9 E-book readers and their implications for libraries

Rudolf Mumenthaler

Originally published in the reader for the TICER Summer Academy, August 2010

1. E-books and readers – a review

2010 has already been dubbed the year of the e-book reader, yet these mobile reading devices for electronic books are not a recent phenomenon. The reading revolution has already been heralded many times over. Sony introduced the first electronic book reader onto the market in 1990: the Data Discman was able to display electronic books to EBG standard, which could be imported into a special data carrier. Apple’s Newton, too, offered the possibility (from 1993) of reading e-books in the “Newton eBook” format. These were followed by the SoftBook Reader, the Rocketbook and the Cybook (Gen1) at the end of the 1990s. There has been a great deal of intensive discussion over whether books will only be read via these portable devices in the future, and whether this will mean the end for libraries and bookshops. This first generation of e-readers, however, failed to catch on. From today’s perspective, the reasons behind the failure of the Gemstar Rocketbook (Tischer: Goodbye eBook), for example, make for interesting reading.

• Overly expensive e-books on an expensive device

• Proprietary platform, with no possibility of users loading their own books onto it

• E-readers were too large and too heavy (compared to handheld devices)

• Disadvantages in comparison with multifunctional handheld devices

• Restrictive DRM, which limited the user’s ability to read a book on the device.

However, this first generation also had some technical shortcomings beyond their relatively bulky weight. Their LCD displays did not make for a particularly enjoyable reading experience, and their memory and battery life were limited. Further technological developments were set in motion as a result.

Sony continued to be one of the most active players in this market. The Librié model, which was launched in Japan in 2004, resolved many of the technical problems that hampered the first generation. First and foremost, the newly developed e-ink electronic paper delivered massive improvements in terms of the display (albeit without colour) and reduced power consumption at the same time. Even as far back as the 1970s, Xerox had developed a type of electronic paper (Gyricon), which was made up of statically charged bichromal spheres. In the 1990s, Joseph Jacobson at MIT developed another method: electrophoresis. This process involves white particles, or microcapsules, floating in a dark-coloured oil. Depending on their electrical charge, the white spheres either float on the surface or sink.

Fig.1: Basic Schema of an Electrophoretic Display (Source: Wikimedia, Author: Gerald Senarclens de Grancy)

The second generation of e-book readers is therefore based on the e-ink principle. Yet commercial success was still a long time coming. Neither the Sony Reader, the iLiad from the company iRex Technologies, the Hanlin V2 from Jinke Electronics (all launched in 2006) nor the Cybook from the company Bookeen (2007) were able to make this breakthrough.

2. The second generation of e-book readers

It was the Amazon Kindle, introduced in November 2007, which gave the e-book reader a new lease of life. The Kindle’s association with the Amazon online shop, with its extensive range of e-books (88,000 e-books were available at the start of 2009, and approx. 500,000 were available by the end of 2009), has probably been a crucial factor in its market success. Amazon has also been responsible for the targeted subsidisation of electronic titles in an effort to gain a larger share of the market. The average price of an e-book in the Amazon Kindle store, at $ 9.99, has remained considerably lower than the catalogue price for paperbacks and around $ 3 cheaper than the prices of rival products, sparking an outcry in publishing houses and the bookselling trade (cf. Auletta, Publish). As a mobile reading device, the original version of the Kindle did not appear to be particularly attractive, but 2009 saw the introduction of two markedly improved models, the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX. The success of the Kindle is not so much the result of any technical superiority over the competition as of the extremely wide range of relatively affordable e-books on offer in the Amazon Kindle Store. By launching the Kindle DX with its larger sceen (9.7 inch e-ink), Amazon was targeting university students and newspaper readers, who wanted to be able to read texts in larger formats, as well as readers of fiction.

Fig.2: Three second-generation e-book readers, based on e-ink technology (Sony PRS-505, Kindle 2, nook)

The second generation of e-book readers seems to appeal primarily to older people. An analysis of Amazon’s user forum has shown (although these results have not been scientifically confirmed) that the majority of users are over 50 years old and 70% are over 40. It appears that the “reading-glasses-wearing” generation particularly appreciate being able to vary the size of the text, while younger generations seem to be less interested in this device thanks to its rather conservative design, and perhaps also because of its lackluster black-and-white page displays.

3. E-book formats

In the early phases of this new technology, as was also the case with the introduction of earlier types of electronic media, consumers have had to deal with various file formats which are not compatible with each other. While Sony has been favouring the EPUB format for some time, Amazon has opted for a variation of the Mobipocket format. Both formats provide purchasable e-books with Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection, which ensures that these titles can only be read on registered devices.

