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I get most of my books...

Displaying poll results.
In ebook form, legally
  4116 votes / 13%
In ebook form, not-so-legally
  4170 votes / 13%
In paper form, new, from online retailers
  5842 votes / 18%
In paper form, used, from online retailers
  2193 votes / 7%
In paper form, new, from physical stores
  4985 votes / 16%
In paper form, used, from physical stores
  2425 votes / 7%
On loan (friends, library, etc)
  2738 votes / 8%
I steal them from children.
  4375 votes / 14%
30844 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I get most of my books...

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  • by nhaines (622289)

    First vote!

    I love paper books but ebooks are so handy... I keep reference books in print and light reads electronic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrHanky (141717)

      You're doing it wrong. Reference books should be electronic (for easy reference, obviously), whereas light reads may just as well be disposable paperbacks.

      It would be interesting seeing this poll repeated next year. I still don't have an ebook reader, but having tried both a Kindle and a competing product from Sony, I think they're really great devices. Easy on the eyes, portable, practical.

      • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by caseih (160668) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @08:44PM (#36818018)

        I disagree. Text search is nice, but ebook screens are still too slow to rapidly try to look at the 10 pages where that word is found. Also, often times I know about where in the book what I'm looking for is (whether Python in a Nutshell, or the Bible), and I can find it very quickly by simply flipping pages with my thumb. Maybe I'm just a fast reader. Whatever the case, for the cases where I use a reference book, dead tree is still the quickest. I own several ebook readers. But they are strictly for straight-through reading. Now a device like the iPad is different. At church I'd never consider using my Kindle to look up scriptures. Horrible keyboard, slow screen. But folks with iPads or iPhones can find things very rapidly.

        • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

          by Odinlake (1057938) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @03:39AM (#36820552)

          At church I'd never consider using my Kindle to look up scriptures. Horrible keyboard, slow screen. But folks with iPads or iPhones can find things very rapidly.

          Huh. I always figured iPads and iPods would catch fire upon entering into churches; guess now I know for sure there is no God.

          • It really goes the other way; iPad / iPod / iPhone choice is almost a religion (like college football in the South), and those that bring electronics to church seem to be more heavily weighted to Apple products.

            Maybe perception (I'm an Android guy), maybe it's that the Apple guys are more in-your-face, maybe it's just that the Apple guys are more gadget-thinking and recognize the advantage of using electronics instead of dead tree format.

            • by __Paul__ (1570)

              iPhone choice is almost a religion (like college football in the South)

              I thought religion was the religion in the South.

              • by kenrblan (1388237)

                I thought religion was the religion in the South.

                It is on Sunday and maybe Wednesday. The rest of the week it's football, although there is some intermingling as many football fans seem to think that God wants their team to win.

        • by DarkVader (121278)

          Ebook screen speeds are fine, as long as you don't use one that has that craptacular e-paper. I just can't imagine why anybody would want one of those - hard to read, no color, and no backlight.

          And I wouldn't use one in a church either - talk about a waste of time, I have no reason to go in one of those silly places. But if you must look up anything in the xian bible, I'd say an ebook or laptop would be a good way to do it, since the best source is on the web - []

      • by hazydave (96747)

        I was a bit skeptical about the Kindle, simply because of the lock into Amazon, the lack of memory expansion, etc. Love the idea, the screen is great for books (sucks for magazines).

        These days, I'm using a Notion Ink Adam (Android-based) tablet as an eBook reader. It solves most of the problems. I have a 32GB memory card, so I can keep 10-15GB of tech docs on it if I need to (datasheets in PDF for hardware projects, that kind of thing)... paper alternatives to these have pretty much gone the way of the film

      • Reference books should be electronic

        Can e-books be annotated easily? If not, then they'll never replace printed reference material. All my reference books are scribbled in, and well-sprinkled with post-it notes and 3x5 cards. If, however, I can write notes and hyperlink to them, I'll seriously consider picking up an e-book reader.

