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The 100 Words Book Review

This idea went into cold storage about 3 years ago. Back then, we were focused on book sales, book swaps, sourcing and delivering books. And being a uber small team to run BooksAvenue, we didn’t want to burden ourselves with additional tasks. After all, there are sites like goodreads.com and the local SG review site, singaporereviewofbooks.org.

Now that we have revamped the model to focus on book swaps only, it’s the right time for us to do up an additional section for book reviews. Getting book reviews from international sites gives an assurance and a certain degree of preview and expectation of a particular title. Wouldn’t it be better if there is another local perspective for consideration?

Indisputably, it is not our aim to compete with international major sites as mentioned above. It is, however, our humble efforts to contribute and to give everyone a great reading experience.

And so we started this 100 Words Book Review today. This 100 words Book Review allows everyone to contribute and write a review on any titles that you have finished. Certainly, this is not revenue or sales driven. Our fans can be assured that all the reviews are unbiased and not motivated by publishers or whatsoever. The only condition is it has to be 100 words. Literally.

As usual, we do not ask anything in return. We only want you to have a great and terrific reading experience. Afterall, BooksAvenue is all about bringing people closer to Literature and Art.

Peace.

 

To read or post a book review, go to:

booksavenue.boards.net/board/11/100-words-book-review

Reviews will be subsequently posted on this website Booksavenue.co

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading. Fake news. And Donald Trump.

Reading is often recommended as a good pastime and a way to widen one’s mind. Sadly, though, today’s world is so filled with other alternative forms of recreation that people rarely have the opportunity to pick up a book and spend a couple of hours devouring its contents.

What we have plenty of, we take for granted. In earlier centuries, reading was confined to a priestly elite, with the rest of the laity deprived of even the skill of recognising letters. This was due in part to the cost of book-making. Early books were made of leather and parchment. They were sewn by hand and the words copied manually by meticulous scribes. Hence, owning a book was beyond the means of all ordinary folks.

In the past, unscrupulous political and religious leaders made use of the ability to read, or the lack of it, as a short leash with which they tyrannised the masses. Those who took up reading were punished, most times with execution, for fear that they might actually start thinking for themselves and expose some shortcoming of the governmental powers.

Latterly, comes about a problem of fake information being disseminated virally, misleading and misinforming the masses. Questions about Facebook’s role in spreading fake news were raised almost as soon as Trump shocked the world with his victory. BuzzFeed and other news sites began publishing reports about how a small town in Macedonia turned fake election news into a cottage industry.

It appears the authors of the fake news reports had no partisan agenda. They were just in it for the money. One creator claimed he could make US$10,000 per week in ad revenue from stories that were shared among Trump supporters.

US$10,000. Think about that!

Not to mention, during the campaigning with all the noises around, it’s not too difficult to get bits and pieces of truth, concocting all into something believable and official.

With no direct censorship or any authorities answerable to, this is very good money. Maximum benefits with minimum effort. Simply send it out, watch the numbers grow and count the advertising revenue increasing at an exponential rate.

BooksAvenue started as a site to garner all book lovers to come together, sharing interesting articles, videos and titles. And in the recent years, we have also started a forum with humble intentions to provide an avenue for the reading community to do book swaps and other related interests.

Although the team behind BooksAvenue are a group of non-US citizens (Singaporeans here), we do follow the recent US elections with great concerns and zest. Whether it fake news got a role in tilting the odds in favour of Trump, it is not important anymore.

What more important are 2 things of greater importance; political stability and economic progress. Not just for US or Singapore, but in terms of the regional and global context. We would be happy to elaborate more, but perhaps in another post in another day.

Peace.

 

Books – more is often less and less is more

It is better to choose a small number of good books by good authors and study them intently, than to flit from book to book

When I was younger, I was keen on chess. I took it very seriously and was always looking to improve my game.

Being of a bookish disposition, I surrounded myself with chess books.

Books on openings, books on tactics, books on strategy, books on endgames, books about great players and their games, books on chess psychology.

Soon, I had so many books and spent so much time dipping first into one and then into another, that I ceased to learn anything of any real value from them.

Eventually, I realised that it is better to thoroughly digest the contents of one or two carefully chosen volumes than it is to romp through an entire bookshelf.

I learnt that, as far as books are concerned, more is often less and less is often more.

TOO MANY AUTHORS

In recent weeks, I have been slowly but steadily acquainting myself with the Moral Letters To Lucilius, a collection of letters by the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, ostensibly written to a younger friend.

In his second letter, entitled On Discursiveness In Reading, Seneca warns against reading too many books by too many authors.

He writes: “You must linger among a limited number of master thinkers and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind.

“Everywhere means nowhere.”

That certainly rings true in my experience.

I suppose that if you are reading purely for pleasure, there can be no harm in reading as widely and as superficially as you like.

I realised that it is better to thoroughly digest the contents of one or two carefully chosen volumes than it is to romp through an entire bookshelf. I learnt that, as far as books are concerned, more is often less and less is often more.

But if you are reading because you want to increase your learning or to improve your understanding, then you have to adopt a more disciplined approach.

You have to resist the temptation to flit from book to book, like a butterfly among flowers in the meadows. You have to choose a small number of good books by good authors and study them intently.

Seneca writes: “When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner.”

Of course, this is far more demanding – and not nearly so much fun as skipping from one book to another.

But when you have a serious purpose in your reading, there is no alternative but to adopt a serious attitude.

Seneca adds: “But, you reply, I wish to dip first into one book and then into another.

“I tell you that it is the sign of an over-nice appetite to toy with many dishes; for when they are manifold and varied, they cloy but do not nourish.”

AN UNCEASING STREAM

Seneca was writing in the first century AD, more than 1,000 years before the invention of the printing press and way before the advent of the Internet.

So if what he said was valid back then, how much more valid is it now?

Today, on our computers and smartphones, we have access to a never-ending stream of words.

Millions and millions of new ones every day, many of them hastily written and ill thought-out.

It is fun and easy to dip into that stream. But if we want to learn anything of real and lasting value, we need to step outside the stream and explore stiller, deeper waters.

•Gary Hayden is a philosophy and science writer. His new book, Walking With Plato, is out at major bookshops here.

 

Taken from: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/living-books-more-is-often-less-and-less-is-more

Does e-reading affect critical thinking?

Students were able to make more sense of what they read in print rather than digitally

Do students learn as much when they read digitally as they do in print?

For both parents and teachers, knowing whether computer-based media is improving or compromising education is a question of concern. With the surge in popularity of e-books, online learning and open educational resources, investigators have been trying to determine whether students do as well when reading an assigned text on a digital screen as on paper.

The answer to the question, however, needs far more than a yes-no response.

 

READING IN PRINT VERSUS DIGITALLY

An experiment showed that students felt they concentrated better when reading on paper, even though they took a longer time when compared to reading in a digital format. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 

In my research, I have compared the ways in which we read in print and on-screen. Between 2013 and last year, I gathered data from 429 university students drawn from five countries – the US, Japan, Germany, Slovenia and India.

 

The students in my study reported that print was aesthetically more enjoyable, saying things such as “I like the smell of paper” or that reading in print was “real reading”.

What was more, print gave them a sense of where they were in the book – they could “see” and “feel” where they were in the text.

Print was also judged to be easier on the eyes and less likely to encourage multitasking. Almost half the participants complained about eye strain from reading digitally (“my eyes burn”), and 67 per cent indicated they were likely to multitask while reading digitally – compared with 41 per cent when reading print.

At the same time, respondents praised digital reading on a number of counts, including the ability to read in the dark, ease of finding material (“plenty of quick information”), saving paper and even the fact that they could multitask while reading.

MEASURING LEARNING

But the bigger question is whether students are learning as much when they read on-screen.

To become proficient in critical thinking – at least in a literate society – students need to be able to handle text. The text may be long, complex or both. To make sense of it, students cannot skim, rush ahead or continually get distracted. So, does reading in print versus on-screen build critical thinking skills?

A number of researchers have sought to measure learning by asking people to read a passage of text, either in print or on a digital device, and then testing for comprehension. Most studies have found that participants scored about the same when reading in each medium, though a few have indicated that students performed better on tests when they read in print.

The problem, however, with learning-measurement studies is that their notion of “learning” has tended to be simplistic. Reading passages and answering questions afterwards may be a familiar tool in standardised testing, but tells us little about any deeper level of understanding.

Some researchers are beginning to pose more nuanced questions, including one scholar who has considered what happens when people read a story in print or on a digital device and are then asked to reconstruct the plot sequence.

The answer: Print yielded better results.

Another aspect of learning is to see how outcomes differ when students are doing their reading in less prescriptive experimental conditions. One study let students choose how much time to spend when reading on each platform. The researchers found that participants devoted less time to reading the passage on-screen – and performed less well on the subsequent comprehension test.

This finding is hardly surprising, given the tendency so many of us have to skim and search when going online, rather than reading slowly and carefully. In my study, one student commented: “It takes more time to read the same number of pages in print compared to digital.”

Another complained: “It takes me longer because I read more carefully.”

CRITICAL THINKING AND READING

How does the learning question relate to educational goals? There is much buzz today about wanting students to be good at critical thinking. Definitions of that goal are elusive, but it’s pretty clear they involve being able to understand complex ideas, evaluate evidence, weigh alternative perspectives and construct justifiable arguments.

To become proficient in critical thinking – at least in a literate society – students need to be able to handle text. The text may be long, complex or both. To make sense of it, students cannot skim, rush ahead or continually get distracted.

So, does reading in print versus on-screen build critical thinking skills?

The comprehension studies we talked about earlier tell us little about the kind of reading we recognise as necessary for serious contemplation or analysis. An alternative approach, at least for starters, is asking students about their digital and paper-based reading patterns – much as physicians ask for histories to figure out what ails their patients.

While my own study didn’t directly measure learning, it did query students about their reading patterns and preferences. The responses to some of my questions were particularly revealing.

When asked on which medium they felt they concentrated best, 92 per cent replied “print”.

For long academic readings, 86 per cent favoured print. Participants also reported being more likely to re-read academic materials if they were in print.

What is more, a number of students indicated they believed print was a better medium for learning.

One said: “It’s easier to focus.” Others stated that “(I) feel like the content sticks in the head more easily” and “I feel like I understand it more.” By contrast, in talking about digital screens, students noted “danger of distraction” and “no concentration”.

Obviously, student perceptions are not the same thing as measurable learning outcomes. And my research didn’t probe connections between reading platforms and critical thinking.

However, a pattern did emerge: Print stood out as the medium for doing serious work.

DIGITAL IS CONVENIENT AND CHEAPER

At the same time, we cannot ignore other factors impacting students’ decisions about what reading platform to chose for school work.

Convenience is one big consideration: More than 40 per cent of participants in my study mentioned convenience (including easy access to materials) as what they liked most about reading on-screen.

Money is another variable. Students were highly conscious about differential prices for print and digital versions of reading materials, with cost often driving choice. As one student put it: “Cost rules everything around me.”

Many students revealed a mismatch between finances and learning. When queried about which reading platform they would choose if cost were the same, 87 per cent said “print” for academic work.

ADAPTING TO DIGITAL LEARNING

We need to keep in mind the growing trend for universities to adapt their curricula to fit the proverbial “procrustean” bed of a digital world – a world tailor-made for skimming, scanning and using the “find” function rather than reading slowly and thoughtfully.

Professors now toy with ditching long or complex reading assignments in favour of short (or more straightforward) ones, moving closer to digital reading patterns in the non-academic world. This world hypes condensed versions of texts and shorter reading material that is bite-sized to begin with.

The question, then, is how can universities help students read text thoughtfully, reflectively, and without distraction on digital devices?

One key could be adaptation. Research suggests students may be overconfident about what they are understanding when they read digitally. Teaching them to be mindful in their digital reading (for instance, by writing down key words from the reading) may help in learning.

Another form of adaptation is happening in the realm of digital hardware and software.

Modern screens cause less eye strain, and annotation programs continue to improve. Some digital reading devices now come with tools enabling them to digitally approximate physical page flipping and multiple place-marking.

However, in my view, while short-and-to-the-point may be a good fit for digital consumption, it’s not the sort of reading likely to nurture the critical thinking we still talk about as a hallmark of university education.

•The writer is the executive director of the Centre for Teaching, Research and Learning at American University. This article first appeared in The Conversation (http://theconversation.com), a website which carries analyses by academics and researchers.

 

 

Taken from : http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/does-e-reading-affect-critical-thinking

Book Swap Singapore 2016

This Book Swapping concept is not new, in fact, it is a big thing in other countries. Singapore is still catching up as there is still not a strong reading culture here in Singapore. Thus BooksAvenue is started to assist in cultivating of the habit of reading. That said, our Book Swapping services are to facilitate swappers at absolutely no cost!

On top of that please REMEMBER, you can choose to SWAP BACK for your titles that you have sent out previously. Please indicate your intentions clearly to avoid miscommunications. For more details, please read over at our page on Book Swap details

In conjunction with National Reading Movement, and given the changes in demographics of clients and technological landscape, we decided that subsequent book swaps from now on will be done on the Facebook page.

The National Reading Movement is a 5-year campaign by the National Library Board (NLB) to encourage all to Read More, Read Widely and Read Together. NLB will be running programmes to engage more adults to read, promote reading in mother tongue languages and collaborate with the community to build a vibrant reading culture in Singapore. Everyone can also look forward to the inaugural National Reading Day on 30 July with exciting reading activities island-wide.

The page https://booksavenue.co/free-swap/book-swap/https://booksavenue.co/free-swap/book-swap/ will remain the same for reference and record for the past swappers.

So feel free to post book swaps over our Facebook page to look for other books to read!

In other news, the team of BooksAvenue is very much alive still! There are some life events coming up in the year of 2016. The founders of BooksAvenue are getting married, preparing for wedding dinner, house renovation and going on a holiday soon.

Likewise on an ending note, we have also included some of the book swap links available in Singapore. This is taken from here, of which we are featured in the post.

Cheers guys! Thank you for your support! We BooksAvenue is very happy to be part of the reading community! 😀

 

1. Books and Beer

books and beer

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This is a travelling book swap like no other. The exchange takes place at different venues each time for around three hours and readers can bring up to 10 used books. And yes, you can grab a beer and mingle with others at the event while you browse for your next find.

Their next event is on July 23 in conjunction with the National Library Board’s Read! Fest 2016. More info here.

Website

 

2. Togetherly Book Exchange

togetherly books

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Head over to Isetan Orchard, Wisma Atria from now until June 30 for a  pop-up market that includes something special for bookworms. The Togetherly Book Exchange is a social movement that has gained a following in the country since it started. All you have to do is bring a book, wrap it up, leave a note for the next reader, and exchange it for another book. Find out more here.

Website

 

3. BooksAvenue

booksAvenue

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Do you have a book you REALLY love and are not willing to trade it just yet but you are definitely looking for new reads? BooksAvenue gives you the option to swap books and get them back (a “swap back”, as they put it) after you’re done reading. Find out how it works here.

Website

 

4. Ruxubooks’ Book Exchange

Mandarin readers will love this book exchange. Instead of just leaving your pre-loved books and picking up new ones, you are encouraged to share your reading experience and meet new friends at this event on July 2. Register your interest to join the discussion here.

Website

 

5. Book swop corner in Yishun

Yishun book corner

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If you live in the northern part of Singapore, you don’t have to travel far for your next book fix. Nee-Soon Town Council has a convenient book exchange corner at Block 290 Yishun Street 22 where you can donate your books and spread the joy of reading. The cheery little “Share a Book” shelf is right outside the office, so you won’t miss it.

Website

 

6. Singapore Really Really Free Market

free market in sg

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If you’re feeling generous and want to give your books away for free with no strings attached, they might find new home at the Singapore Really Really Free Market. Just bring them to the monthly event and remember to check if they are still there by the end of the day. (You’ll need to collect them if no one takes them home.)

Website

 

7. Project EARTH Book Exchange

In partnership with the National Library Board, this exchange aims to promote reusing of books and reading. As a whole initiative, Project EARTH hopes Singapore will move towards becoming a zero waste nation. What better what than to start with books! Look out for their events here.

Website

 

By Muneerah Bee, June 2016

 

Related Articles

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The Ultimate Expat Book List

How to Join A Book Club for Expats in Singapore

3 Books About Singapore’s Fascinating Buildings and Landmarks

5 Books About Singapore for People Who Don’t Like to Read

Why Should We Still Read Expensive Ebooks?

Nobody loves to spend more money on something that is overvalued, or worse, inflated value. Having read through the ‘Are Ebooks Really Cheaper?‘, it begs another question, why should we still read expensive ebooks?

Here are the top 5 points:

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  1. Ebooks can be printable: and thereby give a reader most or all of the advantages of a paper-based book. If a bigger printed font size is preferred, buy the ebook and print it out. By spending more, one has the option to choose the font size.

    Project Gutenbery

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    Free ebooks from Project Gutenberg
  2. Not all Ebooks are expensive, in fact, there are free Ebooks. The magnificent work of Project Gutenberg, and other online public libraries allow readers to read the classics at no cost.

    Multimedia

    download
    Multimedia in ebook
  3. Ebooks may allow the option for the addition of multimedia: still images, moving images, and sound. Why not pay a bit more for a richer content to enjoy it better?

    Censorship

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    With ebooks, these are widely available compared to the past.
  4. Ebooks defeat attempts at censorship. All these works were banned: Analects by Confucius. Lysistrata by Aristophanes. Ars Amorata by Ovid. Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio by John Milton. The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne. Wonder Stories by H.C. Andersen. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Ulysses by James Joyce. … Many of these books were confiscated, burned, or denied availability in libraries, bookstores and schools. Ebooks guarantee that readers maintain their right to read.

    Green

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    No paper, no trees.
  5. Of course, no trees are required to manufacture paper for the pages of ebooks. Not to mention, ebooks will not crumble and wrinkled like paper. Why not pay a bit more to ensure the substitutability of this reading habit?

 

With the above points, BooksAvenue hopes to give you some perspectives and ideas why we should go for ebooks rather than printed books even when it is slightly more expensive.

Will be back soon

It’s been a while and we have not been updating much.

Technology has changed how business is done. And we are in the midst of brainstorming.

Still you can reach us on Facebook, or simply drop us an email.

Nonetheless, we are posting this to show that we are still alive!

Thank you for your support! 😀

10 Things Why We Are Not Reading As Much As Before

Reading to the mind is what exercise is to the body. Yet the number of readers declines steady annually on a global scale.Thus, we decided to take some time on weekends to jot down some of the common things on why of us them are not reading.

  1. No Motivation
    Lack-of-motivation-Part-2-1
    The 2 types of motivations are extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from external factors. And intrinsic comes from within. Our brains are wired to derive pleasures from our actions, thus there has to have some forms of reward for a certain course of action.Certainly there are only pleasures if a person has some form of interest in reading, if not, it is unlikely the person who does not like reading to read even a paragraph.
  2. No Time
    no-time-480-300x300
    A common excuse for non-readers.Everyone has 24 hours. It is up to one to decide if he or she wants to read.Period.
  3. No Satisfaction

    satisfactionMany are unwilling to invest the time to finish a title for fearing that the investment of time is a waste if the book turns out to be a flop. Hence, they rather not risk their time so long as there is a potential chance that there will be little or zero satisfaction for finishing a book. In this way, they will not be disappointed at all.

  4. No Place

    O6RaftJust like the picture above, one is always busy with Life and never got the right place to read. When it comes to suitable places for reading, we are LOST.

     

  5. No Pictures

    download
    Because they argue, it is such a bore to read words. A picture tells a thousand words. It is so much dynamic reading comics than reading a book. So much to see, so colourful and graphical, unlike books. URK!

  6. No Slow Media

    there-is-no-space-for-slow-media-1-638With the advancement of technology, things are meant to be faster, leaner, slicker and smoother. Books are physically bulky and inconvenient to tug it around. Why go to the library to do research when I can access information at my fingertips?

    Erm..there is still ebook readers for those who loves to read. (In case it was conveniently forgotten)

  7. No Habit

    Woman using tablet pc on couch.Humans are creatures of habit. If you love doing something, you will do it whenever, where ever you are.

    Except in some extreme cases like helping an old lady crossing the road, saving your neighbour’s cat, etc.

  8. No Incentive

    iStock_000007307443_ExtraSmall-300x241The modern society has moulded us into incentive-focused, pragmatic people. If there is no clear reward for doing a certain action, there is no way we are doing it.

    Reading, sadly, has only rewards for those who love reading. No one is going to give you a medal for finishing 1 book of 500 pages of 300,000 words.

    Really no one is to award you at all. The incentive is self-derived, which there has to be motivation that comes within.

  9. No Mutual Friends

    celebrity-pictures-chris-crocker-friend-request
    After finishing a book, who can one share his or her view points with?

    Thankfully there are Book Clubs gatherings with acquaintances and friends, coming together to share views on a particular book that they have finished.

    But what if the friend request was denied? T  T

  10. No Intention

    I-Have-No-Intention-Inspirational-Life-Quotes
    If all the above points are not applicable to your situation, we are very sure this is the actual case. There is absolutely no arguments on this, because we know, and met many clients, friends, and families that have zero intentions to read.

    So no matter how we tell them reading opens a new dimension, exploring new possibilities, they will never ever understand this.

Why E-books will never be free legally?

Love it or hate it, let’s face it. We all love FREE stuffs don’t we?

Information Age

In this Information Age, data can be transmit seamlessly without any barriers, wired or wireless, conveniently receiving it from one computer to another. Or probably, converting it from one medium to another too. With that in mind, E-books should be free, is it not? Since information can be copied and reproduced with just 4 keys: Crt + C and Crt + V, there should be no cost incurred, no? And with zero cost incurred, it is only logical that E-books should be free.

But this is not the case. We can copy a Word document or a PDF file multiplying it into as many copies as we want without additional resources. But E-books are not free, not because of the capabilities of our technology, but publishers, distributors and authors structured it to be so.

Time and effort

Let’s say you were to be an author and you got this amazing fantasy story, even better than Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. You spent months and years to finsh it, and finally done with the final draft. With the manuscript, you publish it electronically (assuming so just for the sake of illustration.)

Subsequently, sales volume is bad, yet everyone has read it, which they got it for free from some sites, or from their friends. How would you, as an author and the creator for that content, feel about this when your livelihood depends on the sales of your titles?

Digital Rights Management

Thus, to ensure the survivability of authors, the business model of printed books is forced upon E-books. By creating Digital Rights Management (DRM), it is then imbued into the electronic materials, preventing unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they have purchased. It is only by this way that authors and creators can somewhat gain monetarily through the sales of E-books. This explains why E-books will never be free, at least not in our era.

Read ‘Why Should We Read Expensive Ebooks?

The only way for E-books to be free is to abandon the pricing model, adopted from the printed books, that is imposed on E-books, . That is to say, since E-books are on electronic medium which can be shared effortlessly, it should be so, without the issue of DRM. Without DRM ‘problems’ for the non IT savvy and other legal issues, e-books will be free legally.

If so, how can authors still be paid for their hard work?

Revenue Drivers

They can still be paid through other avenues, such as marketing of related products, sponsorship and etc. When readers are into a particular trend, many possible consumer products can be created and conjured up to address this need and demand. In fact, this will be a better model and may contribute to a bigger portion of revenue.

By giving up the revenue driven from the book sales, more publicity will be gained. It is a test of survival of the fittest as more readers have access to the content, resulting in a larger sampling size. In lay man’s term, the popularity or ranking of best selling titles are driven by viral marketing, not sales volume, which can be manipulated to a certain extent.

However, please note that I am only referring to ebooks sales only. I’m sure it will be the same business model for printed books.

Revenue Collection Method

Long story short, for e-books to be free legally, the entire e-book business should be revamped. Starting from the content creators, that is the authors, their mentality has to be changed. The usual revenue collection method from sales volume for e-books  should be abolished for it is not practical, and not logical at all. Why should they (distributors, publishers and etc) imposed such a traditional outdated method on the current stage of technology where information is transmitted effortlessly. It totally makes no sense at all!

In the past, copywriters are paid for their time and effort in reproducing a work. That is to say, the works are written, or typed, word for word. But since computers can do the same in 1 sec, the current pay structure for authors who create electronic content should be revamped too.

On an ending note, E-books will never be free legally, not in the near future, not in this era. Only when a new payment method for e-books can be drawn up to ensure that all authors and creators are still being paid, the old concept of selling books will continue to be forced upon on e-books.

Personally I find it easier to read the hard copy of a book. In fact, when I have E-books, notes or any electronic material, I prefer printing chapters for reading. Reading from the computer screen, or my Blackberry aggravates my eyes. However, there are many who will read only the E-book version of a book. Therefore, when you read a book, do you prefer reading the E-book or hard copy version? Will E-books ever replace their hard copy versions? What do you think? :/

Are E-books Really Cheaper?

e-Books VS Books
e-Books VS Books

For a start, e-Books are literatures that are not printed, but are stored and displayed electronically. This has indeed provided much convenience, not only in terms of portability, it makes it easier to transmit and send to receiving parties.

For the points that have already mentioned earlier, I shall not repeat again in this short post that I will like to share in hopes that I can convince you that E-books are not as cheap as it is. If you have not read my earlier post on, Why Are E-books More Expensive Than Printed Books?, you can find it here.

Fees for electronic mediums

In general, e-books are subjected to licensing fees and all other related fees that are required to bring the electronic information available and legit for distribution to the consumers. Yet on the other hand, printed media such as paperback are only subjected to all the physical costs that are required for the publisher and the distributor. Judging by the number of possible charges, and not by the amount of each possible charges, to sell e-books will be very much subjected to many many possible fees, that are inevitable be borne by the consumer.

Small vs Light
Small vs Light

Of course that being said, one may counter argue that the assumption made above is incorrect. There may be many possible fees that incurred for bringing e-book to the consumer, but it is also possible that 100 ( for example) fees incurred is lesser than one hefty fee imposed. In other words, the total of 100 small fees is still cheaper than 1 big expensive fee

As copyright fees are dictated by each relevant authorities (depending where), this sum of money is ‘priced’ and charged accordingly to its regulations. Unlike, the cost of printing and labour, it is pretty much standard and has been ongoing for many many years. As distribution and licensing costs for e-books are relatively new in this century, it may be possible that the fees may fluctuate and be changed accordingly to consumers’ demand. This hypothesis on the difference in licensing and other fees that are related to distributing eBooks on different titles is drawn from the example on different paperback titles with different prices according to its popularity.

 Differences in Pricing

Comparing among paperback titles, it is not surprising to find that the recent and popular titles are prices somewhat higher if not, more expensive than the outdated titles that has been in the market for many years. If that is happening for paperbacks, it is without much doubts that it can also happen for e-Books too, where popular titles will be charged with heavier fees that are required for distributing legally.

This is illustrated below:

Comparing e-Books and paperbacks
Comparing e-Books and paperbacks

This is a relatively new book by James Patterson, a well known author with the series on Alex Cross by one of the distributors. Notice how the difference in pricing across all mediums in the screenshot?

Digital List Price: $33.98
Print List Price: $29.00

Digital List Price is the suggested retail price set by the publisher.

As indicated, the original price of this electronic copy is $33.98, for convenience, let’s just say $34. And its counterpart, that is printed media is only $29. Almost a $5 difference!

On a minor note, by spending additional $5, one will have to charge up the device before reading and it is quite obvious that electrical costs are not free. Unless you are living off the grid, on some form of electricity harnessed from Mother Nature. That being said, on a side note, is it really environmentally friendly to pay more to read e-Books?

At the point of composing this ‘short’ post, festive season is coming. And ‘thankfully’ with that, there is some discount which resulted in the following:

Kindle Price: $15.78 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: $13.22 (46%)

So with that discounted price, we compare e-book pricing with traditional printed paperbacks.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $15.78
Hardcover $14.50
Paperback $12.97

Based on the assumption that all companies, regardless of their business models, are profit driven, it is without doubt that the company should be making lesser profits after given discounts on the Kindle edition. That being said, one can roughly estimate the break even price for e-books.

Also, the profit margin should be much higher than printed paperbacks which attracts most distributors to massively push for e-books.

Local Context: Singapore

Bringing the topic to a local context in Singapore, it is fortunate that cheap paperbacks are conveniently available, if you know where to find them. Partially due to the fact that most Singaporeans do not have a reading habit, most local book stores have ceased to operate in an environment of rising rental costs. Still it is possible to find cheap books in excellent reading conditions.

For most Singaporeans, information is being ‘pushed’ to our IT devices and it is thought to be cumbersome to carry a printed book along. Henceforth we Singaporeans believe that it is more convenient to ‘load’ the electronic material or more titles into our devices such as Kindle, smartphones or tablets and read it on the go.

That being said, it feels good to know that one device can carry 20 books compared to carrying a physical book itself. But the actual problem to this is, it is not like anyone can finish 20 books of 300 pages on a train ride home.

In other countries, there are Meet-the-authors sessions and such to get physical books autographed. Or is it that it is necessary to organise such events to bring forth a reading habit and eventually start a reading trend here in Singapore?

Well for a start, the local government has started free public libraries many years ago, in hope that Singaporeans can have access to reading materials regardless of living conditions. While that being said, each age group will give you an unique reason why they are not reading. This will be my next posting.

Still there is a number of Singaporeans who reads and they are regular clients of BooksAvenue.

Taken from: http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/straitstimes.com/files/imagecache/ST_REVAMP_2014_STORY_PAGE_640X360/RHH1e.jpg

– Local Bookstore in Singapore

That is also why BooksAvenue is created on-line, without a physical store to serve this purpose. While we promise that we keep the prices competitively, we also ensure that the books are in readable conditions, such as no torn, missing or dogged ear-ed pages. All in all, we strive to deliver the best reading experience.

And if we ever do eBooks one day, we will ensure that the prices are low and affordable too. And now what we can do is to partner with SecondhandeBooks. From the site SecondhandeBooks, there are second hand ebooks which are previously owned by other owners. These ebooks are being shared for free. If you like the site, feel free to buy the owner a cup of fresh brewed coffee via the product page. Or you can simply click here to do so.

Afterall, don’t forget the tagline, BooksAvenue: Our Books, Your Convenience.

– Written and compiled by BooksAvenue
*All images belong to its respective owners