The EPUB format

EPUB is supported by most current readers (apart from Kindle and iRex). EPUB lends itself to use in mobile reading devices, as it adapts the text to fit the size of the screen. As well as offering flowing text displays and page breaks, EPUB allows the text size to be individually customised. This stands in contrast to the PDF format, which is characterised by its fixed layout but can therefore be difficult to read on small screens. The EPUB standard was developed in 2007 by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and is based on the free XML standard. It is a combination of three open standards; the Open Publication Structure (OPS) for formatting content, the Open Packaging Format (OPF) for describing the structure of the .epub files in XML and the OEBPS Container Format (OCF), which combines all the files in a zip file.

EPUB recognises various formatting settings (headers, paragraphs) and, like a website, can therefore identify and present headings in different hierarchical structures. Its text formatting functions more or less correspond to those of a website. If you look at an EPUB document in its source code form, you will be able to see its XML basis and recognise its similarity to web pages. Thanks to the flowing line and page breaks, the number of pages is relative, so it makes no sense to use footnotes. Endnote characters and text can be linked to each other via hyperlinks. Images can also be integrated, as in a website, although these would have to be adjusted as well to fit different screen sizes.

Fig.3: Screenshot of the source code of an EPUB document using SIGIL

The EPUB format is particularly well suited to displaying simple texts and is therefore ideal for reading works of fiction. However, the original layout of the printed book is lost. With the help of the right software (Calibre, for example), the user’s own texts can be converted fairly easily into EPUB documents. However, problems arise when this format is used in a scientific context, because formulae, for example, can only be displayed as images. Tables, too, are rarely displayed correctly.

Fig.4: 2 Screenshots: an e-book in EPUB format on an iPhone, left; passages of text with endnote characters which are linked to the endnotes (right).

The Mobipocket format

The rival Mobipocket format is particularly widely used in the form of Amazon’s AZW version. Mobipocket was originally developed as a cross-platform format for displaying e-books on handheld devices and PCs. It is based on the Open eBook standard. Users’ own texts can be converted into the appropriate e-book format with the help of the Mobipocket Creator software. Amazon’s AZW version is a slightly modified variation of this format, notably containing its own DRM.

Calibre is the best software for managing different file formats on a PC or Mac and converting them into any other required format. Calibre also enables various e-books to be displayed on a wide range of different readers, including the iPhone or iPad (via Stanza on mobile devices). However, this only works with files that do not have DRM protection.

Portable Document Format

In a specifically academic context, the most popular format for electronic texts is PDF – and not just for electronic journals, but for e-books as well. The real advantage of PDF lies in its faithful presentation of original printed documents. Formulae, graphics, footnotes and the overall layout are reproduced precisely. However, for the small displays of most e-book readers, which usually have a six-inch screen, this format is impractical – if it can indeed be displayed at all. On the iRex Digital Reader or the Kindle DX with their ten- or nine-inch screens, PDF documents can be read quite easily. The early e-reader models did not have the adequate functions to display a PDF in a useful way. Special rendering mechanisms and zoom functions now allow these documents to be read even on smaller screens, as the example of the iPhone shows. In its operating system version 2.5, the Kindle is expected to gain better functions for displaying PDF documents. The emergence of the larger tablet devices, which have burst onto the market with the launch of the iPad, also enhances the benefits of PDF.

4. The use of e-books

The sales figures for e-books show a striking upward trend in 2009. According to the Association of American Publishers, the growth in sales revenues has been overwhelming: 2006: $ 54 million; 2007: $ 67 million; 2008: $ 113 million; 2009: $ 169.5 million. Moreover, research by Forrester reveals that, in terms of hardware, the Amazon Kindle led the way in 2009 by some considerable distance. In the USA, 60% of the devices sold are Kindles, while Sony claims a 35% share and the rest account for the remaining 5%. Around three million devices are reported to have been sold in 2009. Sales of at least double that number are anticipated in 2010. Yet, beneath all the optimism of the market analysts and the companies involved, there remains some doubt over whether e-books will make the final breakthrough. Even in the USA, e-books account for just one per cent of all book sales (Gottschalk, E-Book). So, even as the year of the e-book reader gets underway, it remains uncertain whether this new medium will actually win through.

In the academic world, this already appears to be the case, as the access figures for e-books at ETH-Bibliothek show. However, it is important to note that these statistics refer to the number of times individual chapters are accessed. At the end of 2009, ETH-Bibliothek’s holdings amounted to around 60,000 licensed electronic books, individual chapters of which had been accessed one million times. By contrast, an access rate of 3.5 million was recorded for electronic journals at ETH-Bibliothek in 2009. All the signs indicate that, in the field of STM (Science, Medicine, Technology), e-books will achieve the same triumphant success that e-journals experienced a few years ago. Whether e-book readers will benefit from this development is another story.

