Real options and signaling in strategic investment games ebook
Some of them have made this American road trip before, though in the opposite direction; others are new to the road but confident that where I go, they go — my external, analogue hard drive, the picture of my consciousness, my personal library. About two years ago, when my wife and I decided to move back east — or East, which is not the same thing — we began to take stock of our collection of books. This was in part the natural pruning of any flowering plant that had grown beyond its allotted space, but also an economic matter.
So we decided to cut the number of books by half, a big effort, which resulted in some arguments and countless trips to our local used bookstore, the marvelous Logos Books and Music.
This task was complicated by the fact, familiar to all bibliophiles, that even as we were selling off our library, we continued to buy more books. Particularly treacherous was the semiannual library book sale, where donated books are sold by the pound. And why stop with one? The irony of this is that for the past 20 years, I have principally made a living helping publishers publish e-books and journals and other forms of digital content.
I read print books because I already own thousands and cannot resist browsing in a used bookstore, which is in fact one of the few things that gets me to leave my study and its capacious desktop machine to venture out of doors. Culling the library can be painful. The case for keeping poetry is strong if you have a propensity for rereading, but fiction is not such an easy call. What makes this such an arduous task is that it is not about books at all but about a dialogue with your own mind.
Is this volume something you want to engage again — load it into RAM, so to speak — or is this title so central to how you think about yourself, or how you want others to think about you, that parting with it is tantamount to giving up a piece of your self? People have always culled personal libraries, of course, but the process is different in the age of the e-book. The literary classics that fill an entire book case are now all available electronically, most of them for free.
For example, what are the environmental issues of owning a large library? If I were bookless, I could live in a house that was at least one full room smaller, perhaps two. That would require a less costly house and a lower heating bill. Or there is the aesthetic dimension of printed books. As we house-hunted, we stepped into a stunning house in Bronxville, NY, whose every room was lined with bookshelves. Perhaps the owner was a professor of political science or an editor at the New York Times.
Or perhaps he or she was simply one of the thousands, millions of people who work in law and real estate and finance for whom books come second only to family. The books made a powerful and beautiful statement, but I could not help to think as I checked email on my phone and posted to Twitter that the house was a monument to a soon-to-be-bygone era. In a few years, that personal library will be as rare as a house with stables for horses.
So what are the books themselves thinking? They are iconic — a picture of a human mind in five hundred or a thousand running feet — but not for much longer. They can feel themselves losing their hold on the imaginations of the reading public. Do we have a new candidate for the saddest story ever told? Now a personal library is something that resides on a computer server somewhere, accessed through your Amazon account.
A guest in your home will no longer note that Gibbon or Boswell lies next to your easy chair. If someone wants to know who you are through your books, the place to look is GoodReads and LibraryThing. The printed book is aware of the passage of time.
Reducing the size of my personal library made me aware that I had probably bought my last new print book. There may be exceptions to this, as when I purchase a gift for someone, but otherwise my new books will be e-books. Used books are a different matter, though, as the pleasure of browsing is something I will not give up until the last bookstore closes.
I will continue to read print because I already own so many unread print books, but the e-book revolution is well on its way in this household. Oddly, it is easier to contemplate a world of e-books than a house without stuffed bookshelves.
Two footnotes to this tale. At the closing for our new house, I asked the seller what he had done with his extensive personal library as he prepared to move out. It was the wrong question — disposing of his library had pained him deeply. He will never have a library like that again, and he feels diminished, older, for it.
The new owner of our old house in California had a diferent take on things. He is a professional writer, with books and screenplays to his credit. I need to have a great many bookshelves built. Joe Esposito is a management consultant for the publishing and digital services industries. Joe focuses on organizational strategy and new business development.
He is active in both the for-profit and not-for-profit areas. Reblogged this on Things I grab, motley collection. If all I want to convey is information, then I use E-books, or just the web. I used to need hundreds of technical reference manuals, now I just need the Internet. My physical books convey emotion as well. I remember reading my book about King Arthor as a child hiding under the covers with a flashlight. I remember the feel of the cover, the smell of the pages and I remember how the marks and stains on the cover were made.
