Neither a borrower or a lender be: eBooks and the library

An area of ebooks that is generating both excitement and confusion is that of lending books using eReaders. The Kindle still doesn’t have the ability for library loans, although it is now possible for individuals in the United States to loan each other books. Lending is a big selling point for the Nook and the Sony brand of eReaders.

However, eReader owners are finding that actually using their devices to borrow books from the library is a much more complicated procedure as this NPR article indicates. According to the article, despite all the new software to read library books on devices,

… I’m sad to report that reading library e-books is still more hassle than buying them. The whole process could be smoother, and there are questions about how libraries are going about the transition to the e-book world.

The questions about how libraries make that transition is the focus of an interesting article from librarian Meredith Wolfwater talking about the state of e-lending for libraries today.  It is a long, but thought-provoking read that shows us how far we have to go to make eBook availability through the library a viable option.

And most sources tend to agree on this one: According to a recent study, 32% of participants said that library lending was important to them.

So now it’s your turn: Is the ability to borrow library books important to you? Is it a deal-breaker in choosing an eReader?

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Books, the Kindle and the Digital Age

I am an early adopter of the Amazon Kindle and bought my first one in 2008. A lifelong reader, increasing vision problems had made reading books extremely difficult. The Kindle not only made it possible to comfortably read again, but re-ignited my passion and my love for the activity.

2010 has been a critically important year for ebooks and the publishing industry. There have been many changes that have affected both writers and readers alike. The publishing industry is in the process of changing. Not all of these changes have been good ones and many of the discussions have been volatile, to say the least.

While it has become clear that ebooks are certainly not going away, there is still a lot of confusion about where the industry is going and how this affects publishers, writers and readers. Some are approaching ebooks with a sense of fear and loathing; others approach with a sense of awe and wonder.  Some are undecided.  How about you? Where do you stand?