12 June 2011

Developments with regard to ebooks and library lending...

This economy has hit hard. Everywhere.

I am the mom of five kids. When my husband and I sat down last year to really investigate our budget I was stunned to realize how much money I was spending on reading. We lived in England from August 2007 to December 2009. Our budget allowed us to pretty much do as we pleased while we were living there; we were so blessed. In 2010, back in the US, after we analyzed our budget for the year I found that I was spending as much as $80 a month on books sometimes. That's a lot of money. I decided, on my own, that I would reel myself in to some degree.                                    I'll remark on my success with that at the end of this post.

For now, let's get on with the topic at hand:

Ebooks and Library Lending

The propagation of digital books appeared to be the miraculous incarnation of eternal life for literature.

Then Harper Collins realized that there was an avenue that could be exploited.
The decided to limit the number of times an ebook could be lent.


At first thought, this seems reasonable...
A physical book will eventually wear out.

But how soon?
I began to wonder about actual statistics on this and decided to look for some real answers.
I found this wonderful video, created by two librarians. It substantiates that traditional books really do last longer than you'd have ever imagined. I know I'm amazed.


I no longer feel that Harper Collins' restriction holds water.
America's libraries do so much to aid in the education of our people.
I'll tell you that I don't generally support the raising of taxes in America. This country was originally created because of taxation without representation and so it boggles my mind that we've allowed ourselves to be taxed so heavily. One type of tax that I will always consider though is taxes that allow for library expansion ad renovation...
Now...I ask you...isn't that depressing?

And so, what can we do about this situation?


If you would like to contact HarperCollins directly, they have set up an email address:


Honestly, I do believe that publishers may experience a decrease in revenue due to the creation of ebooks and the quickly increasing population of ereader owners. I know that the cost of ebooks is actually a lot higher than I think many were led to believe they would be. I know it's caused me to recently decide that I'd like to find a way to analyze the cost of popular ebooks over time. I have a belief that as the initial popularity of a book slowly decreases, the price will also.

Perhaps this is a legitimate situation in which an independent agency should evaluate the market to determine how best to keep publishers, writers, and libraries in business...as well as making it possible for individuals, like me, to still afford to read.

Now...back to my personal success in lowering my reading-related expenses...

I've read 22 books so far this year.

3 were downloaded from Gutenberg
2 were books bought in 2010 
1 was borrowed from my sister
6  were borrowed from the library
4 were previous purchases
1 was a previous ebook purchase
5 were library ebooks


  1. Angie, I found this extremely interesting.

    Between our library dragging its feet on Mac-friendly technology, and my own ignorance in downloading books and recharging my own ipod, , I haven't had much success in downloading and enjoying ebooks through my public library. It ought to be easier!

  2. I *wish* my library supported ebooks! But, alas, I live in a rural (read, backwards) county. I've not been in my local library in...well, at least 5 years. Sad, but true. :(

  3. Ang:

    I just bought a Nook this weekend. I'll have to follow more closely now your e-reader journey. I'll go check my library to see if we have a lending program for our e-readers. I do believe we do. The hobby of reading has been turned on its ear by all these developments.

  4. Susan, sorry you are having trouble! Is there anything I can do to help?

    Our library appears to be quite forward-thinking. They have evening seminars to assist new users of ereaders quite frequently. Our library even loans Sony and NOOK ereaders to assist people in making their decision on which to purchase.

    As far as your iPod I think you just need to develop a routine. Where do you use it? How frequently do you use it? How do you use it?

    I have this FABULOUS docking station that has a screen on it. I used to listen to my iPod while I did laundry in England. I bought the docking station just before we moved back to the US and began watching iTunes movies on it. Upon moving back to the US I bought the first three (of five) seasons of Dick Van Dyke and began watching that every time I did laundry. Now that I have an iPhone I can dock it and watch Netflix! I love that! My iPhone does not recharge on my dock but my iPod does, so, no worries. My iPod generally maintains a full charge and then I take it with me in the van and plug it into the van sometimes for music for myself.

  5. Thea...we should do some research to determine if there are lending libraries that are available to you for ebook lending even if you do not live near them. I wonder if I'll find some time to search for you. (Busy week.) If you think about it send me a pm and tell me where you live as I can't recall right now. I am thinking we might find something to help you.

  6. Belle...so you own both a Kindle and a NOOK...is that correct?

    Are you talking about a lending program for ereaders or ebooks? Our library has both. The ereader lending is for a two-week period for Sony and NOOK so that people can better make a decision about an ereader purchase. Our library uses MyMediaMall.net as the lending source for ebooks.

    I can't wait to hear your thoughts comparing NOOK and Kindle. Did you buy a NOOK Color or the new NOOK?

  7. Ang: I bought the 1st generation Nook - cheapest version. For me, that's all I need out of an e-reader. I feel like the nook color duplicates a lot of the features that I have on my smart phone. Although I have to say that Nook easy touch looks nice.

    As far as which one I like better, The Nook was harder to set up and transfer epub books to and their customer service was less than helpful at first but then quite helpful on the 2nd call.

    I think the Nook wins for its versatility in accepting books from the Google bookstore. The Indie booksellers are now offering it as an option and that is the reason I bought it.

    I'll always have a soft spot for my Kindle as it's been with me forever and it never disappoints. I just wish Amazon would allow epub books. And I am still mad that they broke their promise about no book over $9.99. It is truly the reason I first bought the thing in the first place!

  8. I've never used google books. Does it load to Adobe Digital Editions as does B&N?

    From where did you purchase your NOOK original? It looks as if B&N is no longer making those and I wondered if the new simple version would take the place of the original...


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