PDA

View Full Version : saying good bye to the books



Jimbob
2012-05-01, 02:41 AM
So I was having a play with my mates tablet, showing me his D&D apps etc and a thought came into my head.

What if I buy myself one, get all the books I own on PDF or Ebook format chuck them onto the tablet and sell off my books.

So I was just wondering if any one has had/done the same thing as I am concidering doing and if so what is it like to use in and out of play.

My only thoughts on it is, I have spent alot of money and time getting my books and dont think I would get back much of what I have paid for them, and there is nothing like having the book to hand.
But a possitve is that, rather then carrying around 10 or so books each week and not breaking my back does sound like a good way to go and I have ALL my books to hand rather then the select few.

Oh and before any one says, "dont seel ya books and keep them." The T&C's of me getting the tablet is that I do sell off my books once it is all up and running and I am happy with it (bloody woman (and thats my woman not any that are on here, before I get shouted at.))

Just want peopls thoughts really.

Fatebreaker
2012-05-01, 02:50 AM
Honestly, I like the idea of both a physical library and an electronic one. The first is because, yeah, I like having a +5 Impressive Library. I dunno, maybe it will help me pick up chicks? Who accidentally wander into my house? I'm not sure how that's gonna work.

*ahem*

Anyhow, so I like real books and I like the idea of having them displayed. But I also like the idea of carrying a single portable device which has any book, any rule, anything I need right then and there. That's just too convenient. I figure I'll let the tablet market develop a bit more, and in a year or two start up the great electronic library. But I'll still keep my print-books.

Check Amazon or Ebay. See how much the books will go for. You may find (and you may be able to convince your lady-friend) that it's not profitable to sell the books, so you end up keeping both. Or maybe you'll find that selling is an awesome idea. But until you know how much your books will sell for, you're missing a key piece of the puzzle.

mucco
2012-05-01, 05:13 AM
Honestly, I like the idea of both a physical library and an electronic one. The first is because, yeah, I like having a +5 Impressive Library. I dunno, maybe it will help me pick up chicks? Who accidentally wander into my house? I'm not sure how that's gonna work.

Picking up girls with DnD books? Good luck with that, seriously.

I think a good idea is to have the generic, needed-every-evening books on the tablet (PHB+DMG, if you're playing 3.5), while bringing with you a couple book only you need, like the manual where is the monster you'll be using if you're DMing (might be Lords of Madness), or the manual describing your class' unique features if you're a player (Tome of Battle).

Strawberries
2012-05-01, 05:19 AM
Picking up girls with DnD books? Good luck with that, seriously.


Speaking as a girl, that would be an excellent way to catch my interest, so... you need to find the right kind of girls? :smalltongue:

And I second that the tablet is awesome for ease of carrying... but nothing compares to a physical book. So... convince your sinificant other to let you keep them?

Fatebreaker
2012-05-01, 05:28 AM
Picking up girls with DnD books? Good luck with that, seriously.

Someday, we all roll that natural 20. Someday.


Speaking as a girl, that would be an excellent way to catch my interest, so... you need to find the right kind of girls? :smalltongue:

Hi, Strawberries! I have a library, I shower regularly, and I'm not an axe-murderer!


And I second that the tablet is awesome for ease of carrying... but nothing compares to a physical book. So... convince your sinificant other to let you keep them?

Also, question any significant other who makes you dispose of your hobby and your possessions, and especially one who makes you dispose of your hobby possessions.

Oh, Mucco got me thinking, and if nothing else, keep your core books. At least that way you'll have those available if something goes wrong.

Strawberries
2012-05-01, 05:52 AM
Hi, Strawberries! I have a library, I shower regularly, and I'm not an axe-murderer!

:smallbiggrin:

Hi, Fatebreaker! Me too, me too, I'm not an axe murderer either (poison leaves less tracks) and I have an awesome, nerdy boyfriend.... sorry! :smalltongue: But there are lots of us out there, you know. :smallwink:


Also, question any significant other who makes you dispose of your hobby and your possessions, and especially one who makes you dispose of your hobby possessions.

