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Amazon has a patent to sell used ebooks. When I first scanned the headline, I thought it must be some Onion-esque gag, and I'm sure I wasn't alone. Used e-books? As in, rumpled up, dog-eared pdfs? Faded black-and-white kindle cover art, Calibri notes typed in the margins that you can't erase?
Barely-amusing image aside, used ebooks are for real. Or at least have a very real potential to become real. See, Amazon just cleared a patent for technology that would allow it to create an online marketplace for used ebooks--essentially, if you own an ebook, you would theoretically be able to put it up for sale on a secondary market.
The reason why publishers won't supply ebooks to public libraries is because libraries insist on having marc records and their own catalogues.
Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."
Why one consumer has spent more on digital media in the last year than he used to spend on the physical stuff.
Excerpt: I am spending more on digital media than I used to spend on the physical stuff. (The federal government says the average American family spent $2,572 on all entertainment, not just digital, in 2011.) And I know why I am spending more on digital media.
Digital media, unlike its slow cousin, is immediate. In the past, if friends mentioned a good book they had just finished, people made a note (mental or on a scrap of paper) to pick it up during their next visit to the bookstore or library. The same went for other items like CDs, DVDs or magazines.
Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.
About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.
Full piece -- At the top of screen is a button to "click to listen" audio is 7 minutes 50 seconds.
This episode of "All Things Considered" had other pieces about ebooks and publishing in addition to the library one. They were:
Change Is The Only Constant In Today's Publishing Industry
E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple
Margaret Atwood's Brave New World Of Online Publishing
Bookworms are choosing e-readers over hardcovers and softcovers more than ever, says a recent Pew Research Center study.
A month-long study found more Americans readers, ages 16 and older, are embracing e-readers. The number of traditional readers dropped from 72% to 67% from last year, while digital bookworms jumped from 16% to 23%.
Shipments are expected to continue their decline through 2016, with a projected shipment of just 7.1 million units.
If these projections are to be believed, the ereader craze is flaming out as quickly as it ignited. And if you’re in the business of creating content, that’s a good thing.
In the first of two parts about the new realities of publishing and public libraries, Forbes contributor David Vinjamuri discusses whether the right battle is being fought:
"The solution to the current pricing problem lies in understanding that the argument publishers and libraries are having is the wrong argument. It is based on the paradigm of the printed book and as such presents a series of intractable challenges for both publishers and libraries. By changing the model for pricing an eBook, both parties could find a clear and equitable resolution to the current impasse."
The holiday shopping season is upon us, and once again e-book readers promise to be a very popular gift. Last year's holiday season saw ownership of a dedicated e-reader device spike to nearly 1 in 5 Americans, and that number is poised to go even higher. But if you're in the market for an e-reader this year, or for e-books to read on one that you already own, you might want to know who's keeping an eye on your searching, shopping, and reading habits.
Unfortunately, unpacking the tracking and data-sharing practices of different e-reader platforms is far from simple. It can require reading through stacked license agreements and privacy policies for devices, software platforms, and e-book stores. That in turn can mean reading thousands of words of legalese before you read the first line of a new book.