        • If you buy any of my books from InformIT [] or get them from Safari Books Online [], then you get a DRM-free PDF. You can then annotate it to your heart's content. I have an iRex iLiad, which has a built-in wacom tablet (sadly, the company that made it went bust) so you can write on the resulting PDF. Most PDF readers also let you annotate the file. Best of all, if you annotate them using text, rather than doodles, this then also becomes searchable. One of my friends wrote a little Cocoa apps that ran annota

      • by fusiongyro (55524)

        None of the eBook readers on the market do well with preformatted code. It really harshes your mellow.

    • Ebooks have real limitations - can't read them in the bathtub, probably don't want to read them on the beach either, limited size so they're not always useful for technical books.

      But they are really nice for travel - a few hundred pounds of books all fit in the size of a trade paperback. I spent most of my last flight reading this year's Hugo Award nominees on my Kindle, and I've got an increasing selection of Project Gutenberg books and a few authors who publish e-book versions. (And on the way back, I s

      • by swillden (191260)

        Ebooks have real limitations - can't read them in the bathtub, probably don't want to read them on the beach either

        Invest in a Ziploc baggie. I read in the bathtub all the time, and in many other situations where I wouldn't want to risk a paper book.

        I think dead tree books have far more limitations. Especially if you have an e-book reader which has a backlit screen, so you can read in the dark. I also like that e-books can be read with one hand, or even no hands, while paperbacks more or less require two hands. And that I can carry a whole library with me.

        • by gnapster (1401889) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @10:46PM (#36818864)
          After buying my iPad, I couldn't afford a Ziplock baggie. I wrapped it in cellophane from the neighbor's trash can.
        • by vlm (69642)

          Also ebooks are easier to copy/backup than paper books.

        • by molnarcs (675885)

          Ebooks have real limitations - can't read them in the bathtub, probably don't want to read them on the beach either

          Yes you can. I do it anyway. Got myself a Sony (PRS900). I own lots of gadgets, but this one proved to be the best and most useful. I love reading. And I take it anywhere. Most Sony products in the past decade were meh, but they do make great readers. Very, very sturdy. It came with a leather-like cover AND a case for travel, which I never used actually. Dropped it a couple of times (I never dropped it in water though). And beaches - that's my favourite activity... reading on the beach. Actually, now it loo

          • by swillden (191260)

            Ebooks have real limitations - can't read them in the bathtub, probably don't want to read them on the beach either

            Yes you can. I do it anyway.

            Me too... as I said in the post you responded to. I do recommend investing in a Ziploc baggie, though.

      • I've read ebooks on the beach on my PDA. Just don't drop them in the sand or water. No big deal.

        If you want to read them in the bath, there are ziplock bags and dedicated waterproof gadget bags.

    • by anyGould (1295481)

      First vote!

      I love paper books but ebooks are so handy... I keep reference books in print and light reads electronic.

      Oddly, I'm the opposite - I want my references digital (because I usually only need them a few pages at a time), and my reading in print. Cheap reading comes from the library, and then I'll buy the stuff that I know I'll read again.

      • by nhaines (622289)

        My favorite thing about buying a Kindle book, for example, is that I can then read it on any of my computers, either of my Android phones, or my Kindle e-reader. That convenience has been very enjoyable--especially since I don't bring my Kindle to a lot of places but I always have my phone.

  • by knarfling (735361) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @08:01PM (#36817630) Journal
    My brother has tons and tons of books that he has purchased from different stores. I will usually borrow one from him. If I like it, I will try to get it in ebook form through a legal source. If not available, I will try physical store first, then online. If still not available (out of print), I will look for not-so-legal options. But I will have to really, really, really want a copy of the book before I will go that route.
  • by soundscape (962537) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @08:16PM (#36817730)
    An oversight.
    • Print is dead.

      (sorry had to quote Egon)

      But honestly, if I'm "reading" for entertainment I'm listening to an audiobook. If I'm reading for knowledge, I'm reading something freely and legally distributed on the net. I'm reading it on a monitor, and I'm either following the tutorial or fact checking every other sentence, depending on what I'm reading it for.