I'm going to be the Devil's advocate, here, for a moment :smalltongue:, and say that if you have space issues, that is a legitimate concern. I know I have issues with space for all my books, and as I am soon to move abroad, I really don't know how I'm going to relocate all my library...
...maybe, as a compromise, offer to reorganize the library so it is more tidy? Look into space-saving solutions from Ikea or the like...you'd be surprised how much it helps to keep things neat.

Jimbob
2012-05-01, 06:00 AM
Well the main reason is for space as we have a 2 year old and like the rising tide, his toys are slowly taking over our house and what was once my almighty book collection has slowly moved up shelves to make room for Thomas and Frieman Sam books and many other books and the shelf is looking like it is grinning at me under the weight of the books.

And also one thing people have not thought about is the money side of things. Not trying to sound hard up or anything but as a dad I feel REALLY guilty if I ever spend any money on me as we are not hard up but not well off, so whilst I will have the inital out lay of the tablet, the money from the books will ease my guilt and my bank account :smalltongue:

I like the idea of keeping my core books as they are always good to read and handy to keep by the loo but I have (at my last count) 20ish "splat" books that dont really get read that much and I feel a little guilty every time I walk past and they look at me with those "read me read me" eyes.

Fatebreaker
2012-05-01, 06:05 AM
:smallbiggrin:

Hi, Fatebreaker! Me too, me too, I'm not an axe murderer either (poison leaves less tracks) and I have an awesome, nerdy boyfriend.... sorry! :smalltongue: But there are lots of us out there, you know. :smallwink:

*clutches heart* Oh, sad day! Fate has dealt me the dreaded natural 1 of denial once more!

High-five on the poison vibe, though. A classy lady is always well-versed in methods of alchemical assassination. I hope you don't mind if I wear gloves during said high five. For totally unrelated reasons. Totally.


I'm going to be the Devil's advocate, here, for a moment :smalltongue:, and say that if you have space issues, that is a legitimate concern. I know I have issues with space for all my books, and as I am soon to move abroad, I really don't know how I'm going to relocate all my library...
...maybe, as a compromise, offer to reorganize the library so it is more tidy? Look into space-saving solutions from Ikea or the like...you'd be surprised how much it helps to keep things neat.

Space is a fair concern, though it does raise the pertinent question of, "what size library are we talking here?"

Also, why does she want you to get rid of it in the first place?

Edit: Apparently, these questions were answered whilst posting. Sad boosh.

Strawberries
2012-05-01, 06:47 AM
High-five on the poison vibe, though. A classy lady is always well-versed in methods of alchemical assassination. I hope you don't mind if I wear gloves during said high five. For totally unrelated reasons. Totally.

I need to sig this, somehow, when I get to reorganize my signature. Would you mind?



And also one thing people have not thought about is the money side of things. Not trying to sound hard up or anything but as a dad I feel REALLY guilty if I ever spend any money on me as we are not hard up but not well off, so whilst I will have the initial out lay of the tablet, the money from the books will ease my guilt and my bank account :smalltongue:


Okay, so what you need is a cost/benefit analysis, as others have already suggested.

I'll pander to my obsessive-compulsive side and suggest that you open a neat spreadsheet: on one side, put the cost of the tablet... the cost of several options for the tablet, actually, as there are many models. And, if you wish, the cost of another library module (sources: Amazon, price comparison sites, ikea site...). On the other column, put all the book you want to sell and the price you think you could get (sources: Amazon again, E-bay). See if the one balances the other: that way, you have a clearer picture of your options, and you get also to see which kind of tablet you could afford.

Spreadsheets. Id be lost without them. :smalltongue:

Jimbob
2012-05-01, 07:19 AM
Spreadsheets. Id be lost without them. :smalltongue:

You just sound like my other half and her love for spreadsheets :smallbiggrin:

Well I have had a look around at amazon/ebay etc and with a rough look it seems that I can top end make around 250-300 for ALL my books. If I where to take out the select ones that I love so very much then more like the 250 mark. Which is near enough the cost of the tablet that I want which is only 280 at the min.

