How exactly does the technology we use to read change the way we read? How reading on screens differs from reading on paper is relevant not just to the youngest among us, but to just about everyone who reads—to anyone who routinely switches between working long hours in front of a computer at the office and leisurely reading paper magazines and books at home; to people who have embraced e-readers for their convenience and portability, but admit that for some reason they still prefer reading on paper; and to those who have already vowed to forgo tree pulp entirely. As digital texts and technologies become more prevalent, we gain new and more mobile ways of reading—but are we still reading as attentively and thoroughly? How do our brains respond differently to onscreen text than to words on paper? Should we be worried about dividing our attention between pixels and ink or is the validity of such concerns paper-thin?
Showing 65 posts tagged ebooks
And how do the big textbook publishers today plan to meet the new demands? Interviews with officials of the “big three”—London-based Pearson, New York City-based McGraw-Hill Education, and Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—suggest they’re taking different approaches. They’re developing new products, and new methods for educators to use those products, that they hope will help them keep customers and expand their market shares by doing a better job meeting the needs of districts like Vail.
The team looked at how digital and analog books currently are being read, shared and collected, as well as at trends, business models and consumer behavior within related fields. We identified three distinct opportunities—new narratives, social reading with richer context, and providing tools for critical thinking—and developed a design concept around each one.
- There are over 121,000 libraries in America and 69% of Americans use libraries
- 67% of libraries offer downloadable e-books and 28% lend out e-readers and mobile devices
- 95% of libraries have some kind of online, social media presence
Some other interesting notes:
In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading — or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters — a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29.
- “We found that about 8 in 10 Americans under the age of 30 have read a book in the past year. And that’s compared to about 7 in 10 adults in general, American adults.”
- “We heard from e-book readers in general [that] they don’t want e-books to replace print books.”
- “We found that [younger people are] very interested in the idea of preloaded e-readers — being able to check out an e-reader at a library that already has some popular titles on it.”
photo via flickr:CC | North Shore Country Day School
These were the results of a pilot program created to understand why students have been slow to adopt digital texts and what would have to change in order to make them the preference. The pilot was developed by the University of Wisconsin, Cornell, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia and Indiana University, which decided to jointly investigate how e-textbooks could be used on their campuses with an e-text pilot during the spring semester of 2012.
What they found, produced in a report called Internet2 [PDF], was that, for purposes of study, at least, e-books were not quite there yet in terms of usability, visual presentation and navigation tools. The pilot program pointed out some glaring flaws in the e-reader model: Students reported problems with readability, complained of eyestrain, and said the e-books were not fully compatible with all mobile devices. They also noted that the navigation features meant to enhance learning like zoom, highlighting and annotation don’t function well.
photo via flickr:CC | no_typographic_man
Big news for the textbook rental industry. Amazon is now offering a textbook rental service just in time for the start of the upcoming school year.
- You can use your Amazon Student account (or Amazon Prime account) for free 2-day shipping on most textbooks (orders must be over $25).
- You’ll also get free return shipping when you send the book back at the end of the semester.
- Books are rented for 130 days, the standard length of time Amazon says is a semester.
- Textbooks may come as new or used depending on availability.
- Need to keep the book longer? You can purchase the book without having to return it.
- Writing in the rented textbook is discouraged as it’ll be used by future students. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if most rented books get written in and then returned. If that happens however, you’ll have to buy the book. In other words, if you know you’re going to highlight and write in the margins… you may want to just buy a used version anyway.
- You can already rent textbooks via the Amazon Kindle. This new feature is for printed books.
photo via flickr:CC | J_P_D
In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve been getting.
Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.
Do you borrow e-books from your library?
12% of readers of e-books borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year. But a majority of Americans do not know that this service is provided by their local library.
- 62% of Americans ages 16+ (& 58% of library card holders) don’t know if their library lends e-books.
- 58% of Americans ages 16+ have a library card; 69% say the library is important to their family and them
- 32% of e-book borrowers say the selection at their library is good, 18% say it’s very good, & 16% say it’s excellent
We’ve got tons more on libraries, publishers, and e-books in our brand new report today, including info on where people discover and get their books, how book-borrowing habits are changing, and why some people don’t borrow e-books from libraries.
iBooks Author is the first tool of its kind. Never before have publishers, authors, and content creators had a tool for making dynamic, interactive ebooks in a WYSIWYG environment. This book is intended to get you up and writing in iBooks Author.
Print or digital? Adults grapple with which is the best way to read — not only for themselves, but especially when it comes to their kids. Whether or not parents prefer print books over interactive e-books for their kids, the question is, what’s actually better for them?
E-Books, are they as popular as we thought they would become? Well yes and no, while they are not quite as popular as printed books at the moment. They are becoming more and more popular with 17% of Americans having read an e-book before the 2011 holidays and 21% after. While not a staggering stat, it does show people like e-books and more importantly there is growth in popularity.
Last month, the American Library Association released its annual State of America’s Libraries Report, and many of its findings were grim.
While library budget cuts continue, demand for library services has soared. Lower income and unemployed patrons often turn to local libraries as their only source of Internet access.
At the same time, libraries have sought to accommodate Americans’ ever-increasing demand for access to digital materials, a mission that has put them at odds with the publishing industry, which is struggling to retain its viability as many American readers shift toward reading books electronically and purchasing those titles from online retailers rather than traditional bookstores.
photo via flickr:CC | Matt Hammond
For all the noise nationally, movement to digital has been slow at the state and district level. Digital textbooks still account for only a small fraction of overall textbook sales. Still, several states have enacted changes in recent years to make it easier for districts to go digital and use free material in the classroom that’s available digitally.
photo via flickr:CC | Wesley Fryer
The Next Time Someone Says the Internet Killed Reading Books, Show Them This Chart
“Remember the good old days when everyone read really good books, like, maybe in the post-war years when everyone appreciated a good use of the semi-colon? Everyone’s favorite book was by Faulkner or Woolf or Roth. We were a civilized civilization. This was before the Internet and cable television, and so people had these, like, wholly different desires and attention spans. They just craved, craved, craved the erudition and cultivation of our literary kings and queens.
Well, that time never existed. Check out these stats from Gallup surveys. In 1957, not even a quarter of Americans were reading a book or novel. By 2005, that number had shot up to 47 percent. I couldn’t find a more recent number, but I think it’s fair to say that reading probably hasn’t declined to the horrific levels of the 1950s.”
Full Story: Atlantic