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As E-Book Subscription Services Grow Their Catalogs, the Age-Old Institution Trumps All
All of the big five publishers sell their e-book collections for loans, usually on the same day they're available for consumers to purchase. They haven't always been so friendly with libraries, and still charge them a lot for e-books. Some library e-books are only allowed a set number of loans before "expiring."
Publishers have come to see libraries not only as a source of income, but also as a marketing vehicle. Since the Internet has killed off so many bookstores, libraries have become de facto showrooms for discovering books.