Fig. 5: Use of e-books at ETH-Bibliothek (by chapter)

5. The role of the newspaper market

Developments in the newspaper industry may play a significant role in determining whether reading devices will successfully establish themselves on the market. E-readers are also relevant in this context, because it does not just involve reading electronic books, but other types of data content as well. New models are currently being developed in the newspaper and journals sector with the intention of ensuring the survival of the industry. My view is that the future of the e-reader will be decided in this sector, rather than in the field of books. Here, the demand is for devices with larger displays which are also suitable for reading newspaper content that is enriched with multimedia features. The trend is even heading towards publishing houses publishing information from their newsrooms via a range of different channels, and text, images and multimedia are being mixed together. Mobile devices that can successfully display this kind of content will therefore have a clear advantage.

There is also great demand for new business models which are designed to ensure that money can be made with high-quality, up-to-date information. Competition is emerging from free commuter papers, while free online newspapers are cannibalising higher quality papers and research journalism. The hope here is that electronic versions will help reduce the costs of production and distribution. Whether consumers can be persuaded that they should have to pay a reasonable price for high-quality electronic products, however, remains to be seen. One thing is certain: the course for the future will be set in 2010. And the hardware available will have an important role to play in this. Soon after it was first launched, the computer magazine Wired released a multimedia-enhanced version for the iPad , offering users the chance to rotate images and access videos. The Zurich daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger has, in addition to a free iPad app – which offers the same contents as the newspaper’s web edition – announced the release of an iPad version with all the contents of the printed issues, to be made available to subscribers of the newspaper free of charge or via a separate subscription. This new platform is expected to trigger the development of yet more similar applications. Furthermore, the impending launches of several large-format e-readers, which would be ideally suited to displaying newspaper contents, have been announced (and meanwhile already cancelled), including the QUE from Plastic Logic and the Skiff Reader. However, the latest reports indicate that the publishing industry seems to be pinning its faith on the attractive, archetypal iPad.

Fig.6: The QUE (left) and the Skiff Reader, due to be released in 2010

The pessimism amongst booksellers stands in contrast to the unfailing optimism of the manufacturers of e-readers. As well as the aforementioned large-format Skiff and QUE, various other devices are expected to emerge in 2010, or have already been released. These dedicated e-book readers are all based on e-ink technology. Some feature a touchscreen, although this can impair the readability of the display, as in the case of the Sony Touch for example. Also, compared to the multi-touch technology of the iPhone and other smartphones, the functions offered by these touchscreens are somewhat rudimentary. Models such as the NOOK from Barnes & Noble or the Alex e-reader attempt to combine e-ink displays with an additional small touch-screen for navigation. In terms of usability, however, these designs are not really convincing. The iPhone has set the standard for operating mobile devices, a standard which e-book readers do not even come close to meeting. This makes it worth considering smartphones as potential e-readers.

6. Smartphones as e-readers

Competition from multifunctional handheld devices has been cited as a reason for the failure of the first generation of e-book readers. Five years later, this competition has intensified even further, turning these devices into a major rival for the dedicated e-book reader. The argument that (almost) noone wants to carry an additional large device around with them when their multifunctional smartphone is perfectly sufficient for reading digital content as well now has even greater force. If we compare the scope of the iPhone with that of the current second-generation e-book readers, the iPhone actually performs better (cf. Mumenthaler, iPhone).

Other smartphones may feature similar technical possibilities for displaying e-books, but the iPhone offers an incomparably large range of e-books as well as numerous other applications for buying, managing and reading electronic books.

The range of e-books for the iPhone is, all in all, more extensive than the ranges available for each of the individual dedicated e-book readers. Thanks to so-called “apps”, the iPhone can provide access to the complete selection of e-books from Amazon’s Kindle Store, any of the more than one million e-books on offer in the Barnes and Noble store, a hundred thousand freely available older books and numerous other platforms. In addition to this, there is the iBooks application, which was originally developed for the iPad but is now set to be released for the iPhone as well. Moreover, the iPhone offers publishers the opportunity to sell individual e-books as small independent applications.

Fig.7: Screenshot: access from the iPhone to the e-books library on a PC via Stanza.

File formats

With the help of various different applications, the iPhone can read more or less any format. However, DocumentsToGo is required for text and PDF documents, while Kindle is needed for Amazon’s AZW formats and Stanza for EPUB, etc. The iBook app being introduced for the iPhone is designed to be able to read PDF documents and EPUB formats as well, with the files being managed via iTunes.

