Friday, March 19, 2010

"E-book" poll


Are you in favor of E-books?

No...0

Yes...5

Sometimes...2

Well, I have to go with the "sometimes". There are distinct advantages for both. Used book stores are becoming scarce and thrift stores are looking at used books as if they were gold and charging more than what a thrift store policy should be. And, if one enlists the services of used book companies on line, the prices become almost prohibitive especially when shipping is added. The book[s] must be a "must have". New books...the prices are just too high. Thankfully, there are a number of online websites that offer free E-books. [See list below]. And many times free E-books are buried in 100s of websites. One just has to do a lot of research...and get lucky. And some publishers of college text books are experimenting with E-books though a recent study has indicated that students aren't that pleased. But E-books have some serious limitations both as a physical commodity and the aesthetic quality. It is so comforting holding a book...one of those aesthetic experiences that cannot be gleaned from E-books...the weight, the texture of the pages, the aroma. And, I am one of those individuals [that will be punished in Hell] for underlining and making marginal notations. Non-E-books are portable. It would be difficult to lug a lap top for access to some tome to pass the time while the Pinto is being repaired or just enjoying the ambiance of nature and reading some poetry. And lastly, a lot of important texts are simply not available in electronic format. Besides, it is nice to have a library that can be seen.

I have included new book and used book sources...

New books...
AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
BIBLIOFIND
DAVID BROWN BOOK CO.
DOVER
JOSEPH HENRY PRESS
POWELLS
Used books...
ABEBOOKS
ADDALL
ALIBRIS
ANTIQBOOK
ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS' ASSOCIATION
BOOKBUTLER
BOOKFINDER
BOOKS ON DEMAND
J. F. PTAK BOOKS [SCIENCE]
TOMFOLIO
ZUBAL BOOKS
E-books...
ALEX CATALOGUE OF ELECTRONIC TEXTS
ATHENA
AUDIO BOOKS FOR FREE
BARTLEBY
CORNELL UNIVERSITY BOOKS AT INTERNET ARCHIVE
CREATIVE COMMONS
ELDRITCH PRESS
EUROPEANA
INTERNET ARCHIVE
INTERNET PUBLIC LIBRARY
LIBRIVOX
LOUDLIT.ORG
MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE
NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
PAGE BY PAGE BOOKS
PDF SEARCH ENGINE
PERSEUS DIGITAL LIBRARY
PROJECT GUTENBERG
PUBLIC LITERATURE.ORG
READ EASILY
SCRIBD
THE INTERNET SACRED TEXT LIBRARY
THE WARBURG INSTITUTE LIBRARY
UNIVERSAL DIGITAL LIBRARY
WORLD DIGITAL LIBRARY

Justin Russell replied with some additional sources [Europeana, PDF Search Engine, Perseus Digital Library, Scribd, The Internet Sacred Text Library, The Warburg Institute Library, World Digital Library] that I have added to the above list. The Internet Sacred Text Library is quite good and constantly being updated but I did not list one item. The 2020ok Directory~ is a nightmare in navigation and errant in listed texts. Nevertheless, the additions are welcome. And Justin also provided a new/used book search engine called BookButler.

"High-Speed Camera Scans Books in Seconds"

by

Charlie Sorrel

March 18th, 2010

Wired

Professor Ishikawa Komuro’s Tokyo lab is better known for robot hands that can dribble and catch balls and spin pencils between their fingers. Now, two researchers have taken this speedy sensing tech and applied it to the ripping of paper books.

Books are different from other kinds of media, like music and movies — it’s very hard to get them into a computer. There is no equivalent of CD or DVD rippers like iTunes or Handbrake. This not only makes piracy laborious, it also stops you from turning your own books into e-books.

This high-speed scanner changes that, at least if you have the room and tech skills to build one. By using a high-speed camera that shoots at 500 frames per second, lab workers Takashi Nakashima and Yoshihiro Watanabe can scan a 200-page book in under a minute. You just hold the book under the camera and flip through the pages as if shuffling a deck of cards. The camera records the images and uses processing power to turn the odd-shaped pictures into flat, rectangular pages on which regular OCR (optical character recognition) can be performed.

The technique is unlikely to be coming to the home anytime soon (although ripping a book by flipping it in front of your notebook’s webcam would be pretty awesome), but it could certainly speed up large scanning efforts like Google’s book project.

3 comments:

Justin Russell said...

Good list. Here are a few more for ebooks:

Europeana

Europeana isn't quite the resource you would desire presently for research, but it has ambitions to get there.

2020ok Directory of FREE Online Books and FREE eBooks

Perseus Digital Library

Scribd.com

World Digital Library

The Warburg Institute Library

Internet Sacred Text Archive

PDF Search Engine

For search engines that root through just about every online new & used book store, try the following two, where decent prices can be found for second hand volumes:

Bokk Butler

Book Finder


.

Justin Russell said...

Scratch the Book Finder link I provided. Obtuse as I am, I have suddenly discovered you had already included it.

(*Insert embarrassed emoticon here*)


.

Mercury said...

Justin:

See body of post.