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Last week, frequent reader Ernest sent in a message asking what I thought about e-books as learning tools in the study of magic.
At that time, I begged not to reply, citing a rehearsal session that was keeping me from composing a response.
Today, I’m still on rehearsal mode. The new routines I’m trying to learn are harder to perform smoothly than I previously thought. Still, let me cobble a few words about my thoughts on ebooks, lest I forget about it or lose interest in the subject.
E-books are a new invention. They unavoidably result from the ever-increasing thirst of the world wide web population for more information.
Compared to physical books, e-books are much easier to produce, package and publish. So easy that I, a complete ignorant in book publishing, was able to publish two of my own titles (though they were not about magic).
And there lies the reason that diminishes the allures of e-books. Because many authors find e-books easy to publish, many wannabes write their own opuses, on the fly and in a hurry, thus cluttering the literary field with junk and thrash.
Because of the clutter out there, I buy e-books with great reluctance. I always suspect them to contain information of little value. I search the Net first for reviews before I buy promising titles. Despite this circumspection, I still made a few mistakes in the past and bought inadvertently some titles that ought not to be published, bought and read at all.
Not only my wariness for awful material dictates my reluctance to buy e-books but also my reading habits. E-books are difficult to read on the PC monitor.
Experts say I ought to buy an e-book reader to make e-book reading a pleasure. This is a good advice that I’m not really sold to. You see, I like to read when lying down. Even when I’m reading my emails or surfing the Net to read blogs, I incline my chair so far back that I’m almost in supine position. When reading paperback thrillers, I usually am lying down enjoying the action and story on my bed.
I don’t think even the latest e-book reader can give me the reading comfort that a physical book can offer, given the way I like to enjoy my reading material.
On the positive side, ebooks are cheap to have—much cheaper than physical books. You can have them instantly, without incurring shipping cost, as sellers send them as downloadable items.
If I wanted to get a title fast, I’d probably buy it in e-book form. Once I receive it, I usually have it laser printed nicely in the neighborhood computer printing shop. I then go to a bookbinder and have it bound nicely. (Sometimes, for e-books with only about 30 pages, I just buy paper fasteners and plastic covers from National Book Store to bind it myself.) With the going rate of one peso per laser printed page, a 300-page e-book will only cost me about P300. Add to that the bookbinding cost and the price of the e-book itself, the total cost is usually under P700, a reasonable investment, if you ask me.
So far, I have only a few e-book titles in my collection. If you go the e-book route in your study of magic and its allied arts, there are a few good titles at Lybrary.com (not only about magic but also other interests) and Magic Nook. I have bought a few titles from them that I found worthwhile my attention and time.