      Sometimes I'll get a tree version of an audio book just for follow up, but that's mostly because audiobooks don't have adequate search, glossaries
      • "I hope one day books will be available as multimedia presentations with text, audio, illustration, glossaries, and in some cases video"

        You know I have seen a lot of versions of the bible done this way. I think that at this time, you have to have a book that has a huge appeal to make it proffitable to do a book like this. The Bible is an obvious choice, but I honestly cannot think of any other book that warrants this treatment. I would say The Koran, but with Islam's restriction on depicting Allah and T

        • I think that at this time, you have to have a book that has a huge appeal to make it proffitable to do a book like this. The Bible is an obvious choice, but I honestly cannot think of any other book that warrants this treatment.

          It wouldn't necessarily be profitable in first edition, but once it generated enough interest to become a summer best seller, block buster movie, HBO miniseries, etc. it would be easy to put a multimedia version together. The key would be making meaningful and interesting links between the various media. It would be neat to be able to switch between the three formats or have them blended together, as well as have access to author notes and maps, as well as production sketches (basically what DVD promised t

  • by The Yuckinator (898499) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @08:22PM (#36817796)

    A Used Book Store is a great place to kill an afternoon, and most of my shelves are filled with both hardcover and paperback items I may never have discovered without that browsing opportunity.

    That being said, I have owned a Nook Colour since the end of February and haven't cracked a paper book since I got it. I suspect my vote will be different when this poll comes around again. I already have significantly more ebooks than paper books but I'm only counting the ones I've read for my voting purposes. TPB and other sources will satisfy my "haven't heard of this, might as well read it" urge that I usually get from the book shops but I must admit that I still browse the used (and new) book shops but usually just go back home to find the ebook instead of actually bringing home the paper copy.

    I suppose that would make me part of the problem, if we were discussing a problem.

    • I always end up spending way too much money at used book stores. There's so many books out there that make me want to read them I buy several of them every time I go. I'll probably never have enough time to read through them all, but having them around me makes me happy.

    • Used book shop around the corner from me sells books three for £1 (about 50 each). At that price, I'd rather have the dead tree version than read them on my iLiad. I've even bought penguin classics (public domain) books there that I can get on Project Gutenberg for free - including one that I was part-way through reading in the eBook format when I bought the paper version.
    • the browsing opportunities are why i go to book stores. i never know what im going to buy. there are alot of books that i would never have found if i couldn't walk through the shelves.
  • I drink and play video games when I'm not at work, and I play Slashdot Troll when I am at work. No books involved. I got enough of that "reading" nonsense in college.
  • Multiple choice! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by danbuter (2019760) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @09:44PM (#36818464)
    I get both new and used real paper books at stores. I don't like ebooks, and don't buy them at all. I suspect I'm a dying breed, though. For me, there's nothing like holding a real book in my hands.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      You are, even if I ignore the other benefits of ebooks, the reality is that I don't have room for all the reference books and books that I might want to reread in the future.

      Plus, my library, like many others, allows me to check out books from Overdrive or Safari Books.

    • by Altanar (56809)
      Don't worry: Paper books will never die, just like candles survived the invention of the electric light bulb. They might become fairly expensive, though.
    • Re:Multiple choice! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rary (566291) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @02:39PM (#36826676)

      For me, there's nothing like holding a real book in my hands.

      I've said the same thing in the past, and now that I have an eReader, I still don't disagree with the sentiment. There is value to reading a real book.

      However, reading an ebook is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it's not bad at all. And I do like the idea that I can take my entire bookshelf with me wherever I go.

      It's an evolution that's easy to get used to if you allow yourself. I used to feel the same way about music on physical media vs digital. I loved unwrapping a brand new CD and flipping through the liner. But now I'm so used to having my entire music collection in my pocket that I just don't bother buying CDs anymore. It's just a matter of time before I look at books as quaint relics of a distant past.

  • With spastic hands I beat up the binding just in one read anyway, new books are a waste on me, so I seek out used when possible. I'm just going to make it look terrible anyway, as long as the pages aren't marked up I'm good. My secondary is legal ebooks, though. Baen has a great program for crips who have trouble seeing or holding books.
  • Looks like, most people are still reading dead trees... Errrr Paper Books ...
  • I use all of those methods you insensitive clod.

    (Those children had already finished reading them anyway!)

    • by Xtifr (1323)

      Well, the question was: where do you get most of them? That is theoretically answerable, but there's no freakin' way I'm going to go though all the books I've bought in the last year and trace each back to its source just so I can answer a slashdot poll. So my answer is: Cowboy Neal!

  • I figured that my choice would be the least popular. At this point, it is in second place. I guess I am not the only one out there who enjoys the entire bookstore experience.

    • by hazydave (96747)

      It does have it's advantages over stealing from kids.... but it was only the "Harry Potter" series I stole from a kid. And she was my kid, so in a way, it wasn't really stealing.

  • I had to go with the "stolen from children" option, since almost all of the new books coming into the house these days are either from grandparents or Dolly Parton, and all are addressed to the kid. I do vaguely remember buying, borrowing and stealing stuff for myself once.
  • It's more likely than you think.

  • Poll missing the obvious option:

    Books? What are books?

    Might help show if the majority of Slashdotters even bother reading books anymore, or rather just read lots of literature in various forms on the Net.

    • I'm quite disappointed about this option - unless you count the Cisco books my employer gave me...

  • eBooks now for technical books (searchable and usually a limited useful lifetime so I like recycling electrons better then trees). I still like hard-cover treeware for books I want to hold on to. These are usually histories, biographies (some autographed), a few works of fiction like Lord of the Rings that are "timeless", etc. If I have to buy a work of fiction like a mystery (e.g., the library doesn't have a copy) then paperback and used paperback if possible. Especially when I'm reading a mystery, I s

  • In the form of calligraphy carefully copied and coloured by an army of scribes, on the skin of goats.

    OK, so I guess it is not as popular any more these days. At least, it does not kill TREES!

  • In an audio format. Helps quite a bit with the commute.

    • by Altanar (56809)
      I'd never remember the story if I listened to a audio version. My ADD makes it hard to listen to disembodied voices.
  • I need to complain about this:

    Don't complain about lack of options.

    It's the right of every man (and woman) to complain about lack of options.
    And also about the prohibition of complains. And the prohibition of prohibition of complains.
    Ans also from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers. []

  • Real books generally, except for out-of-print, out-of-copyright stuff as text files from Gutenberg. It's foolish of people to be so enthusiastic about handing control of the published word over to Amazon - the _1984_ incident is just a foretaste of what will happen if they and their collaborators get their way.
    • by Altanar (56809)
      The "1984 incident" wasn't any different than the police confiscating stolen goods that you bought unknowingly. Because that was what those books were: Stolen property sold via Amazon to an unwitting public by a publisher who didn't have the legal right to do so. You failed to mention that despite the those book sales being illegal and void, Amazon gave those people who were scammed by the publisher a free copy of "1984" from a different publisher who had the rights, for free by paying a different publishe
  • Notice the absence of "In ebook form, used, legally"
  • 40 books loan limit, six months loan, interlibrary loans for free! (including getting books in from other countries).

    The Open University (UK) library rocks!

  • I used to be really anti-ebook. I was thinking you couldn't read them in the bath, you couldn't stuff them in a bag, readers were expensive etc. But now I'm starting to get used to them. The obvious advantages are that they take no space - I used to have bookshelves, but the last time I moved I just never unpacked the books from their boxes and I haven't needed any of them yet - and that they are much easier to move around. They are also a lot easier to pirate^H^H^H^H^H^Hborrow from a friend, which is very

    • by LilWolf (847434)
      I view my bookshelf and the books in it as an decorative element that also happens to serve a useful function. The room just wouldn't be the same without it. Also, I just like reading books in the paper form. Amazon can't come in and erase them if they find something displeasing.
      • by mmcuh (1088773)
        They can't break into your laptop and erase your PDF files either. Bookshelves are fine if you have the room to spare. I usually don't.
  • Most of the books I buy are older, so I get them from local brick and mortar physical stores.

    Most of the Graphic Novels I buy you do not find in used book stores, so I buy them all new online.

  • I get most of my books through my Nook via the "free Friday" feature. I don't read most of them but I download them anyway (because there might be a contest someday to see who snagged them all without missing any! It could happen!). I love ebooks when they're something ephemeral that I don't want to keep forever, like a popular novel or a magazine issue.

    If it's a book I want to keep around so my kids can read it and I can come back to it decades later, I'll pick dead tree every time. If I know exactly what

  • It is true that I don't read for relaxation much anymore - I'm blaming having children for that - but I would most often buy used paperbacks from the local thrift stores. I only read a book once (unless it's a reference) and I don't see a need to have them in pristine condition anyway because I have children and they wreck stuff. Same reason I won't buy a new laptop even with the missing keys, ancient hardware and a dead battery mine currently has. My kid loves to play with it so if he wrecks something, oh
  • I've have two Kindles in the past three years (DX, which died just out of warranty, admittedly after much abuse and a regular third gen) and while I like the convenience of buying through amazon, nothing beats the way O'Reilly handles things. No DRM, No limit to downloads, multiple formats. My only knock on O'Reilly is price, but they run enough specials that you can usually pick things up for cheap so long as you're on the mailing list.

    On top of that, nothing beats having all your books in your bag when yo

  • Danged if I know where all my books come from. They just keep piling up. I get some from the library, buy some at tag sales, some arrive as gifts or review copies, some are left by guests. Three times in my life I have bought homes that came fully furnished -- including lots and lots of books. I keep selling them, donating them to rummage sales and sending friends home with armloads of them, but every time I look on my bookshelves there seem to be more. I got a Kindle for Christmas, and it's handy for trave

  • I'm lucky to live in a place with a good public library. I buy almost no books (except via property taxes) and yet I read several novels per month!
  • I love to patrol yard sales, so I get most of my books used... from my neighbors, for on average about $.25 USD apiece.

  • I would say the largest raw number of new volumes acquired are via free (legal) ebooks. However, I don't actually *READ* all of them that much, it's more of a "Oh, that looks interesting... [read three chapters] ...nevermind" deal.

    For volumes that I seek out, my most recent few dozen have been a nearly equal mix of:
    1. Library
    2. Purchased ebooks
    3. Purchased new books
    4. Purchased used books

    Library ebooks would be up there too if the ebook service my local library used didn't suck for both Kindle (no support

  • Who still reads those things?

  • is really needed in this case, since 'most' is sort of abstract.

  • I've been switching off and on for a few months between paper books and reading on my iPad. One place where paper definitely rules is out in public parks. No matter what paper book I'm reading, there's almost always someone who'll pass by and strike up a conversation with me about the book. No one disturbs me at all with the iPad.

    I guess it goes both ways... It's fun to chit chat with random strangers about something of mutual interest, so that's a good reason to carry a paper book to the park. But if

  • I'm not planning to get an e-reader until someone starts selling one that lets me write in the margins.

    Like many others here, I don't believe e-readers will ever replace physical books. I am hopeful, however, that they will replace magazines. After all, the overwhelming majority of magazines are simply large collections of colorful ads that are actually designed to be thrown away. Why not pack them all into e-readers and tablets? Save some trees and shipping costs, sell more ads and score some free ec

  • I read webpages, forums, video games, movies.

  • Most of my books are store-bought new, but many that I have bought more recently, I bought at flea markets for very low prices - down to 1/10th of the original store price.
    With prices that low, you don't hesitate to buy something the way you may do in a store.

  • My wife buys me space-operish sci-fi at Goodwill.. 1.99 for a paperback.
  • [] is a front end for used bookstores around the world. Because most of them charge shipping and handling, it can be cheaper to buy new from an online retailer who offers free shipping if you buy over a certain amount, but it's definitely worth checking out. Some books you can find cheaper even including s/h. If cost wasn't a factor, I'd buy via abebooks exclusively to support small business.

    As for ebooks, they've been around for awhile, but still waiting for a reader not associated with a retai

  • Where's the "What are these books you speak of?" option?

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"


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