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Reading Books Online

View Poll Results: Have you ever read book(s) online?
Yes, and I enjoyed the experience. 6 27.27%
Yes, though I prefer paper. 9 40.91%
Yes, but I didn't like it. 3 13.64%
No, but I might. 2 9.09%
I only read paper books. 2 9.09%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2009, 06:54 PM
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Default Reading Books Online


Whenever people talk about reading books online, someone is bound to mention that the screen hurts their eyes, or they couldn't imagine scrolling for so long. Yet I wonder how many people have tried it. Most people I know spend hours online anyway, so if their eyes were gonna hurt from reading online, it would happen with or without reading a book.

I have in fact read many books online. I started when I worked as a receptionist and had lots of free time. I didn't always bring books with me, but I discovered pagebypagebooks.com and similar sites presenting the classics on screen. Later, as I got into fanfiction, I read several novel length fanfics online.

I've found that it only hurts my eyes if the formatting is poorly designed. Dark blue font on a black screen, for instance, is torturous. Black on white gets a little blurry after a while. Black on beige works for me, since the beige is less glaring. Larger fonts, no distracting backgrunds, and lots of white space also help.

As for clicking instead of page-turning, it doesn't bother me. I like being able to find my place by looking at the color of links (blue for unread turns purple once clicked, in most cases). Some authors update regularly (as on LiveJournal), and I enjoy following a story and getting to comment on each chapter as it comes. The only danger there is that the person may stop updating and leave me with no end!

So I'm wondering: Have you ever read a book online? If so, what was your experience?

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:44 AM
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Ooh, you got me all excited about PageByPage now After I've done my homework for the day I will definitely have a look around there.

I've never read a full length book online (but maybe will, like I mentioned above), but I have read fanfiction, which could account for an entire novel as well sometimes, seeing the number of chapters. I also enjoyed reading chapter by chapter, but when the story is good it's very frustrating to be left with no end It's quite hard to find well-written fanfiction, though.

All in all, I prefer reading on paper than online, though. I didn't vote because that option wasn't available: I read online, but I prefer paper books
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:45 AM
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Lol... all right, I added that option.

One benefit of computer over paper is that you can fiddle with the formatting. If a good story is presented badly, you can copy/past it to a Word doc or something. If the font is too small, you can enlarge it. If a printed book has small letters on yellowing paper, you're stuck with that.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:16 AM
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:31 AM
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I also went with preferring paper books, just because I love the feel of just snuggling up on my chair or couch without having to lug the laptop around. But reading something online comes in handy when you don't have a paper copy. I used to be a huge library book fan, but lately all the books I've gotten there have been ucky and stained and just . . . ew. So, finding it on the 'puter helps to keep my hands from turning into viral plague receptors.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:23 PM
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I take it "online" also includes reading on an e-reader (since it's in electronic form). I prefer tree books at the moment, mainly because I can get the literature I like at a price I can afford. The price of ebooks needs to be addressed, and soon.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:42 PM
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I used to read long stories, broken up into chapters like winter said, and I read stuff on WB but that's mostly poetry. I'm just not capable of sitting and concentrating on a screen, that's the key, concentration. I can't really watch tv on a pc screen for long without turning away. It's like watching TV sat right up close.

I just find it pointless to try and read online. That aid if thingshave a black screen, I find it easier, but still I don't use it much.

I don't enjoy reading online in the same way I enjoy reading a page.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kal View Post
I don't enjoy reading online in the same way I enjoy reading a page.
Kal - have you looked at the modern e-readers, like the Kindle or Sony? I was wondering how you got on with them. Is it enough like a book, or is it still a screen for you?
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:31 AM
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As an aside of sorts, Amazon announced that on Christmas Day, for the first time ever in a 24-hour period, their e-books outsold their physical books. Looks like Kindle was a big hit this year.
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