more on ebooks

Lest we all freak out too much about ebooks and how they’re destroying Americans’ access to literature, here’s a great counterpoint to the “it’s all online, we don’t need books” argument.

From the very smart, very user-focused Iris Jastram, after describing a user/librarian interaction over library-vendor ebooks, a scene that would make me laugh if it weren’t so damn sad and true:

“… Then it should work.” But this is not actually my definition of “work” unless you mean the kind of work that people pay you to do. But no, this is the kind of “work” that I pay for, and that still isn’t easy or fun, even though he owns an ebook reader he loves.”

The scenario she describes is short — a paragraph — but it’s pointy and accurate. Go read it.

Then consider this: most people can go to the shelf, find a book (I know, LCC sucks, I said “most” people), check it out, and read it — and most of them will do it without the kind of hellish troubleshooting Iris so realistically describes.

Print is dead? Really?


  1. So, I have a Kindle (and love it) and was all excited about getting to use OverDrive on it. But it’s a first generation Kindle, which means it won’t work with OverDrive wirelessly – no, I still need a cable. And because it’s a first generation one it didn’t come with the cable. So I guess I’ll go to Best Buy sometime and see if I can find a cable to connect my Kindle to the Mac so I can download ebooks to it.

    But hey! I can, theoretically, now put library ebooks on a Kindle. It’s progress, of a sort!


  2. I know… I just think about you trying to explain that to each individual patron with their individual circumstances… ugh. We should have better options than this, but we don’t, so please, someone, tell me HOW print is dead? 🙂

    I’m going to go read an ebook on my ipad, now, while i eat dinner.


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