Scroll, scroll, scroll—tap. The screen lights up and the eyes are ready to read. This is not any ordinary book. This is an eReader.
Though the demand for eBooks is on the rise, a paperback or hardcover book still gives a thrill to readers, according to some librarians.
The Keene Public Library uses the New Hampshire Book Consortium to provide eBooks, according to the Digital Services Librarian Cary Jardine.
“The public can log onto the site with their library card number to check out eBooks for an eReader,” Jardine said. The difference between checking out a physical book as opposed to an eBook is the eBooks automatically check out of the eReader. The patrons don’t have to return the books themselves,” Jardine said. The Keene State College Mason Library’s website contains a feature on the new ‘Ebrary.’ According to the Assistant Dean of the Mason Library, Kathleen Halverson, Ebrary is an online digital database including resource books from hundreds of professional publishers and has about 140,000 eBook titles.
KSC students and faculty may access the online eBooks and other resources on campus with no log-in, but off campus, the site will prompt for the student or faculty’s identification card number.
“Only KSC community members have access to this (Ebrary),” Halverson said. With Ebrary, a person can download a portion of the book to his or her iPad, Tablet, eReader, or other electronic portable device, but copyright law only allows him or her up to 60 pages of the book to be downloaded, according to Halverson, and that a person would need an account. An account could be set up at the log-in page.
“More and more articles are becoming full text, so our periodical section is becoming smaller and smaller,” Halverson said. Though students Halverson has talked to said they prefer the print book as opposed to an eBook, Halverson said she thinks the demand for eBooks will continue to rise.
“I don’t think that print books will ever go away,” Halverson continued, “The academic library will just have a much smaller section of them in the library.”
According to a survey done by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project last year, 43 percent of the 6,224 American’s ages 16 and older surveyed said they owned either a tablet or an eReader, like a Nook or a Kindle.
The survey was conducted between July 18 and Sept. 20, 2013. Thirty percent of the people surveyed in the age range of 30 to 49 years of age owned an e-reader, while 24 percent of the people surveyed in the age range of 16 to 17 years of age owned an e-reader.
There are plenty of places to order an e-book, including a local bookstore. According to Manager at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, Don Luckham, Kindles do not support local bookstores.
An eBook for a Kindle could be bought mainly on Amazon.com and no other bookstores can gain revenue, according to Luckham.
Though many bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Toadstool Bookshop are supporters of eBooks (Barnes and Noble supports the Nook and Toadstool Bookshop supports the Kobo, a company that makes eReaders), the physical book is where bookstores like Toadstool receive most business and revenue, according to Luckham.
Toadstool Bookshop is a part of the American Booksellers Association and the New England Independent Booksellers Association. According to Luckham, the trade groups were supporters of the Nook, but switched and decided to work with Kobo instead.
According to Luckham, Kindle owners are only able to get books off of amazon.com. “There’s a freer choice if you have a non-Kindle eReader,” Luckham said.
EBook prices are generally lower, according to Luckham. “There’s much less cost to providing an eBook,” Luckham said, but because Toadstool is committed to the print book, the eBook sales are a small additional revenue.
Barbara Moonlight is an owner of the color Nook. She said she enjoys it because of the light up screen and color, which the Kindle did not have at the time she purchased it.
“I like it much better than a book because I can read without the light on before I go to bed,” Moonlight said, “It’s like a mini computer.”
The outlook is still bright for the print book according to librarians and booksellers. Toadstool gains the greater of their revenue through sales of print books.
Halverson said most students still prefer the print book as opposed to an eBook, and according to Jardine, the Keene Public Library still has many people checking out books rather than eBooks.
“I’m sure that the physical book will be there in a hundred years, but I’m not sure about the eBook,” Jardine said, “The eBook files might be around, but I’m not sure where the technology will be in a hundred years.”
Rebecca Marsh can be contacted at email@example.com