that I really like by Mike Byers, http://www.byersnc.com/ and by that, I mean, it most certainly would educate anyone who wants to read them for themselves, regardless of whether one collects such coins or not. If you were to tell me to pay a full price if it was on printed matter, I most probably wouldn't be interested in reading any of them in the first place. Often in the cases of printed matter, you have some bizarre quota, so that you wouldn't get some deflated book prices. But look, years later, either they get forgotten or when they do get rare because there are more collectors, that is when you wish your local library stocked one of them.

 

Otherwise, what exactly is a book for? It's purpose is to educate anyone who reads them, doesn't it? And when you are desperate, you can always borrow it off from someone who owns the book that you are looking for. But the lack of severe reading materials do put you off sometimes. (well there are cases where people do get interested in finding out why there are so little materials on it).

 

Of course, everyone do need to get paid, but honestly, I would like to know how much percentage is given out to the whole hierachy. The whole figure rarely gets exposed. We buyers NEVER get the control to pay whomever we wish to if we ever opted to get a paperback version. I currently see the whole system as too little researchers, way too much people involved in the rest of production and a few major people who just profits out from the whole thing. I honestly don't mind restructing the whole system, but you know, I don't think this is the only field where restructuring is occuring, such as the airline industries, where tickets used to be issued but now they are replaced by e-tickets, less services, etc. And by that, I honestly hope for more quality reading materials.

 

Yes indeed, there are still quite a few problems with ebooks, with second hand copies (but that exists with photocopy machines). There is somewhat a limited success in limiting who can look at the book, but it seems nowadays that it is possible to encrypt and decrypt an e-book within a given timeframe, i.e. like how you borrow a book over a period of time, which in a sense do give a better control over paperback. So when the file is decrypted, you can read it, but when it is encrypted after some time, you just have no access to it unless you know the new key to it.

 

Overall, in my opinion, an e-library would not necessarily replace the paperback version, but a serious alternative.

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