How did you get into literature?

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Varislintu » 2015-01-22, 18:43

I didn't read many folk stories as a child, mostly probably because nobody bought me "civilised" books, and because those books didn't catch my eye in libraries.

As an adult, I bought a bilingual Hungarian Folktales book in Hungary. Those stories were insane. :lol: A bit like the result of some kind of "blind translation" game or drug intake. There was this short one called "The Little Bladder" which I read out loud to my (Hungarian) boyfriend. We were laughing until crying and it's still a household joke.

(I put all the blame for it on the people behind that book; I'm not suggesting that Hungarians are weird or that folk stories are bad.)
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Prowler » 2015-01-23, 0:18

I wonder if e-readers and tablets as Kobo and Kindle plus the rise of e-book piracy have made people read more in the last couple of years. Also, with pricey books and this economy, people are slowly putting aside the "it's not the same as a physical copy" mentality regarding e-books.

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby linguoboy » 2015-01-23, 0:57

"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Prowler » 2015-01-23, 1:54

Well, e-book sales probably went down also due to the increase of piracy. I'm sure many people bought e-readers just so they could read pirated e-books on a smaller device instead of through their monitor.

The decrease in sales might also be due to the novelty factor wearing off. Let's see how the sales evolve in the next 5 years. Also, I can't speak for other brands, but in Kobo it's pretty much only .epub files that run smoothly on. .mobi files can also be converted to .epub and one usually doesn't notice the difference. .pdf files, however, not so well. Not to mention you still can't read comics in color on Kobo e-readers. And even black and white such as manga isn't very well supported yet.

Another factor that could explain this is books lowering their prices or new pocket editions coming along. I know that nowadays I see more pocket books than ever. Every bookstore I go into has a bunch of classics in pocket format for under 10 euros.

And last, maybe many people who have tried digital books weren't satisfied with heir experience and decided to go back to physical ones. My Kobo does not have incorporated lighting which makes it harder to read at night unless you happen to have a lamp by your bed.And I've heard people complaining about their head hurting after reading for long periods of time through a device. Could be due to not adjusting its lighting correctly, dunno.

Also, this article only refers to the UK. I wonder if something similar is happening all over the world or not.

I'm sure e-readers will improve over the years and thus gain more costumers. Physical books will certainly always be around just like physical copies of music, movies, etc. will.

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Car » 2015-01-23, 10:35

Honestly, if you read books specifically converted for e-readers, I don't get what kind of problems people have unless they have a crappy e-reader. Good ones are so cheap nowadays (just think of all the offers for the Kindle alone) that there's no need for crappy ones any more.

In many countries, the market share of e-books never was as high as in the US or the UK to begin with (also because of piracy and higher e-book prices, but also because the devices aren't as widespread). Actually, I'd expect the number of pirated books to go down somewhat over time because casual users should be less likely to know where they can find them or take the time for it (just buying the books in the e-book shop is more convenient after all).

Actually, e-reader sales went down again, IIRC, because people prefer tablets as they can do more with them and can be used for more kinds of books (photos, tables, comics are a problem on e-readers, as you mentioned yourself). Of course people who read a lot will prefer e-readers, but most people don't read that much after all.
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Prowler » 2015-01-23, 11:01

Car wrote:Actually, e-reader sales went down again, IIRC, because people prefer tablets as they can do more with them and can be used for more kinds of books (photos, tables, comics are a problem on e-readers, as you mentioned yourself). Of course people who read a lot will prefer e-readers, but most people don't read that much after all.

If I ever get a tablet I won't use it to read books on it. The battery runs out as quickly as it runs on an android phone. While an e-reader's battery can last for a long time. I can read for about a couple of hours and the device only loses about 5% of its battery.

Plenty of my classmates study on their tablets. In this case I prefer paper. One thing is reading a novel, but for studying paper comes more in handy to me since it's easier to go to the page I want and highlight its important. information. Not to mention the fact that I don't need to worry about the battery running out.

Honestly, I don't see the need for a tablet so far.

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Car » 2015-01-23, 11:10

Prowler wrote:If I ever get a tablet I won't use it to read books on it. The battery runs out as quickly as it runs on an android phone. While an e-reader's battery can last for a long time. I can read for about a couple of hours and the device only loses about 5% of its battery.

