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E-Books Current Reading List

The ‘book’ debate is certainly running apace and amuck. I am amused at how many times I am asked by the civilians isummer about the death of print, books, reading, libraries, what have you. I try not to look appalled and just ask what evidence they see? My view is that the research and statistics seem to show an increase in reading across all generations when you look at it holistically, an increase in the sales of books especially when all formats are considered, an increase in populations of higher education learners and researchers, etc. You also see some pretty big global players investing very heavily in the future of the book. I’ve lost count of the number of major hardware technology and telecommunication vendors that are chasing the book on tablets, phones, PC’s, etc. And when you look at the millions and millions being spent by Google to digitize books and the parallel projects in many countries funded by government, academia, and not-for-profits I don’t see books looking like they’re not interesting or preparing to die. I do see it getting easier and easier to identify and acquire books than ever before in history. I see dozens of online bookstores chasing global e-book sales by big name companies like Sony, Apple, Google (soon with Google Editions), Amazon, B&N, Borders, etc. Sales of e-books are growing rapidly and there’s a ton of upside for many years to come. Circulation in libraries is up in print and e-books in libraries have had positive impacts on usage measures. I see multinational legal and treaty discussions top the priority list of many major nations trying to create a simpler franework for selling and protecting books internationally. And I see super-efforts in the development of new standards and testing of reading software integrated into learning, social, research and entertainment activities that seem to get better every day as we learn more about reading books in this semi-new way. For the first time in my profesional life I see a huge, complex debate about the future of learning, libraries, and content involving more stakeholder than ever before, possibly in history.

It’s a great time to be a librarian participating in the creation of a new plateau for reading, books, education, culture, entertainment, enjoyment, and more. And it’s going to get more exciting, not less in the coming years.

Here are some links I’ve collected in the past few weeks that I found useful about e-books:

Ebooks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Roy Tennant, LJ)

5 Ways That Paper Books Are Better Than eBooks

5 Ways That eBooks Are Better Than Paper Books

50 Benefits of Ebooks: A Thinking Persons’s Introduction to the Digital Reading Revolution

WSJ Get Ready for Ads in Books (OMG video ads too!)

Top 10 Myths About Our E-book Future

NPR: Books Have Many Futures

The State of the E-Textbook
Students have not yet ditched heavy textbooks, but the options for getting course materials digitally are growing.

Textbooks Up Their Game (WSJ)

Robert Boissy of Springer on the Future of Ebooks and Libraries (LJ)

Project Gutenberg on quest to digitize 1 billion books (LA Times)

It’s all grist for the mill to use a metaphor from yet another era.


Posted on: August 20, 2010, 4:16 pm Category: Uncategorized

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