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Re: Armitage CD and other electronic wonders

For a some silly juvenile reasons I never became a fast reader.  And sitting
still, unless trapped in a car, for a long period of time to read a book
just doesn't happen for me.  I get a couple of pages in and, unless it is
truly exceptional, I think of something that needs done and I'm putting the
book down.  Consequently, library borrowing wasn't a good choice for me.

When it comes to gardening books - how to - reference - monographs -
hardscape - whatever - I prefer to own my books.  Especially references.  At
9:20 pm I might want to look up hydrangea cultivation and I'm not about to
wait to go to the library.  As the internet expanded it became much easier
to google your question, but just because it's on the internet doesn't make
it reliable.  And the internet doesn't provide all answers.  I've been
trying to find the min temp of dragonwing begonias without much luck.

I also share, often as a MG project or just with friends.  Having
information on CD makes the info easier to use - copy/paste/edit.  I
recently compliled a 90 page handbook for our MG nursery of pics and
cultivation details on all the plants we grow for sale.  I compiled an 80
page botanical/common name cross reference we sold.  I make tags and POP for
plants and bulbs we sell.  I put together a self-guided tour of our Display
gardens.  All these projects require references and resources and both
Armitage and Dirr have been helpful for those.

I think that if you work in the hort field and are near a computer quite a
bit - like Jim, or if you work on a lot of computer-aided projects like I
do, these CDs and DVDs can be handier than books at times.  But if you are a
gardener with a question and the computer hasn't been turned on yet today,
it's probably easier to go to the shelf and grab a book.  For myself, I
require both.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "james singer" <jsinger@igc.org>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 3:57 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Armitage CD and other electronic wonders

> Guess I'm the only contrarian who thinks most gardening books are
> how-to manuals, not something to get teary-eyed over--rather something
> to get into, find what you're looking for, and get out of as quickly as
> you can. A long time ago, I thought reading the dictionary was fun but
> I gave it up once someone invented the spellchecker. Can't say that I
> miss it.
> And, of course, there are many, many books that I enjoy that will
> likely never become electronic--in spite of the herculean effort of the
> Gutenburg Project. But when I want to remember a passage from
> Huckleberry Finn, I go to Gutenburg and do a site search. I don't try
> to thumb through the yellowed pages of an old, inexpensive [probably
> book club issue], dog-eared copy.
> And, yes, I wandered though the back stacks, not only at university,
> but also at the National Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD,
> before the National Agricultural Library was built. In those innocent
> days, I could check out 17th and 18th century books--even take them
> home to share with my children. That stuff [John Gerard's herbal and
> Philip Miller's Gardeners' Dictionary] will probably never make the
> electronic library. And it's a pity. Because they haven't made the
> reprint paper library either. And probably won't.
> Qualifier--Gerard's herbal was reprinted in facsimile several years ago
> at something like $100 per copy; as far as I know, Miller [the most
> popular gardening book of its time, and perhaps for a 100 years
> thereafter] has never been re-printed on cheap or expensive paper. My
> first wife [divorce settlement story] has a third edition. Seventeen
> hundred something; bound in leather.
> I'd settle for it on a web site.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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