Wikipedia hard cover editions now available

Do you recall my post from some time back about how you can select and print a collection of Wikipedia articles?Well, Pediapress have announced:

The most demanded features for our Wikipedia books were color inside and hardcover outside. It's now a reality. As of a few days ago, you can now order books in hardcover and with color content. We're very excited about these new features, because it allows you to make books that are not only customized, but also even more beautiful and resistant. They simply look good in your bookshelf.
If you want to make one of these books, there's a link on every Wikipedia page.

I can't help but giggle. The information in the Wikipedia articles generally came from books, and now it's going back. Leaving aside the circle of life comment I could make, they've moved information from the least usable form (hardback) to the most usable form (digital) and now back again to the least usable form. That's not the way to go.

Edit: One commenter pointed out that there is reference data that is better used in paper than digital. This is true. But, this content in particular isn't worth having as a hardback. It's already been filtered into a form that works better as digital.

And to be honest, hardbacks are bought for their appearance, not because they will be used. These books will most likely sit on the shelf and not be touched.


About Nate Hoffelder (11809 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Wikipedia hard cover editions now available

  1. “And to be honest, hardbacks are bought for their appearance, not because they will be used. These books will most likely sit on the shelf and not be touched.”

    Nate, you may be right about these wikipedia books (I certainly wouldn’t buy one), but I disagree in the broader view. I buy a lot of hardcover books every year. I read them, out them on my library shelf, and as the need and occasion arises, I return to them for the information they contain.

    Digital books are not yet good substitutes for hardcover books, at least in the nonfiction world. In fiction, they are excellent substitutes, but not in nonfiction. The day will come when digital books will outshine hardcover books in terms of usability in nonfiction, but that day is still years away, I think. Part of the problem is the reader software and the reader devices. They are getting better but aren’t quite there yet. Doing research using ebooks is problematic.

    I know that a lot of researchers are using the Internet and articles that appear there, but the problem I find is that assuming the article existed when the researcher cited it, too many times it has disappeared by the time I want to look at it. Hardcover books still provide some permanence.

    • I think I’ll go back and edit the post. This content in particular isn’t worth having as a hardback. It’s already been filtered into a form that works better as digital.

  2. Did you miss “it allows you to make books” part? You make selection of articles you need and they make a book of it for you. I find that very usable because I often print some tehnical articles from wikipedia.

  3. Yes, it’s amusing possibility. For me, it’s also amusing because I talked about it 5 years ago in my now long time dead blog :
    “[…]7. Google buys LOC, NYPL, SJPL, Stanford Library, and copyright debates cease with an acceptance of Copygoogle Law. Google buys Wikipedia and Britannica, publishes the resulting Brikiwikipedia in 100 set in Katull paper volumes of 5000 pages each. To enhance readability of such a tome, Googlese it is printed in (see below) has lost many useless letters and signs like ‘c’, ‘j’, ‘q’, ‘v’, ‘w’, ‘y’, ‘z’, ‘$’, comma, colon, semicolon, ellipsis, dashes, etc. Sites insisting on using old, or so called correct English, are progressively excluded from Google Index.[…]”

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