FRG #35 Wrap

Following the FGR #35 I knew my reading list would get longer with titles I’d been meaning to get around to, but what I didn’t expect was to run across such great recommendations not just in English, but in other languages as well. Guess I need to work on my French.

With so many great suggestions coming in neither Robot nor I wanted to shut the conversation down by posting the wrap, but maybe in your comments to this post we’ll get a few more suggestions to sustain us through the fall and winter.

It was nice to see that the recommendations weren’t dominated by VeloPress titles. As great a job as that publisher is doing, it would be a shame if folks thought there catalog defined cycling literature. Also interesting to note was how the recommendations to a book leaned toward the literature end of things rather than Graham Watson picture books (of which I have a few in my library).

And while we don’t usually ask new questions in the wrap, I’m going to pose one. In a recent conversation with former Torelli CEO Bill McGann of the masterful Tour de France histories and revealed that sales of the electronic editions of his books are soaring, thanks to Amazon and the Kindle.

How many of you have begun to read books in electronic form and what device are you using?


  1. Jon Paul Baker

    I have a Kindle DX and use it almost exclusively. I have to really want a book to buy it as a physical item. The clarity of the text on the Kindle DX is better than my paperback/trade paperback editions and varies from nearly on par with to sometimes better than my hardbacks.

    I purchased Mr McGann’s TdF history vol one as a physical book. I was thrilled when part two was available as a Kindle title. After reading it on Kindle, I then repurchased vol one for the Kindle. So far, I have six cycling-related titles on my Kindle.

    A well-made book can be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, the print quality, paper quality, etc of most books I deal with now are not very good. (What was Mr Moore’s French Revolutions printed on? Newspaper?) Holding a Kindle (or nook) next to a book (at reading distance) made my decision to get a Kindle a no-brainer.

    The convenience of the Kindle has made me far more adventurous in my reading. Instead of sticking to a small number of favorite authors, I’m branching out, as I no longer need to go to a bookstore and, should I buy a book, figure out how I’m going to store it.

    An electronic reader will never replace books like Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell. But the graphics capabilities are fine for the smaller b&w photos used in things like Mr Fotheringham’s Fallen Angel. I’m hoping more authors will take advantage of the graphics capabilities and include the photos found in the paperback versions of the books.

  2. wvcycling

    I think I will continue to be a complete e-book Luddite until all of these companies creating readers and file formats have come to their senses and permit just one or two quality formats that are interchangeable between iWhatevers, nooks, kindles, and every other thing out there. DRM is fine with me, as long as I can do whatever the hell I want with my files after I purchase them. I can share books, I can share CD’s, I can use them in more than one player, and *gasp* they belong to me! :O

    At age 24, I already feel out of touch with technology moving by so fast that maybe these companies have already settled these things out, and I haven’t taken the time to notice.

  3. Dan O

    Even though I’ve been earning the bacon via careers in IT for the last 25+ years, I’m still a bit Amish in some respects. Buying books online would fall into that category – have yet to experience it and don’t own a portable device to read ’em anyway.

    Being in IT and focusing on Mac support for the last 3 years or so, I think the iPad and whatever else Apple releases in the future will replace the Kindle and other devices. And no, I’m not the full on Apple disciple, I’ve been involved with PC related support for 20+ years previously.

    Even so, I am a Mac fan and they just do it right when it comes to home related devices. How do you listen to music currently? I’d bet an Apple device – no? Reading books will go down the same path. My prediction anyway.

    On a unrelated note: I’ve wondered where Bill McGann’s riding in Italy stories disappeared to after Torelli was sold. Seeing the mention of his new site reminded me of its existence, so I revisited – and found the older stories. Excellent.

  4. Souleur

    I for one have not electronically read one book. I will not in fact for the following reason.

    Part of the romance I have w/reading cycling literature is the adorning of my coffee table w/all things cycling. Its like the hanging of my race numbers in my garage, its an identifier and a reminder. In fact, I read very little outside of cycling, so my books on cycling are deservedly my milieu at home w/my fireplace.

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