28 Days of Tech #26: eBook dilemmas

Last December, ‘ my 12 year-old’ niece’ and not-12 year-old best friend both received Kindles for Christmas. By the time I saw them, both had uploaded a few books and a few games, and both were raving about the size and convenience. It was the first time I’d seen the new editions up close, and they certainly are sleek and clear.

My library currently owns two older edition Kindles (courtesy’ of a donation), and by Christmas, we were still wrestling with to how’ ‘ to acquire and advertise our Kindle eBook collection. In addition, my colleagues and I were debating the fit of a ‘ Kindle purchase model at our library, and so movement with the two we already owned was slow. I thought we had time on this.

But seeing eReaders in the hands of two of my favorite readers, I realized the eBook revolution had to become a priority. It was time for this concept to take center stage. ‘ So I’ve spent this new year trying to catch up on the eBook conversation, and figure out the best way to integrate eBooks into our school library.

I’ve asked myself a few questions: What are different libraries doing to incorporate eBooks and eReading? What are the road blocks? Is there a model out there that our library can follow? How do we’ proceed?

So far, the answers to these questions are vast and varied–‘ Here is some of what I’ve discovered. Continue reading 28 Days of Tech #26: eBook dilemmas

App of the Week: Copia

Title: Copia
Platform: Desktop, iPad, Windows Phone 7, iPhone & Android “Coming Soon” (iPad features differ from features available for other devices.)
Cost: Free (Books need to be purchased.)

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately talking with librarians and thinking about the world of digital reading beyond the need for libraries to make books available for checkout and download to digital devices. One of the reasons for this is that I’ve been looking at apps that provide users with opportunities to be social within the digital reading environment. Copia is one such app.

Continue reading App of the Week: Copia

Digital Readers

Sherman Alexie recently appeared on The Colbert Report to talk about his new book War Dances and winning the National Book Award and somehow they got onto the topic of digital content.

Alexie commented that he does not want his books available digitally, citing the pirating problems the music industry encountered when they went digital and the fear that your reading habits could be spied on by others.’  Alexie lamented the loss of artistic ownership and personal connection in the digital world.’  He talked of a better time when he would visit a town on book tour and spend all day on radio shows, tv shows, in bookstores and libraries connecting personally and physically with his readers.’  Now he catches the afternoon matinee while he waits for his one scheduled event.

Continue reading Digital Readers

Gail Rebuck: New Chapter or Last Page? Publishing Books in a Digital Age

Digitization is changing the world of literature daily. Each day I add another bookmark to a growing file of articles on topics ranging from Japan’s love of cell phone novels (in the London Times & and the NY Times) to the removal of piracy protection on audiobooks (in the NY Times & Cory Doctorow’s take on Boing-Boing.) Authors & publishers are embracing change by posting free content online, such as Neil Gaiman’s story “A Study in Emerald” available as both eBook & audiobook (read by Gaiman) on HarperCollins’ website.

These changes have prompted many to ponder the future of the book. Random House UK’s C.E.O. Gail Rebuck presented a brilliant essay as the Stationers’ Company Annual Lecture on the evening of March 10th. The address, titled “New Chapter or Last Page? Publishing Books in a Digital Age,” was made to the members of a Guild formed in 1403 for the publishing industry, a fitting group to contemplate the message. Read the whole speech here. I believe this to be a must-read for all who value the literary past and who look to the future of publishing.

Mary Burkey