30 Days of Innovation #16.5 (bonus post!): E-readers as supplements

Can we finally put the argument to rest? E-readers are not killing reading, nor are they killing books. As research shows, people who own e-readers not only read more than people who don’t, but they read both e-books and print books. Not to mention, there are plenty of populations, from prison inmates to seniors, who will need print books for a long time coming. Neither one is going away.

That’s not to say that they’re the same, though. Far from it. In my experience, e-readers attract different types of readers than print books, and they’re also engaging more people who were previously non-readers. Anybody who thinks that’s not great, well… There are also scads of e-reading apps available for phones, tablets, and computers, so e-content is available to more than just people with Nooks and Kindles. People use e-readers for a variety of reasons, from pleasure reading to research, so it’s good to consider how many bases you can cover. The Pew Research Center released a report on reading, readers, and e-readers recently, and ALA of course responded. While Pew’s data is encouraging (among other statistics released, the study found that people who use e-readers read more books per year than people who only read in print), ALA pointed out that the stats of who reads at all, and who reads in what format, are also related to education and income level. So what can you do about it? Continue reading

App of the Week: Kindle

Title: Kindle
Platform: Apple iOS 3.0 or later, Android OS 2.1 or later
Cost: Free

When the July 25th update for the Kindle iOS app diabled in-app purchasing (to circumvent profit-sharing rules instituted by Apple), Amazon has added a feature many teen readers will love: support for magazine subscriptions.

While Kindle App users have had color covers and graphics for a while, subscriptions were limited to dedicated Kindle devices. Those ereaders have fans because of their excellent battery life and readable e-ink screens, but can be plain-Jane for many teen users, many of whom really appreciate the appeal of a color cover and are using their mobile devices for reading on-the-go.
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Report from Annual 2011: Teens Reading Digitally

When I left the Teens Reading Digitally panel discussion on Sunday at Annual I was thinking to myself, “Wow, I love hearing how people are pushing the boundaries in order to connect teens to content, and to get them excited about reading and writing.” For example:

  • iDrakula author Bekka Black explained how she came up with the idea for her multi-platform novel that highlights the ways in which teens are reading in the digital age. Black joined the panel via Skype and was kind enough to stay throughout the entire session even though she was not face-to-face. One story Black told was about how one night when sitting at a restaurant she noticed a boy and girl (brother and sister) texting with each other as they sat next to one another at the table. Continue reading

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 Teens & Tech # 5: Never Thought I’d Be Saying This With Glee, but “The Kindles are here!!!”

Not much more than a year ago, I was that person who proclaimed I would never own a Kindle. I loved books as objects (I have bookshelves in every room in my house except the bathroom) and, let’s face it, I’m kind of materialistic. I like to own things, to collect. At the same time, I had bigger concerns about a possible future where everyone would need a device to be able to read a book.

Flash forward to today: I am a Kindle owner. What happened?
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What’s a Computer? What’s a Book? Who Cares?

The other day a post on The New York Times Bits Blog told the story of the post author, Nick Bilton, who was told, on two separate occasions in two separate New York City eating establishments, that he needed to put away his Kindle and his iPad. Each establishment doesn’t allow computer use. The first time it happened to Mr. Bilton he was reading on his Kindle – not using a computer for email, work, Facebook, or something of that nature. The second time he was taking notes on his iPad. (Which of course is a bit more like computing.)

When I read Bilton’s story I thought to myself, “My gosh, I think if I were told that I couldn’t use my iPad to read while in a coffee shop, or my iPad to take notes, while in a sandwich shop, I would probably become pretty irritated.” Continue reading

I’m Reading Again

To be honest, I never stopped reading. However, as some people know, for quite awhile I’ve been talking about how my reading habits have changed. I spend my days reading quite a bit – blogs, web sites, web-based newspaper articles, Twitter and Facebook messages, email, text messages, and so on. But, for the most part, for several years, I’ve had little or no interest in reading physical books. As a matter of fact, whenever I started reading a physical book I found that it took me forever to finish it. (Even if I was really interested in it.) Obviously my reading habits and interests changed. And, I had no problem with that. I liked the reading I was doing. I was keeping up and learning more than ever. Continue reading