Plenty of my classmates study on their tablets. In this case I prefer paper. One thing is reading a novel, but for studying paper comes more in handy to me since it's easier to go to the page I want and highlight its important. information. Not to mention the fact that I don't need to worry about the battery running out.

Honestly, I don't see the need for a tablet so far.

I have an e-reader even though I also have a tablet for the same reasons, but I can see why people who don't read a lot, but prefer e-books (at least in some situations) would use them for it. If you only want to read e-books when you're on holidays, getting an e-reader might not make much sense, but books take up too much space and weight. If you already have or want a tablet anyway, you might as well use it for e-books, too.

I agree, but tablets can be nice when you want to surf the net or watch videos etc. for longer times. My tablet's battery isn't what it used to be, but it still lasts longer than a laptop's and it's smaller, too. There's definitely no need for a tablet, but it's just more convenient in some situations. For games it's nice as well.
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Varislintu » 2015-01-23, 11:13

Prowler wrote:Honestly, I don't see the need for a tablet so far.


I think with most modern devices, the device creates the need -- after you own it. :) I didn't need a smart phone until I got one, nor a tablet. I don't have an e-reader because I don't need it -- but I probably would start needing it after getting it.

Well, a laptop was a product that I actually did perceive a need for, and purchased for that reason.
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Prowler » 2015-01-23, 11:23

Car wrote:
Prowler wrote:If I ever get a tablet I won't use it to read books on it. The battery runs out as quickly as it runs on an android phone. While an e-reader's battery can last for a long time. I can read for about a couple of hours and the device only loses about 5% of its battery.

Plenty of my classmates study on their tablets. In this case I prefer paper. One thing is reading a novel, but for studying paper comes more in handy to me since it's easier to go to the page I want and highlight its important. information. Not to mention the fact that I don't need to worry about the battery running out.

Honestly, I don't see the need for a tablet so far.

I have an e-reader even though I also have a tablet for the same reasons, but I can see why people who don't read a lot, but prefer e-books (at least in some situations) would use them for it. If you only want to read e-books when you're on holidays, getting an e-reader might not make much sense, but books take up too much space and weight. If you already have or want a tablet anyway, you might as well use it for e-books, too.

I agree, but tablets can be nice when you want to surf the net or watch videos etc. for longer times. My tablet's battery isn't what it used to be, but it still lasts longer than a laptop's and it's smaller, too. There's definitely no need for a tablet, but it's just more convenient in some situations. For games it's nice as well.

I already have an android if I feel like gaming or browsing the net outside or at a public building. Plus it fits in my pocket. A tablet would be better for watching movies, I guess. But I doubt it replaces a good laptop. I guess it's a cheap fairly small combo of phone + computer. I suppose it comes in handy for businessmen and the like.

Laptop? Would you believe I'm yet to have one? Then again, I game a lot on the PC so :)

Varislintu wrote:
Prowler wrote:Honestly, I don't see the need for a tablet so far.


I think with most modern devices, the device creates the need -- after you own it. :) I didn't need a smart phone until I got one, nor a tablet. I don't have an e-reader because I don't need it -- but I probably would start needing it after getting it.

Well, a laptop was a product that I actually did perceive a need for, and purchased for that reason.

But if I don't need something, I won't buy it. And no one has ever offered me an android or a tablet for my birthday or Christmas. Obviously if I ever get gifted a tablet I'll use it.

I didn't even know what an android phone was exactly until I got my first one in 2012. I just needed a new mobile phone since the one I had since 2007 had finally stopped working. Obviously I don't want to go back now.

Yea, I'm kinda slow when it comes to high-tech. :P

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-01-23, 11:47

E-readers are very useful when it comes to reading in a foreign language because you just need to touch the word you don't know to find out its meaning, moreover the words you look up end up in a database that, besides the meaning of the word, also tells you the page and the sentence where you found that word.

As for tablets, I was gifted one once, and I found it utterly useless, so much so that when it broke for some reason, I didn't even bother to find a place where they could repair it (warranty was expired).
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I e-readers é n muie d'ùtol per lejer per n lengaz forest ajache se cogn demò druchèr la parola che no se cognosc per troèr l segnificat, amò apede la paroles che se chier te na basa dac che, aldelà de l segnificat de la parola, la te disc ence la piata e la frasa olache tu t'as troà chela parola.