And 2 things wrong with the storage sugestion, 1st being somewhere to put them and 2nd I HATE IKEA!!!!!! :smallfurious:

Bronk
2012-05-01, 07:33 AM
I've tried keeping DnD PDF's on the kindle fire, and it works out pretty well for spot checking rules or for keeping one or two pages up, but it isn't as easy to flip around and such. It displays each page like a picture, and with each page flip it resizes to fit, making the words very tiny. Most DnD books have extensive margins! Perhaps with a bigger screen...

ILM
2012-05-01, 07:48 AM
I have a tablet (can't beat the value for money of a $100 Touchpad!) and I do use it when DMing. Plugged into my wifi it makes checking the SRD a breeze, and you can keep specific pages from pdf books open if you know in advance that they'll be relevant. However, for a spot rules check or building characters, it's just not fast enough. The pdfs are huge and it takes a while to open and scoll to wherever you want to go. Maybe other tablets have faster and better designed pdf readers, but for me books are still a necessity.

Fatebreaker
2012-05-01, 08:06 AM
I need to sig this, somehow, when I get to reorganize my signature. Would you mind?

In my head, you're holding a suspiciously nondescript vial whilst asking ever-so-sweetly.

Seriously though, go nuts, have fun, sig away!

NikitaDarkstar
2012-05-01, 08:10 AM
Picking up girls with DnD books? Good luck with that, seriously.


Hey now, I knew for a fact the man I'm now married with was the right guy when he got me the DMG after it went out of print. :p

AS for an electronic library. I've honestly been thinking of doing this myself, albeit not with D&D books but with technical manuals. (It's odd, but yes that would be useful for me.)
The thing is it would somewhat depends on which books we're talking about and the format they're in since some .pdf's can't be searched, can't be "clicked" (click a topic in the index and it takes you to the right page) or are poorly scanned and looks horrible when brought up to a sensible size. I have this issue with my 3.5 library, some books looks great, some are horrible. And don't get me started on the 3.0 books or AD&D books. The idea is nice and all, and it works (sort of), but finding good quality .pdf's will be hard for some books, especially the out-of-print ones since those aren't likely to be available as e-books either.
If you're running 4ed, pathfinder or generally any system in print right now you might have more luck however.

Also, those things can be used as an excuse to keep the physical books. ;)

Jay R
2012-05-01, 08:51 AM
"I like big books and I cannot lie."

I have most of my D&D books in pdf on my flash drive. My experience is that it's a great advantage, but the pdfs don't replace the books, and the books don't replace the pdfs. But I've never tried going a week without using the books.

I suspect that it would be very awkward looking things up at first, but that pretty soon you'd get used to it, and it would be fine.

Ozreth
2012-05-01, 11:56 PM
Meh, to me a physical book is a good chunk of what this game and hobby is actually about. Much of my love of the game is the design, art, layout etc of these tomes and a lot is lost when you translate them into a digital format.

But if you don't like the books for any of those reasons then go for it. To me, and this goes for novels as well, I admire the way they are crafted and glancing at them on my bookshelf makes me want to grab one and snuggle up with it and read. The same doesn't happen to me when looking at a tablet.

Also, many people both gamer and non gamer seem to enjoy sifting through the bookshelf when they come over. Books really compliment a good room and can whip up some good conversation. Also, friends and I often borrow each others books (again, both gaming and non gaming books) which just dosen't work with digital versions.

I don't know, I think a lot more goes into and comes out of books then some people realize anymore.

ScubaGoomba
2012-05-02, 12:29 AM
You know, I was going to make some post about how I really prefer flipping through books instead of using digital resources, but, upon thinking about it, it's a total lie. At the game table, my session plans include links to the PFSRD for all of the monsters that I'll be using, whose pages have their own links to feats. The PFSRD is easily searched and well organized to allow for quick use during game sessions. If you're playing Pathfinder, all you really need is access to the PFSRD and you're set. A DM screen comes in handy, but isn't entirely necessary.

What type of tablet are you looking at? I know the iPad can't multitask, which makes it less desirable for DMing (and is why I use the laptop, instead), but I think some of the Windows tablets allow you to switch easily between apps. If anybody has experience with the Pathfinder SRD app, then maybe you could talk about its usefulness.

I will, however, state that I really like having books to flip through when planning sessions. Digital resources (even pdfs) are such a pain to tab back and forth through, especially when the Table of Contents aren't well organized and you wind up having to scroll around forever until you find exactly what you want. Cross-referencing within a single book is always a pain in the rear. Screencaps alleviate that pain in-session, but those can be a real memory drain on your platform if you use too many of them and, aesthetically, I can't stand the lack of uniformity that they create.

I would suggest keeping the books, but definitely take them off your bookshelf. They don't add any real appeal, they aren't the prettiest of books, and they're weighing down the shelf itself. Find a nice chest to keep them in and tuck that into your closet. I do that with my books and everything works out perfectly fine.

Crow
2012-05-02, 01:46 AM
I have an easier time just picking up the book and flipping to where I need to go DURING the game. Dealing with pdf's in the middle of the game has always been more trouble than just having the book there. Especially if the game is time-crunched.

However, pdf's have been invaluable to me while PLANNING the game. Especially because I can take them with me anywhere I may end up having some spare time.

Plus, if I hadn't stumbled upon my old Shadowrun (3rd edition) books hidden away in my garage, I would have never started playing again. That doesn't happen for me with pdf's.

Jimbob
2012-05-02, 02:34 AM
What type of tablet are you looking at? I know the iPad can't multitask, which makes it less desirable for DMing (and is why I use the laptop, instead), but I think some of the Windows tablets allow you to switch easily between apps. If anybody has experience with the Pathfinder SRD app, then maybe you could talk about its usefulness.



ScubaGoomba, I was looking at the Samsung Galaxy 10" 16Gb tablet as the reviews I have seen have rated it very highly and seems to do what I want etc, but have not seen a PDF in action on it, so a little more research is required on that front.

And whilst I do enjoy looking through my books, I only seem to use a select few, esp when I am playing so atleast this way I have all my books to hand rather then thinking half way through a session "damn why did I not bring that book".

Shivore
2012-05-02, 07:44 AM
I just got into RPGs recently, and I have an iPad but I still got mostly printed books. To me it's about the feel, much easier to read through and highlight and bookmark, and much easier to let the imagination wander while reading.

That said, at least for Pathfinder, buying the PDFs is a lot cheaper and so I have a few books only in PDF form, books I won't use as much.

However for on the fly rules lookup, nothing can beat the iPad, especially with the "PFRPG rd" app (yes that's what it's called... someone liked their alphabet soup) so the iPad has it's place at the table for me, despite the printed book library.

Ozreth
2012-05-02, 07:59 AM
I know the iPad can't multitask

The iPad can multitask. Every iOS device can.

Shivore
2012-05-02, 11:07 AM
Well to get technical (and I'm only doing this because that might be the source of the confustion):

The iPad cannot multitask.

The iPad 2 can multitask.

The new iPad can multitask.


Of course now if anyone says iPad you can be almost sure they mean either the iPad 2 or the new iPad as that is all you can buy anymore, but it still might be causing some confusion.

Malachei
2012-05-02, 11:23 AM
The haptic delight of books is too sweet to pass up. Though I do use it, a tablet can only be the temporary substitute for weight issues.

valadil
2012-05-02, 11:34 AM
Well the main reason is for space as we have a 2 year old and like the rising tide, his toys are slowly taking over our house and what was once my almighty book collection has slowly moved up shelves to make room for Thomas and Frieman Sam books and many other books and the shelf is looking like it is grinning at me under the weight of the books.


Counterpoint. Do you trust your 2 year old not to break your tablet? My 7 month old loves ripping books and smashing electronics. If he's going to break gaming materials, I'd rather they be books, which I can afford to replace.

I agree with what everyone else has said about readability. PDFs are great for looking up the exact text of that one feat you took from a new splatbook. But I wouldn't want to sit down and read a PDF cover to cover (or whatever metaphor works for ebooks).

