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April 15, 2014

Students Reading E-Books Are Losing Out, Study Suggests

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August 1, 2013

Authors say they prefer books in print

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 10:14 am
Alain de Botton prefers the real thing

Alain de Botton prefers the real thing

By Louise Gray

A year ago Amazon reported its Kindle e-books were outstripping its sale of printed books.

But reading lists this year show that most authors prefer a proper, old-fashioned book to touch screens.

Writers prefer a well-stuffed bookshelf to one slim tablet, and they admire a well-illustrated book over a touch-screen.

Alain de Botton the philosopher said he dumped e-books when he realised the information didn’t sink in without physical contact with a real book.

”I’m a recent apostate from e-books. I found whatever I read on my Kindle, I couldn’t remember in the long term. It was as if I’d never read it,” he said.

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May 8, 2013

E-Books and Democracy


WRESTLING with my newspaper on the subway recently, I noticed the woman next to me reading a book on her smartphone. “That has to hurt your eyes,” I commented.  Not missing a beat, she replied, in true New York style, “My font is bigger than yours.” She was right.

The information revolution raises profound questions about the future of books, reading and libraries. While publishers have been nimble about marketing e-books to consumers, until very recently they’ve been mostly unwilling to sell e-books to libraries to lend, fearful that doing so would hurt their business, which is under considerable pressure.

Negotiations between the nation’s libraries and the Big Six publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, Random House and Simon & Schuster, which publish roughly two-thirds of the books in America — have gone in fits and starts. Today Hachette, which had been a holdout, is joining the others in announcing that it will make e-books available to public libraries. This is a big step, as it represents, for the first time, a consensus among the Big Six, at least in principle, that their e-books should be made available to library users.

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March 14, 2013

Do you truly own your e-books?

Amazon and publisher restrictions control your access, but a bookstore lawsuit could change that

locked_kindle-620x412By Laura Miller

To the casual observer, the e-book revolution has produced two bumper crops: smutty trilogies à la “Fifty Shades of Grey” and lawsuits. First there were the authors (as represented by the Authors Guild), who sued Google Books for digitizing their work without permission. Then the Department of Justice sued five publishers and Apple for adopting a policy known as the agency model. Finally, a trio of independent booksellers filed a class-action suit last week against the six largest book publishers and Amazon, accusing them of collaborating to create a monopoly on e-book sales and shutting small retailers out of the market.

The booksellers — Fiction Addiction of Greenville, S.C., Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, N.Y., and Posman Books of New York City — are demanding the right to sell what they term “open-source and DRM-free” e-books, files that can be read on a Kindle or any other e-reading device. The publishers are accused of entering into “confidential agreements” with Amazon making this impossible.

The dispute and the situation that fostered it are confusing, and it can be difficult to suss out how either one affects readers. To put it simply: The Big Six publishers require that all their copyrighted e-books be sold with DRM (digital rights management) protection. DRM is coding designed to prevent the people who buy an e-book from making copies of it. A Kindle will only support DRM-protected books that are in a format that Amazon owns and that only Amazon can sell.


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February 19, 2013

Why Japanese readers don’t like e-books

FortuneJapan has some of the fastest internet connections in the world, but physical media such as books and DVDs still remain popular.

By Michael Fitzpatrick

Despite Japan’s “default-setting-for-the future” status, coined by Sci-fi writer William Gibson, time on this rocky archipelago appears to be headed backwards. Kerosene is replacing nuclear energy; deflation, not inflation, is still rife; and, publishers are clinging energetically to print when, in neighboring South Korea, it seems to have been abandoned altogether.

Why have Japanese consumers not fallen in love with digital reading? “So far the Japanese have failed to be moved by e-readers from home or abroad, mostly owing to a paucity of content,” says editor and publisher of Japan’s E-book 2.0 magazine Hiroki Kamata. Sony , for instance, has been in the market for more than seven years but has sold only 500,000 e-readers in Japan. Other manufacturers’ tablets have begun to sell here, but overall the category is still way behind e-reader take-up in the U.S. or Europe. Tablet sales have tripled since 2011, with market research firm IDC estimating tablet sales in Japan to be 3.6 million units.


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January 24, 2013

Children still prefer reading physical books, finds Scholastic

childrenreadingBy Charlotte Williams

The number of children who have read an e-book has almost doubled since 2010 but children still prefer reading books for fun in print, according to Scholastic Inc’s Kids and Family Reading Report, 4th Edition.

The publisher surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,074 US children aged six to 17, and their parents, to compile the research on children’s reading habits.

Forty-six per cent of children responding to the survey said they had read an e-book, up from 25% in 2010. Meanwhile, 41% of the parents had read an e-book, a big leap up from 14% in 2010. Fifty-one per cent of children who have not read an e-book are interested in doing so.

However more than half (58%) of respondents aged 9-17 said they will always want to read books printed on paper even if there are e-books available, though this was a slight decrease from 66% in 2010. Eighty per cent of children still read mostly print books.

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November 1, 2012

Kobo to launch in South Africa

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 7:56 am

| By Lisa Campbell

Kobo is to launch in South Africa in partnership with Pick n Pay hyperstores and supermarkets.

Amazon already sells Kindle devices in South Africa and now Kobo will attempt to win market share from the digital reading giant with the Kobo Touch device.

The Kobo South Africa website says it will offer popular literature by “notable local authors”, with books in both English and Afrikaans.


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October 3, 2012

Disruptions: Your Brain on E-Books and Smartphone Apps

Last week, my brain played a cruel trick on me. While waiting for my flight to take off, I was reading The New Yorker, the paper version, of course — I know the rules. I became engrossed in an article and swiped my finger down the glossy page to read more.

To my surprise, nothing happened. I swiped it again. Nothing.

My brain was trying to turn the page the same way I do on my iPad, with the swipe of a finger. (I quickly realized that I had to physically turn the page.)

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September 16, 2012

High street bookshops must offer e-books, industry chief warns

All bookshops must start selling electronic ‘e-books’ by the autumn if they are to ensure their long-term survival, a leading trade body has warned.

By James Hall

Tim Godfray, the chief executive of The Booksellers Association (BA), said that high street bookshops risk being “marginalised” by shoppers if they do not start selling downloadable books as well as physical books.

He said that the massive popularity of e-reading devices such as the Kindle has already turned shops into “showrooms”, where people browse the shelves before going home to buy a book off the internet.

Writing in The Bookseller magazine, Mr Godfray said he is “deeply concerned” that customers will simply stop using bookshops if they are not at least given the option to buy e-books in them.

Large chains such as Waterstone’s have already started to sell e-books. In the spring the chain announced a tie-up with Kindle-owner Amazon to allow customers to buy e-books from special wireless internet areas in its shops.

Mr Godfray said that independent bookshops must follow the lead of chains like Waterstone’s.

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September 5, 2012

EU investigation: publishers ‘concede e-book discounts’

Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre and Macmillan owner Verlugsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck have offered to allow retailers including Amazon to sell their e-books at a discount for two years in a bid to end an EU antitrust investigation and stave off fines, according to a Reuters report.

Apple, with which the publishers have entered into agency pricing agreements, is also said to have agreed on the concessions. Penguin, a fifth publisher which employs agency pricing on e-books, is not identified as having offered the concession.

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