The Pew Research Center has released an interesting set of data on reading in America, and it’s not all bad. In fact, their data indicates, among many things, that print books are far from obsolete—and actually dominate e-books—and that reading consumption has stayed mostly the same since 2012....more
Posts Tagged: e-books
It’s no secret that libraries have had a rocky relationship with publishers since the ebook boom began in the late aughts. Publisher’s Weekly suggests three ways the two could work to heal the rift, but one of the suggestions is surprising: librarians need to stop “book shaming”:
What today’s library elite seems to forget is that reading is a maker activity—and a profound one.
A study of 300 college students in the United States, Germany, Slovakia, and Japan found that 92 percent preferred to read paper books over e-books.
The students preferred paper because of the “lack of distractions that are available on computers as well as the headaches and eye strain that can result from staring at a screen.” Students also enjoyed the smell of books and being able to see and feel how much they had read and how much they had left to read....more
How many times have we been told that digital technology will fundamentally alter the way we interact with text?
There was hypertext fiction, which added hyperlinks so you could choose your own path through a story. Pfft. There was the enhanced e-book, which was like a regular e-book except it might decide to play audio at any moment, or show you a random video....more
The rise of e-books are threatening jobs in publishing once again—this time, it’s the warehouse workers that once distributed physical books. Penguin Random House is laying off warehouse workers, since electronic books are delivered wirelessly and never need to be stored....more
A recent New York Times report showed that e-book sales are declining while printed book sales are doing well. Over at Lit Hub, Adam Sternbergh argues that the printed book is going nowhere, for at least another 500 years:
Whatever medium the music is delivered in, the song remains the same—once it gets to your headphones, it doesn’t really matter what form it arrived in (esoteric preferences for the “warmth” of vinyl notwithstanding.
Ebook sales have fallen 10 percent in the first five months of 2015. The surge of electronic books between 2008 and 2010 coupled with the stress of economic depression on independent bookstores seemed a portent of an all-digital future, but print books remain and many digital consumers are returning to physical books....more
E-books are proving unpopular for independent bookstores. Amazon’s juggernaut Kindle device is only available from the online retailer, but independent bookstores can still sell e-books through devices like Kobo. But the Denver Post has found that customers of indie bookstores just aren’t buying e-books....more
With the goal of “encouraging kids to become lifelong readers,” the Obama administration has teamed up with charities and publishers to offer digital books to children of low-income families. The books will be made available through an app developed with the help of the New York Public Library....more
Authors are earning less on e-books than on physical ones, and the villain isn’t necessarily Amazon. According to the Author’s Guild, a professional organization for writers, publishers are now taking closer to 75% of an e-book’s profit, up from only 50% of traditionally published books....more
(n.); soft, delicate, tender; from the Old English hnesce (“soft in texture”) or Gothic hnasqus (“tender; soft”)
“Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth over the merits of print versus digital books so many times, it’s as if I were in an abusive relationship with myself.
You can’t put everything in the cloud. Over at The New Republic, William Giraldi makes the case for holding onto books in their physical form:
We might be reading them—although I find that an e-reader’s scrolling and swiping are invitations to skim, not to read—but fully experiencing them is something else altogether.
On February 26, 1995, just about twenty years ago, Newsweek published an article by Clifford Stoll called “Why the Internet Won’t Be Nirvana.” In it, Stoll provides a litany of faults to be found in the nascent web. Although there’s a decidedly un-zen tone to the article, Stoll makes some surprisingly accurate predictions—right alongside some laughable ones....more
The long-awaited release of The Autobiography of Malcolm X in ebook format is on track for May of this year, to commemorate what would have been the activist’s 90th birthday. The print edition has been available from Ballantine, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for some time; the author’s estate is spearheading the digital publication in keeping with his principles, according to attorney L....more
Once the story was actually finished, and there was no money to be made, all ambition tied to it evaporated, and now I’m left pretty much where I began. Ruthlessly lazy, without much money, and stuck for the foreseeable future at an annoying day job.
Readers stop reading a book they enjoy when they put it down and forget to come back. Readers finish books they hate when they are assigned it for book clubs or else they want to hate-read and laugh about [it] with their friends .
Somewhere amid the fray of criticism, support, and speculation over e-books, linguistics professor Naomi Baron thought to ask readers whether they even liked them:
…you have to ask: What do you want to measure? Do you want to measure comprehension? That’s a fairly plain, middle-school way of talking about what it means to read.
I wonder if readers of Fifty Shades of Grey will now feel uneasy knowing that someone knows exactly which scenes they return to, and reread over and over?
As Francine Prose writes over at the New York Review of Books, new e-reader devices allow e-books retailers to fetch and analyze a user’s reading data....more
Good news! Early reports show that book sales are up 4.9 percent in 2014. Who can we thank for this Christmas miracle? Adults who read e-book versions of YA novels, that’s who. Sales are up by a dramatic 53 percent in YA/Children’s e-books, while sales in Adult Fiction/Nonfiction are down 3.3 percent—maybe because all the adults are reading The Hunger Games on their Kindles instead....more
Of course books don’t digitize themselves. Human hands have to individually scan the books, to open the covers and flip the pages. But when Google promotes its project—a database of “millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide”—they put the technology, the search function and the expansive virtual library in the forefront.