Favorite

Curling up with a good e-book 

Who’s ready?

BUT NOT AS GOOD AS A DOORSTOP: The Sony pocket reader.
  • BUT NOT AS GOOD AS A DOORSTOP: The Sony pocket reader.

Sometime around the first of October, patrons of the Central Arkansas Library System will be able to check out books from CALS, read them and return them, without ever going to the library. Some readers are more excited about this innovation than others.

The convenient volumes will not be printed books, but e-books. For laggards on the electronic curve, e-book is short for electronic book. An e-book is the digital equivalent of a conventional printed book. The e-book is read on a personal computer or other electronic device.

CALS is ordering e-books now, and plans to have several hundred titles on hand when it begins offering e-books to the public. By way of contrast, CALS owns around 800,000 conventional books and tapes.

E-books are already available from other sources. The first e-book was published in 1993. But the e-book market, though growing, is still relatively small. That may be about to change.

Sony Corp. announced last week that it will soon offer an e-book reader to compete with Kindle, a device sold by Amazon.com. Kindle can only display books purchased from Amazon. The Sony device will be able to show books from a variety of sources, including public libraries.

Bobby Roberts, executive director of CALS, thinks Sony has the advantage. Suppose a Kindle user wants to read the latest Danielle Steel, he says. She buys the e-book from Amazon, she reads it on her Kindle, and she owns it ever after, as she does any other e-books she buys. “What do I want with 100 novels that I'm never going to read again?” Roberts asks.

A CALS patron could download the latest Danielle Steel, and keep it for a couple of weeks (during which time no one else could get to it) before it reverted to the library. E-books never get lost, Roberts said, and they're never overdue.

From the library's point of view, the e-book is a great space saver. The library doesn't have to keep all the bulky conventional volumes that cause it to be forever seeking more room. The e-book also frees librarians from the chore of re-shelving books.

Will people actually read full-length books on a computer screen? Roberts won't. He says that after working on a computer all day, he has no interest in going home and reading 50 pages of a novel on a computer. But he admits to being behind on the electronic curve. There are people on his staff who already do most of their reading electronically, he says.

Still, he believes that music CDs and books on tape will be more popular digitally than conventional books.

“I'm not sure how well books will be received,” Roberts says. “We'll know in a year or two.” 

 

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Kanis development decried

    Fletcher Hollow wrong place for density, neighbors tell LR planners.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The Observer

    • So this is for your article you put out right after trump got elected. It…

    • on December 10, 2016
  • Re: Only Arkansas law makes same-sex couples different

    • Nancy Colburn aka, Nancy richard colburn, or nlcolburn@gmail.com. Has a pile of shit husband who…

    • on December 10, 2016
  • Re: Arkansas medical marijuana supporters are back

    • ORDER YOUR PRODUCTS AT VERY GOOD PRICES WITH GUARANTEED DELIVERY WORLDWIDE. email at:(jonesjacks155@gmail.com) email at:(jonesjacks155@gmail.com)…

    • on December 10, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation