Ukulele books: Digital or paper?

When buying ukulele books, do you prefer e-books or paper books?

  • I prefer digital e-books, if available.

    Votes: 13 19.4%
  • I only buy e-books.

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • I prefer traditonal paper books, if available.

    Votes: 19 28.4%
  • I only buy paper books.

    Votes: 13 19.4%
  • I have no preference or it depends on the content/price/etc.

    Votes: 17 25.4%
  • I don't buy ukulele books at all.

    Votes: 4 6.0%

  • Total voters
    67
  • Poll closed .

Mivo

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A few years ago I began to embrace e-books, partly because they take up less space (1000s of books fit on one memory card), partly because there is the element of instant gratification (when I import paper books, it can take 2-3 weeks, and some paper books are out of print), and partly because of convenience (frontlit reading devices, adjustable fonts and font sizes, etc). Most fiction works I buy these days are in digital format. It's a bit more mixed with non-fiction and depends on the type of book. I'll probably get the digital version of a textbook or general non-fiction works, but will prefer the paper version of a an art book (or anything that has more than text in it).

With ukulele books I go back and forth. Most aren't suited for epub/mobi e-ink readers (Kindle, Kobo Glo, etc) due to their high content of graphics and diagrams, so I have to use them on an iPad. I find an iPad less suitable for reading than an e-ink reader, but it works fine and certainly beats reading on a larger computer screen. I like the ability to zoom in and there is definitely something to be said for media enhanced e-books (e.g. "play" buttons under tabs to listen to them).

On the other hand, ukulele paper books have a bit more charm, you can see two pages at once (without having to squint), and they can be resold. The ability to resell paper books is probably a strong point. They also stay with you for as long as you take care of them and they aren't dependent on an electronic device inn order to be readable. Then again, digital books can usually be re-downloaded and always stay pristine (and can be updated by the author, like software) as long as the vendor's distribution platform is available or you can make backup copies. Most e-book formats are standardized and open, so chances are they will continue to be readable or convertible even on future computer systems.

When it comes to ukulele books, what do you prefer? Digital or paper? I'm including a poll, though it's a bit general. Post your reasons if you like. :)
 

Rllink

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When it comes to ukulele books, what do you prefer? Digital or paper? I'm including a poll, though it's a bit general. Post your reasons if you like. :)
I prefer not to buy books.
 

Croaky Keith

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I can flick back & forth between paper pages easily - could never got the hang of it with digital. ;)

Definately prefer hard copy, in fact I've only ever tried 2 digital books, couldn't get on with them at all. :)
 

1931jim

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I like my paper book reading, especially by candlelight on a winter evening close to the hearth. No batteries.
 

acmespaceship

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Depends. Lead sheets with music staff (like the Daily Ukulele books) and four-line tab arrangements are hard to see on my 9" tablet. Few of these books are well-designed for viewing on an electronic device. I am better off getting those on paper.

If I have to perform songs that I haven't memorized, I prefer to use paper at the gig. Larger, easier to see, less likely to tip the stand over (or run out of battery). Also faster to take notes with a pencil in rehearsal. I like to stack the deck in my favor when there's an audience and that means using optimal equipment. Also getting the audience drunk.

The vast majority of my music is in the form of chord/lyric sheets and those go on the tablet. Kindle books, PDF books, tab loaded into Mobile Sheets and miscellaneous songs downloaded in GuitarTapp.

I wish music publishers would give more attention to designing PDF books that are usable on a tablet. Landscape format and careful use of page breaks would be a start. I also wish somebody would manufacture an affordable 9x12-inch Android tablet. And give it to me. :cool:
 

DownUpDave

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Like most I started out strumming and singing then moved into chord melody and finger picking. Early on a bought a few books. I also have an e-book or two. I have really gravited to finding websites with single song arrangments that I LIKE and want to learn to play. I will download that piece and more often than not print them off.

I still find playing from the printed page more enjoyable and easier then from an electronic device. Old school I guess..........but it works for me.
 

Down Up Dick

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I like books. I like to make notes in them and tear special pages out of them. I also take some of them apart and put them in loose leaf binders. Then I can change the page's order and add like pages from other books.

I like to organize stuff. :eek:ld:
 

actadh

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I can't see most digital in its entirety except perhaps on a 17" laptop. My laptop is a 14" Chromebook and I have to put it in Print mode to expand it. If I am practicing a bar at a time, it is great.

I handle so many 8 1/2" x 11" documents at work (for student papers), that my preferred format is of playing from downloaded individual hard copies that are stored as digital documents in my Google Drive. But, if I had to buy a book, it is a hard copy version where I might print one song sheet to cart around. My ukulele club was just asked to buy the Daily Ukulele and I chose hard copy. I guess I don't trust that ebooks will be there down the road after purchase. Murphy's Law thinking that my thumb drive will get lost or my computer hard drive will crash, I guess.
 
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Twibbly

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I generally prefer ebooks, if they are formatted where I can read them on my tablet.
 

ripock

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I buy e-books and then forward them to Fedex Office where they print it off and put it in a three-ring binder for me. This costs a little bit, but still monetarily and philosophically less dear than becoming symbiotically attached to an electrical device.
 

UkingViking

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I ususally don't buy books as they contain so many songs I am not interested in learning for each one I actually want to learn. I always end up searching for chords online when I want something specific.
Never tried a specific displaying app on my devices, so I prefer printing out the songs. My tablet turns off the screen after the first verse...
 

KohanMike

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I gave up paper years ago. Pretty much everything is digital, especially music. I bought a 13.3" tablet just for music so that the page would be big enough. I also make all my own pdf music files since I'm a graphic designer and have the knowledge to make that work. I use my iPad for all other reading; magazines, news, books, the web, etc.
 

janeray1940

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It's funny, living in a tiny space and not liking clutter, I thought I would *love* e-books. I was a latecomer to the iPad and when I finally got one, I quickly learned that I absolutely hate reading on a tablet, and that plain white paper is easier for my middle-aged trifocaled eyes to see. I do still use the iPad for chord charts, but for reading tab or notation, I need paper, and the bigger the better!
 

Ukulele Eddie

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I store lots of tabs in digital form, but print them out when learning the song. I use a tablet for a lot of other things, it just didn't seem to work for me with music sheets, even after trying a page turning add-on.

What I think would be cool is the ability to display a PDF on a tablet in an app with built-in Amazing Slow Downer so that it scrolled through the tab and displayed the notes being played while allowing me to play along at my selected tempo and in whatever tuning I want.
 
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igorthebarbarian

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I prefer reading (fiction mostly) on digital - either Kindle or even the Kindle app on my iPhone if I'm at lunch. But for ukulele books, I"m old school and definitely prefer hard copy. I can mark it up with notes too easier that way. I like anything with a ring-binder too.
 

UkeStuff

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I always enjoy threads like this one. The answer is going to be a combination of personal preferences.

I have been scanning and reading digital music from the day the iPad came out in April 2010. Before that, I had scanned an entire choral library (over 3500 pieces) before I had a device that I could read music on! The initial effort was to have a digital copy available for music OCR (an industry that has improved greatly since 2007).

Right now, I am waiting to purchase the next 12.9" iPad--but my 9.7" iPad works incredibly well for music. You can drag your yellow book and stand to your next jam (or 3 ring binder); I'll bring my iPad, GoStand (iPad holding stand) and Bluetooth foot pedal--plus have my entire ukulele library at hand AND be able to quickly scan (e.g. Scanner Pro) any handouts or add any shared PDFs on the fly.

I'm not worried about my device being charged...it can last all day and I can always bring an external battery (also nice to have for my phone).

I also like that most of the books are available via iBooks and Kindle, usually cheaper than printed (which seems right to me); and I like using Calibri to covert those books to PDFs so I can write on them. In the rare case I want to convert a book, I send it to 1DollarScan, where they cut the book, scan it, destroy the physical copy, and send me the scan.

I'm not worried about the lifespan of PDF...it has become a standard. But, if another standard emerges, there will be utilities that convert PDF to that new format.

And realistically, there is no environment where I would use a paper copy that I would not use my iPad.

So...you are welcome to stay with paper. I'm done with it.
 

Rllink

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I always enjoy threads like this one. The answer is going to be a combination of personal preferences.

I have been scanning and reading digital music from the day the iPad came out in April 2010. Before that, I had scanned an entire choral library (over 3500 pieces) before I had a device that I could read music on! The initial effort was to have a digital copy available for music OCR (an industry that has improved greatly since 2007).

Right now, I am waiting to purchase the next 12.9" iPad--but my 9.7" iPad works incredibly well for music. You can drag your yellow book and stand to your next jam (or 3 ring binder); I'll bring my iPad, GoStand (iPad holding stand) and Bluetooth foot pedal--plus have my entire ukulele library at hand AND be able to quickly scan (e.g. Scanner Pro) any handouts or add any shared PDFs on the fly.

I'm not worried about my device being charged...it can last all day and I can always bring an external battery (also nice to have for my phone).

I also like that most of the books are available via iBooks and Kindle, usually cheaper than printed (which seems right to me); and I like using Calibri to covert those books to PDFs so I can write on them. In the rare case I want to convert a book, I send it to 1DollarScan, where they cut the book, scan it, destroy the physical copy, and send me the scan.

I'm not worried about the lifespan of PDF...it has become a standard. But, if another standard emerges, there will be utilities that convert PDF to that new format.

And realistically, there is no environment where I would use a paper copy that I would not use my iPad.

So...you are welcome to stay with paper. I'm done with it.
I'm heading in that direction. One of the things that draws me to the ukulele is the size, and how easy it is to haul around. Lately it seems like I am carrying around a lot of paper with me. The thing about books, I bought a few when I first started out and it just wasn't the way I wanted to learn. So then I started pulling stuff off the internet, printing it out and making my own books. But now the amount of information that I have on paper has become cumbersome. I'm thinking that a tablet is the way to go for me. But I doubt that I will buy e-books. I will keep finding what I want on line and mapping my own course. But beside the convenience, I need to stay current with technology. You either embrace it, or you get left behind. I see my in-laws struggling just to send an e-mail and I don't want to end up lost like that.
 
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jimavery

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I don't have space for too many books, so I buy e-books where I can, or I buy 2nd hand and scan to pdf. Regardless of the format, I always mark up the songs I want to play using chord boxes in Google Docs, and for performance I print out on paper for reliability.
 

UkingViking

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When it comes to the durability of digital media, I believe that maintaining the files will limit problems, though it might limit the library.
CDs doesn't keep the data for ever, tests have shown that they can lose data over time. I don't remember where I read it many years ago. Floppy discs went out of use. Formats will become obsolete.
If you place your data in some media and expect to read it from that media in 50 years, you will probably fail. But if you keep transferring your data from one temporary device to another, updating formats etc, you will probably still be able to read it in 50 years.
I like to read music from paper, but of course I have a folder for it on my PC.

When I put something on an external hard drive, I don't expect the hard drive to last forever. I expect it to last if my main device fails, and my main device to last if the external hard drive fails, and I expect to use either one to transfer my library to the other one when I replace it with something more up to date.
And though I don't use cloud services as much as I used to, I would expect the same from those. The same services are not necessarily here in 50 years time.
 
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PeteyHoudini

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There are lots of very good comments about this topic.

I wish I could have a digital version of all my hardcopy ukulele books and use them on the go. However, I like to work from paper mostly but I've been buying e-books for a long time as well for my Sony Reader, then the Kindle Paperwhite. I score my own songs and my arrangements in Sibelius and I save them to PDF and put them on my website and I email them to my iPhone. I can use them electronically if need be or print the PDFs.

Working on some songs now and I have the printouts in front of me and not on my Surface Pro.

Petey