Do the people you play with also have tablets? I like being able to hand off a book while reading another one. If your library is bound to a tablet, only one person can read from it at a time.

(I should point out that I'm biased in favor of physical books because I spend too much time on the computer and like to keep gaming as my analog hobby.)

Ravens_cry
2012-05-02, 02:39 PM
Let me be frank, I love books. I love their heft, their feel, their smell, their texture.
Plus, I love the feeling I actually own a book.
No electronic boondoggle can take it away.
Civilisation could be wiped out, but if I have books and I have dice, I can still play.
Books do not go obsolete, books are, on a human scale, practically permanent. I have gaming books gifted from friends that are older then I am.
I have other books that are older than my grandmother.
They still work as books. They can be read, enjoyed.
Their only downside are a lack of easy searchability, and, yes, they are heavy.
But for most uses, I prefer them, and will likely continue to do so.

Solaris
2012-05-02, 04:00 PM
Let me be frank, I love books. I love their heft, their feel, their smell, their texture.
Plus, I love the feeling I actually own a book.
No electronic boondoggle can take it away.
Civilisation could be wiped out, but if I have books and I have dice, I can still play.
Books do not go obsolete, books are, on a human scale, practically permanent. I have gaming books gifted from friends that are older then I am.
I have other books that are older than my grandmother.
They still work as books. They can be read, enjoyed.
Their only downside are a lack of easy searchability, and, yes, they are heavy.
But for most uses, I prefer them, and will likely continue to do so.

What he said.

I've been forced, through unhappy circumstance, to play without books for the last two-three years. I miss them. The electronic is not a sufficient substitute.

Kerrin
2012-05-02, 06:52 PM
I like my electronic books for reference material, conveniently carry around loads of books, and for having the books available wherever I happen to be.

However, I do love cuddling up with a physical copy of the same book when sitting on the couch in the living room to peruse it for various reasons,

Phyrrus
2012-05-02, 08:01 PM
Here's something I can finally come out of lurkerdom to contribute on!

Earlier this year, I found myself about to GM a M&M game, and recalling all of the npc's sheets I had to shuffle through in the course of the last one, I decided that perhaps having pdf versions on a tablet might be advantageous.

So I used this as an excuse to pick up the Asus Transformer Prime, which I'd been drooling over.

Since then, I've discovered a couple of things in the advantages/disadvantages of actively using a tablet for these purposes.

First, for my original purpose, swapping between several small character sheet pdf's, it worked fine. One stipulation: I haven't found a program for android yet that maintains several pdf's open at once, so it requires closing one to open another, which is acceptable on small documents.

Second, for the purposes of referring to rules mid-game, its horrible. Despite all the power of the tablet, it doesn't seem to handle very large (rulebook large) documents well, often taking several moments to load the desired page. Additionally, the default readers do not have a good navigation interface (for android at least) yet. I would suggest breaking the rulebooks into smaller segments if you can.

As a counterpoint to the pitfalls of pdf's on a tablet: on android at least, there are a couple of extraordinarily useful tools, a complete spellbook for both 3.5 and Pathfinder, and a program that can interface with the DDI for 4e (as DDI won't work on Android as I've found) to give you a relatively useful character sheet.

Also, I'll add my voice to the chorus of; "don't ditch the books if you don't have to". You can never truly top the physical books.

Kane0
2012-05-02, 11:27 PM
I use my laptop for my character sheet (home-made excel sheet, works well) and my iphone for dice rolling. I have relevant books in PDF form and a handy app on my iPhone just in case so i can easily make do without books at all, they sit at home for when i feel like browsing through them.

Although i am restricted when it comes to limited access to power.

Jimbob
2012-05-03, 12:27 AM
Counterpoint. Do you trust your 2 year old not to break your tablet? My 7 month old loves ripping books and smashing electronics. If he's going to break gaming materials, I'd rather they be books, which I can afford to replace.



I have to say, that he has sat there with me whilst I read one book and he is flicking through a MM or something else with pictures very happily and too this date (touch wood, turn around 3 times and touch your nose) he has not damaged any of my books. When I have left any of my books out or he grabs one off the shelf and sits in his bed very happily saying "dinosaur" at pretty much everything.

