Everybody’s e-reading or e-listening

Many libraries in the UK are planning to increase their e-books collections in 2009, according to a recent survey by OCLC (the online computer library centre). Almost all (85%) of public libraries that responded expressed an interest in developing a fiction e-book collection, even though most usage of e-books so far has been of research and reference titles. (And 65 % of respondents are planning to increase their e-audio book collections.) According to an Outsell industry report on the survey, this response is puzzling because so far in the UK, most interest in the e-book format has been in reference works and textbooks. Although the Sony e-reader has been so successful in the UK that you can't get one for about a year, and the Amazon Kindle has yet to be sold here, various digital publishers are quoted as being excited about the mobile format —  which means that people will not have to buy a dedicated e-reader. I wrote the other week about Random House's greatly increased POD (print on demand) programme, and here is Sara Lloyd of Pan Macmillan enthusing about the i-phone, on which you can read extracts of some of the publisher's books. (More details about the books available and how to use the format are here.) I still feel it isn't me – but clearly, e-reading and e-listening are going to be increasingly popular with many, even for fiction.

8 thoughts on “Everybody’s e-reading or e-listening

  1. I read the link [enthusing about the i-phone] with astonishment if the iphone has a decent large screen for reading then I must need new eyes! Obviously the younger generation are used to these devices but I like books.
    I had to stop using my laptop and get a 20″ I-Mac to be able to see the screen.

  2. Me too, Norm, I am squinting and saying “pardon” all the time, these days! Print on paper, as large as possible, for me.

  3. And here is an interesting post about online textbooks: http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2008/12/virginia_to_get_opensource_onl.html#.
    “Because science is always evolving and changing, conventional school textbooks are often outdated, leaving students behind the times. The Virginia Board of Educators, fed up with their high-school physics books having misinformation (or no information) on string theory, nanotechnology and particle physics, is now working on a solution — a ‘flexbook’.
    Dozens of physics teachers were invited to fill in the gaps of outdated textbooks with chapters that will be posted online as free supplements to conventional textbooks. Chapter topics will include biophysics, quantum mechanics, relativity and new TV technology.”

  4. Thanks, Bob – do I mean that? I got so many requests to do the original meme – which was doing the rounds of the booky blogs long before it got to FB, so ahead of the curve are we. I read Henry’s and Mike D’s posts with interest so I may give this one a whirl……despite my avowed efforts never to get sucked into memes! (You never know what they are going to mutate into.)

  5. Good idea but does not work – when I started blogging I did do memes sometimes – but this doesn’t stop one from being tagged regularly in future posts by other bloggers! If there was a central way to see who had already blogged on a meme that might help, but I doubt many bloggers would check that out before tagging someone.

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