Per chel che vèrda i tablets, i me à donà un na outa, e l'é troà deldut endester che canche l se é rompù per vèlch rejon, no me son nience descomodà per troèr n lech olache se podessa l concèr (la garanzìa era jita fora).
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Prowler » 2015-01-23, 11:55

IpseDixit wrote:E-readers are very useful when it comes to reading in a foreign language because you just need to touch the word you don't know to find out its meaning, moreover the words you look up end up in a database that, besides the meaning of the word, also tells you the page and the sentence where you found that word.

Yea I've got a few e-books in German in my Kobo. Ofc I had to be a fool and start by downloading a Nietzsche e-book in German :silly:

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-01-23, 11:59

Moreover, I don't know about kobo, but with kindle I can download a lot of classic books from Amazon totally for free.

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Car » 2015-01-23, 12:45

Prowler wrote:I already have an android if I feel like gaming or browsing the net outside or at a public building. Plus it fits in my pocket. A tablet would be better for watching movies, I guess. But I doubt it replaces a good laptop. I guess it's a cheap fairly small combo of phone + computer. I suppose it comes in handy for businessmen and the like.

Sure, unless you do it for hours. Then the bigger screen comes in handy. Unless you have one of those bigger smartphones, but those don't fit into your pocket any more. It's more portable than a laptop and the battery lasts longer, too, so it's more comfortable in many situations, even at home (when using it on the sofa, for example). A necesity? No, definitely not. Nice to have? Yes. I don't even use it much at home, but when I'm not at home, a laptop would just have many disadvantages where I use my tablet (too big, heavy, the battery is too bad). It's also nice if, for whatever reason, you can only use it with one hand (because you need the other hand to hold the device, to give one example).

Ipse is right, I really miss the dictionary function when I'm reading a book in print. The freer choice of dictionaries made me opt for the Kindle instead of the most popular ePub e-readers (some of them have excellent built-in ones, but if those aren't enough for you, you often have no choice to replace them). So much about the bigger "freedom" the ePub world offers you.

According to the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, people in Germany turn their backs on e-books (see this article for that and lots of stats), but that is highly questionable to say the least.
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Prowler » 2015-01-23, 12:58

My android is fairly big. Still fits in my pockets, though. Fortunately jeans usually have fairly deep pockets.

Well, I don't watch youtube videos on it much unless I'm at home and don't feel like getting off my bed to the computer. My modem also works as a router so I just turn on the wi-fi and watch a youtube video or check out an app or two on my phone while on the bed. Watching youtube videos outside wastes a lot of memory and bandwidth. And I HATE public wi-fi. You can also read e-books on your android... but that's not recommendable at all. The screen is to small to read or watch movies on it. That's where tablets are a big advantage over androids. Not to mention they're lighter than laptops as you've mentioned. I guess if I traveled long distances by bus or train on a weekly basis a tablet would come in handy to keep me entertained throughout trips. Well, not bus trips. Reading on the bus or car makes me nauseous fast.

I

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Varislintu » 2015-01-23, 13:48

Prowler wrote:That's where tablets are a big advantage over androids.


You mean over phones. :P

When I got a tablet, I actually for a long time almost stopped using my laptop. For me, my browsing/blog reading was much more comfortable to do on the tablet on the living room sofa, rather than on a laptop wich needs to be hooked to the wall outlet all the time (battery, hah). I've never had much neck and shoulder issues, but even the occasional trouble I had also disappeared as I stopped using a mouse so much in my free time.

But of course writing, and forum post formatting, is much more tedious on a tablet.
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Jegesmedve » 2015-01-25, 16:46

Varislintu wrote:As an adult, I bought a bilingual Hungarian Folktales book in Hungary. Those stories were insane. :lol: A bit like the result of some kind of "blind translation" game or drug intake. There was this short one called "The Little Bladder" which I read out loud to my (Hungarian) boyfriend. We were laughing until crying and it's still a household joke.

(I put all the blame for it on the people behind that book; I'm not suggesting that Hungarians are weird or that folk stories are bad.)

Folktales are supposed to be weird, not dead serious, aren't they? :P
By the way, is that story 'A kis gömböc'? [If it is, then bladder is in my opinion a bad translation for gömböc, it has nothing to do with a urinary bladder.] It may be a metaphor for excess, greed or someone's big ego. :hmm:

It always reminded me a wee bit of Rotkäppchen as far as the eating part is concerned. :mrgreen:

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Varislintu » 2015-01-25, 18:12

Jegesmedve wrote:Folktales are supposed to be weird, not dead serious, aren't they? :P


Yes, I give you that. :lol: I think they work better when heard told by someone, than when matter-of-factly minimally translated and printed. From text you kind of expect more... embellishment and back-story, than from a lively oral account. :)

Jegesmedve wrote:By the way, is that story 'A kis gömböc'? [If it is, then bladder is in my opinion a bad translation for gömböc, it has nothing to do with a urinary bladder.] It may be a metaphor for excess, greed or someone's big ego. :hmm:


Yes, that's exactly the one! :mrgreen: I think that unfortunately the book didn't really do very well with its English translations of the stories -- it felt like they were rushed. I guess they aimed for a purely pragmatic translation rather than an artistic one. Thanks, btw, for explaining the moral of the story -- I have been wondering what it might be.
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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Jegesmedve » 2015-01-25, 18:56

Varislintu wrote:Yes, I give you that. :lol: I think they work better when heard told by someone, than when matter-of-factly minimally translated and printed. From text you kind of expect more... embellishment and back-story, than from a lively oral account. :)

Exactly.
The fact that it was aimed at international readers (and of course poorly translated), makes me wonder why didn't they give some back-story about Hungarian folktales? They thought, everyone can Google the background information, if they are that interested. :D :silly:

Yes, that's exactly the one! :mrgreen: I think that unfortunately the book didn't really do very well with its English translations of the stories -- it felt like they were rushed. I guess they aimed for a purely pragmatic translation rather than an artistic one. Thanks, btw, for explaining the moral of the story -- I have been wondering what it might be.

Eipä kestä.

It's really a pity that the translators didn't take the time to come up with a decent translation. Come on, translating gömböc as a bladder gives a rather perverse taste to the story. :) The translating business has gone downhill since communism. One the one hand there was a ideological censure, but on the other hand text were revised and read through properly before printing which doesn't happen that often today. The publisher can also be blamed for botching the translation, translators need to be given a fair conditions to do their job efficiently.

Anyway, why don't you take a shot at the original Hungarian one? We're linguistically relatives, very distant relatives. :mrgreen: I bet your boyfriend would help you.

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-25, 20:05

Varislintu wrote:Thanks, btw, for explaining the moral of the story -- I have been wondering what it might be.

There's an Indian folktale (from the Panchatantra) where a woman gives birth to a snake who gets married off to her husband's best friend's daughter. But one night, the snake's wife goes to her bedroom and sees a handsome young man instead of her husband. The young man convinces her that he's really the snake by changing into a snake and back into a young man, then resolves to do this every night. One night, his dad overhears them, peeks through their window, and then runs in, grabs the snakeskin lying on the floor, and promptly burns it. The son is grateful, because he is really someone who had been cursed to live as a snake and wouldn't be free from the curse until someone burned his skin without permission. I've also been wondering what the moral of that story might be. The book where I read it claimed that it was that good deeds are rewarded and bad ones are punished, but that seems like an unusually convoluted story just to illustrate that point. :lol: I mean, I could honestly have less trouble believing that the moral was it's totally okay to eavesdrop on your married son and daughter-in-law in the middle of the night when they're in their own bedroom and then just randomly barge in uninvited.

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Re: How did you get into literature?

Postby Varislintu » 2015-01-25, 21:06

Jegesmedve wrote:They thought, everyone can Google the background information, if they are that interested. :D :silly:


And most often thoughts of googling are like 20 a day, of which maybe one is remembered when next time at the computer. :P

Jegesmedve wrote:Come on, translating gömböc as a bladder gives a rather perverse taste to the story. :)


Yes, I for one thought they meant the urinary bladder. Isn't it rather the stomach?

Jegesmedve wrote:Anyway, why don't you take a shot at the original Hungarian one? We're linguistically relatives, very distant relatives. :mrgreen: I bet your boyfriend would help you.


Yeah, he would gladly, I'm sure. :mrgreen: But I have to admit I haven't properly sat down to study Hungarian grammar, so while I have a small basic vocabulary, I can't read almost anything. :oops:
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