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