First, there was the paperless office. And we all know how successful that was. Now, they're threatening the paperless home. Instead of bulky shelves lined with colourfully expensive, tree-murdering, oxygen-depleting papery things gathering silverfish, dust and mould, we will have - a squinty little screen and a sore thumb.
I'm just wondering if any of you received an e-reader for Christmas, or bought one to take away with you. How many of you had one already?
And how many are still in love with paper?
It has occurred to me that I really should talk about ebooks, because of the number of requests we get for books that aren't printed in the usual 3D format. Especially Kindle ebooks. You may or may not be aware that Auckland Libraries cannot and does not purchase Kindle ebooks. In case you didn't know this, there's a war on. There's the read-anywhere type of ebook, then there's the sort formatted to only be used on one sort of e-machine - like a Kindle. As we don't want to disadvantage people who use all the other devices, it means we don't use those. It means a bloody headache, actually.
Auckland Libraries uses special library suppliers that have their own suppliers - the publishers - and every single one has a different view on allowing libraries access to their precious works. Some will not permit libraries to buy their ebooks, as they think they'll lose too much money having people simply download their stuff free. Some allow a maximum number of downloads, which can mean having to buy the same book several times a year. And all suppliers have a different range, because they have different agreements with publishers, meaning you can't buy - or even order - all books.
And more and more books are only being published as ebooks, including half a series, when the other half is printed.
Anyway, I guess this is building up to an apology. We do apologise for all those times you've seen a book advertised, and request it from us, only to discover it is a Kindle ebook and we can't purchase it for you. We do hope the publishing industry gets itself sorted, but unfortunately, libraries have never been the priority.
In the meantime, we still have a pretty impressive range of ebooks, both fiction and non-fiction, which you can check out here. If you're not sure what format the ebook you want is, you are also more than welcome to suggest it to us!
Let us know if you are an e-reader or a paper fan, like me. Or both.
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