eBooks Raise Issues for Libraries

This article by the Kearney, Nebraska, Public Library directory explains why libraries may not be able to offer the latest eBooks, and why their selections may be limited.

The highlights:

  • Random House marks up eBooks 300% for libraries.
  • Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette (three of the publishers involved in the dispute with Amazon) won’t sell to libraries at all.
  • HarperCollins only allows 26 checkouts per book before requiring the library to purchase another—as if the book had worn out.* The library consortium voted to boycott them.
  • Penguin is being childish over their dispute with Amazon and won’t allow any new books to be sold through Overdrive, the company that handles eBooks for many public libraries. Penguin has a separate deal with Queens Public Library.

* I’ve read several studies, both formal and informal, which indicate that the average library book lasts significantly longer than 26 checkouts. Two librarians created an amusing YouTube video showing the condition of several HarperCollins books checked out from 25 to more than 100 times.

Read more at columbustelegram.com.

eBooks: Winners in the Generation Game

This article discusses the growth of eBook sales among the older demographic, citing a poll which indicated that individuals over 55 were more likely to own an eReader than people aged 18-24. What really makes this article worth of mention is this winner-of-a-quote on the true benefit of eReaders: “Now, not only can you read filthy books without anyone noticing, you can read filthy books in an 18-point font.”

Read more at guardian.co.uk.

Half of eBook Readers Use Them for ‘Shame Reading’

This article discusses a poll of nearly two thousand British citizens regarding eBook use. It seems to be attempting to assert that the sole reason people buy and use eReader devices is to read books they otherwise wouldn’t read. I think, however, that this is a case of correlation not necessarily equaling causation. Just because someone buys a book they might be embarrassed to own, whether it is the latest release in the Twilight series or the latest erotic novel that is sweeping the globe, it certainly does not automatically follow that the individual purchased the book for that reason and that reason only!

Read more at fellowgeek.com.

Navigating the eBook Revolution

An American Libraries magazine article which speculates that by the end of 2012 libraries may be spending 20% of their collection budgets on digital content, and possibly 50% by the end of three years. The views of a number of parties in the book industry are discussed, including the reader, the writer, the bookseller, the publisher, and the librarian.

Read more at americanlibrariesmagazine.org.