Like you said, a question of generation probably. From what I gathered, many or most of the books you agonized about are public domain classics available for free download from gutenberg. I feel like I have way too much screen time in my life, and a chance to do some pleasure reading is a chance to unplug, to disconnect from the internet and to deal with a physical object rather than a virtual one.
Can you make the same argument here that we all made for music, re-buying on CD the same albums we already owned on vinyl? But my real sticking point is that I refuse to lock myself in to one device, one bookstore for the rest of my life particularly given the shaky economic state of bookstores. If I start buying Nook books, what happens to my collection when Barnes and Noble goes under? The ebook version of the MP3 would be one of the aspects of a ScholarsCatalog project, which I have been championing for some time now.
I agree with every one of your points. This problem is what stops me from getting into eBooks, and even into digital music to some extent: The eBook version of the mp3 exists—in two versions. Without the DRM, they could be transferable indefinitely…. I love the way it lets you add tags, search and use the internet to find metadata and covers using title, author or isbn info. I enjoy being able to put attractive covers on my many, many public domain books instead of just using the plain, generic ones they were wearing when I got them.
Also I have to admit I have worked in libraries for a lot of years and I like the ease with which this program allows me to organize!
I agree with you up to your last sentence. Just compare the same song on mp3 to CD. The biggest problem that the author fails to highlight is that e-book format in any format needs a cloud based service and this opens the doors for hackers.
Just look at the hacking of Amazon and Apple. Finally, the author also neglects to mention what will happen to backlist as tech companies seize control of literature and non-fiction. Fair enough, given that we just had a post here talking about the value of typography and designthings frequently lost in the conversion to eBook.
I think the other problem with any system that relies on the cloud is that your purchase can cease to exist, or at least cease to function properly if that cloud service goes out of business, is bought by someone else or just decides to change business models.
There are many independent ebooksellers, such as Books on Board, etc. This was a nice piece, thanks. Now I rarely buy a physical book, but I still love my collection.
This is why I have never bought a Kindle. A universal file format alone is not enough if that file format is weighed down with proprietary DRM. As someone who makes a living that relies on respecting copyright, I have a hard time circumventing it, even when I feel justified in doing so. My very limited time these days is of higher worth to me than the few dollars it costs to buy a print version of a book, which requires no modification or additional effort on my part.
Prior to the advent of the e-book, there were few alternatives to carrying your library around with you. The closure of Borders, which was the only large, new-book bookstore in my town certainly helped in this, though.
I had a similar experience in moving to Texas after retiring as director of Penn State University Press. After culling my collection of some books that i donated to the local AAUW book sale, I had eight skids of books shipped to my new home whose garage has been converted into a library, with shelving from the local IKEA that maximizes efficient use of space.
My library still totals over 3, books, but about half of those are books I acquired as an editor working for Princeton U. Not only that, but a portion of them continue to be serviceable as reference works as I continue to acquire books part-time for three academic publishers in my semi-retirement. I have dreamed of the day when all of these books could be stored in the cloud and I would have to move nothing except the rare books I also ownbut I will be long dead before most of these reach the point of entering the public domain and not costing anything to access through the Digital Public Library of America.
Like you, Joe, I have long been a digital publishing evangelist. Yet I cling to my print books too. Just at that same time, I was doing a ton of travel, including internationally. My old Seybold backpack would not stand the strain — nor would my old Kasdorf back. I bought yes, bought the exact same translation and edition translated by Constance Garnett, foreword by Thomas Mann for my Kindle its butt-ugly typography notwithstanding.
And I do buy new books in hardcover. Another case in point: Not only did I buy them in hardcover, I made it a point to buy them in one of the few remaining independent bookstores in this book-centric town Ann Arbor, home of the late lamented Borders. Seems possible both are going to live side-by-side, indefinitely. Thanks for this; problems that I have been fighting myself, and I may face a similar dilemma soon. For professional reasons I am interested by eBooks and I see a lot of potential in them.
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The approximate location of the cleave planes is shown as well. The devices used for waveguide loss measurements are indicated with red arrows. Also shown is an image of the lithographic pattern defined on the chip. Some structures consist of a single bend, while some have several bends. (b) The optical transmission is plotted as a function of lateral fiber position, with purple lines corresponding to the positions of waveguides.