But I do see what you mean, but then it would be covered by the house insurence where my books are not.


Second, for the purposes of referring to rules mid-game, its horrible. Despite all the power of the tablet, it doesn't seem to handle very large (rulebook large) documents well, often taking several moments to load the desired page. Additionally, the default readers do not have a good navigation interface (for android at least) yet. I would suggest breaking the rulebooks into smaller segments if you can.



What file sizes are we talking about here 50+Mb files as most of the ones I have seen/aquired are between 10 and 25Mb.

Talakeal
2012-05-03, 12:56 AM
I did the same thing, had the entire collection of third edition books and sold them on e-bay. Only got about 400 dollars for them, probably could have gotten more if I had waited or sold them separately. Of course, the box they were shipped in somehow got destroyed in transit and all but a couple of the books was lost by the post office and never delivered. So yeah... turned out to not be such a good deal after all.

Machpants
2012-05-03, 01:49 AM
I have a really quite large collection of real books and PDFs, I wouldn't get rid of my books for anything. I love RPG books, even though I do more reading on my 'new' iPad.
And the new iPad I never have any trouble multi-tasking with multiple A4 PDFs or finding what I need. Just gotta get multiple apps up at once.
And the new screen makes reading the large RPG books such a pleasure, my iPad2 is now my other halves who mainly uses it to read novels. The step up from 2 to 3 is massive for RPG books.

Oh and Hai :D

Jimbob
2012-05-03, 04:30 AM
Well as im not looking at getting an ipad but a samsung, does any one know how it copes with PDF's? I know it comes with an PDF reader but not sure how it runs and also can it multi-task pdf's or do I need an app for it and if so can any one recomend any?

Im still in the early stages of looking so good to know all my options.

cheers

Drascin
2012-05-03, 05:57 AM
Their only downside are a lack of easy searchability, and, yes, they are heavy.

I always find finding things I know the rough position in the book of much easier with my hands than a pdf. My hands and eyes scroll and react much faster than Adobe Reader does, for one :smalltongue:.

So for searchability I tend to prefer the prints a lot. Hence why I tend to print most of my pdfs.

Phyrrus
2012-05-03, 08:02 AM
What file sizes are we talking about here 50+Mb files as most of the ones I have seen/aquired are between 10 and 25Mb.

Yeah, thats about the sizes I was referencing, approx. 5-10Mb for a few page char sheet, which loads pretty well. 45Mb or so for the typical-sized rulebook, takes a few moments to load a page when you jump to a specific page in the book.

Which is fine when you only need to jump to said page and lave it there for reference, but doing a lot of 'page-flipping' as it were, can become painful.

Palegreenpants
2012-05-03, 09:11 AM
I've got a library of about 30 4e books. As you can imagine it sucks to lugg around most of 'em to the local gaming store.
But I do have the new iPad, do any of you guys know of a good source for 4e PDFs?

Jimbob
2012-05-03, 10:57 AM
Not sure if I can tell ya so slap my wrist if I am in the wrong buy 4shared is a good site that i have seen.

Jay R
2012-05-04, 09:30 AM
My experience with my ebook (a Nook) is that reading a narrative works just fine, but using to a reference work is much more difficult than with a real book.

So I expect there will be no problem with reading through the book the first time you get it, but as a reference during the game, it will be very frustrating.

Also, have you ever photocopied a page out of your books to have a specific table or rule at hand? If so, find out if the tool you're buying can do that.

Palegreenpants
2012-05-04, 10:19 AM
I commonly use the camera on my iPad to take pics of monster stats. The images are pretty good and really help me when im running combat.

Gamgee
2012-05-04, 10:32 AM
PDF too slow, looks things up faster in hard cover. I can just flip anywhere by memory. PDF's are generally far more obtrusive and slow and clunky. I can't flip pages as fast. Nor make my own bookmarks on the fly to switch between any number of places in the book.

When they get PDF's and E readers able to do that, I'll take them more seriously.