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
Posts Tagged: e-books
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.
Whether Amazon proves friend or foe to the literary cause, its year-old literary journal Day One seems to be putting everyone in an awkward position. Boris Kachka covers its birthday party for Vulture:
Genres sell briskly as e-books, while the literary mid-list is still largely hand-sold in physical bookstores, so the Amazon authors hurt most of all by the lit world’s hostility are those it might like the most.
Librarians have hard-won reputations as defenders of open information and patron privacy, but what about third-party providers of library services? Slate’s Future Tense explores some recent revelations from companies like Adobe, whose Digital Editions e-book software has been criticized for transmitting reader data in plain text—making it an easy target for surveillance by the government, and other private companies....more
Mike Kelley delivers a useful overview of the outlook for preservation of e-books for Publishers Weekly. In addition to the upkeep necessary to combat digital decay, which is at least analogous to the challenges of paper-book preservation, libraries are now confronting the particular difficulties of texts in proprietary file formats, with limited licenses, and without common identifiers like an ISBN....more
E-book sales have slowed in the past year and a half, so what is making readers continue to opt for paper books? This infographic posted by Electric Literature shows there are plenty of reasons people prefer paper books including the feel of the paper, the ease of highlighting, and the fact that you can collect physical books on a shelf....more
Two art professors at Eastern Michigan University are exploring what a book is and what it will be in the future in their Open Book Project, which has thus far involved an exhibition, a 248-page book, and workshops where artists imagine the forms books of the future could take....more
Libraries have adapted to the modern era by lending out e-books. In many cases, electronic books provide patrons easier access to materials. But a new study says that they also threaten an old system of distribution, reports GalleyCat. The main problem is how electronic content is never really owned, but instead, licensed:
Unlike the print book business model, in which libraries buy a certain amount of books for a set price and distribute those texts widely, most digital content is licensed with specific conditions about when and where it can be distributed.