Many people still rely on public libraries to borrow books. They prefer reading for free and not buying books. Arguments for borrowing include those surrounding green initiatives and being budget savvy. Therefore it peaked my interest when I heard this argument against e-books the other day:
Obviously uneducated in modern technology – Person 1 looked over at person 2 and said what is that thing. Is it a big phone or a small computer?
Person 2 (with kindle in hand) smiled nicely and said it is a book reader. I can get electronic books on it. Then made a joke about how much lighter their bag is now that they don’t carry around a bundle of books.
Person 1 scoffed at the idea and asked how much they cost.
Person 2 politely replied about the cost of the kindle and the cost of each book.
Person 1 responded with the idea that they don’t agree with paying for books and if they want to read a book they will visit the library.
This prompted me to go home and google e-book libraries. I did not know that some time in September it was announced that Kindle e-books will be released to 11,000 US public libraries to go out on loan to Kindle readers. Previously only certain libraries have had e-books available to lend and those are mainly on the Sony’s Reader. So far I have not found whether the Kindle e-books will be available here in the UK any time soon but have found evidence stating several major public libraries are lending e-books through the Nook and Sony’s Reader.
The only issue I have found for the lending of Kindle e-books is that Amazon are only allowing libraries to loan their titles for a limited number of times (one article I read said 10 and the other 26). This means that popular titles will have to be purchased repeatedly. Librarians have argued that paper copies often last longer than that and would not have to be purchased as frequently. With the additional cost I wonder how well this new service will work out for libraries or if Amazon will change the policy.
What do you think? Would you borrow e-books from the library if they were available to you?
- Hands-on: Checking out library books with Kindle clunky, but awesome (arstechnica.com)
- Kindle library lending feature in beta testing, national launch coming soon (digitaltrends.com)
- Library book lending for Kindle now available, Amazon announces (news.consumerreports.org)
- Kindle is Coming!!! (virtualnotes.wordpress.com)
- Amazon’s Kindle library lending is a go (venturebeat.com)
- Amazon Kindle not so different from others with new public library support (zdnet.com)