Functions

The iPhone is leading the field in terms of scrolling and navigating functions. The clear standards set by the iPhone in this area have also resulted in many users trying to operate the Kindle as a touchscreen device, or getting frustrated with the modest features offered by the Sony Touch.

For use in a specifically academic environment, it would be vitally important for reading devices to have the functions to annotate texts and transfer notes and citations into an actual working environment on a PC. This is not really possible with either the iPhone or the dedicated e-book readers. iPhone users have to overcome an obstacle course of different functions and applications just to copy a note from a text and transfer it into a Word document. As for e-book readers, only the Sony Touch (supposedly) offers a function for coordinating notes on the e-reader with Word files on a PC. Of course, DRM frequently causes problems with this.

Display

The small size of the iPhone’s display is certainly to its disadvantage compared to the six-inch screens of the Kindle, Sony and others. However, it makes up for this by lending itself remarkably well to displaying multimedia content. In the age of media convergence, this advantage should not be underestimated. It also, conversely, represents a potentially decisive weak point for e-ink technology. At the moment, a page takes half a second to load, flickering as it does so. This may not be a problem for reading books, but could well create difficulties for viewing multimedia content. However, in early 2010, Sony introduced a flexible colour display screen (Sony Rollable OLED Display) which can show a film while it is being rolled around a pencil.

Battery life

An obvious plus point of e-ink technology is the extremely long duration of its battery life, which, on the other hand, is the main drawback of the iPhone.

Price

According to customer surveys, the absolute limit consumers will pay for e-readers is EUR 200, although this varies for different customer segments. However, in order to penetrate the youth market, prices would probably have to be well under EUR 200. Here the advantage clearly lies with the iPhone. It is, in fact, considerably more expensive than other products, but it is bought as a mobile phone, mobile web device, electronic diary or mobile games console rather than as an e-reader.

Coolness factor

Last but not least, the “coolness” factor has a key role to play. Even the latest e-book readers, such as the NOOK, are not “sexy” enough to appeal to the younger generations. Until Apple introduced the iPad, the iPhone was unquestionably the coolest gadget around. Smartphones with the Android open operating system are still the devices which have the best chance of competing with Apple’s products.

Conclusion

As was the case back in 2003, when the first-generation e-book readers proved unable to compete with the handheld devices that were flourishing at the time, the numerous advantages of today’s smartphones show them to be the winners in this battle for commercial supremacy. Of course, the argument remains that noone would want to read Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” on an iPhone, but a really avid reader would prefer to read it in the form of a beautifully bound hardback book anyway. Moreover, as has already been mentioned, developments in the newspaper and journals sector are likely to have a decisive impact, and the emergence of tablets will play a crucial role in this.

7. Tablets as e-readers

At the beginning of the year, there was some heated debate over whether 2010 would be the year of the e-book reader or the year of the tablet. The fact is that, in addition to the Apple iPad, a whole array of other tablets have been announced for release. Even before the arrival of the iPad, Microsoft introduced the Courier, which was due to come onto the market this year. HP, too, heralded the launch of a device called Slate, which is based on Windows 7 and was intended to rival the iPad. Other products that are reportedly in development include tablet computers from Google, Samsung or Nokia. In Germany, meanwhile, the WePad or WeTab has been causing a stir as an open, Android-based alternative to the proprietary systems from Apple.

Tablet computers are not a new invention, having been occupying a rather small niche in the notebook market for some years with varying degrees of success. Another promising newcomer to the market is the tablet netbook, a particularly small and therefore mobile notebook with a touchscreen interface, such as the Eee PC Touch from Asus. This is a supermobile portable computer with a touchscreen interface. Its advantage over dedicated e-book readers is in its multifunctionality as well as its ability to integrate seamlessly into the working environment. The latter is a particularly important argument in its favour for use in a university environment. Here, the advantage clearly lies with the netbook, even in comparison with the Apple concept pioneered by the iPad.

Fig.8: Screenshot: Own created e-book, using the iBook application on the iPad

We have already compared smartphones and e-book readers with each other. With the iPad, another dimension comes into play and shifts the balance strongly in favour of the tablet. Its aforementioned disadvantages in comparison with the iPhone have now been almost completely resolved: the display is large and bright. Except in extreme lighting conditions, electronic books can be read on the iPad with no problems. In terms of the scope of the service it provides, Apple offers several tens of thousands of English-language titles for the iPad in its bookstore. Plus, the entire ranges from Amazon’s Kindle Store and the Barnes & Noble store can also be accessed on the iPad via the relevant applications. Other publishers are expected to jump on the bandwagon, making an extremely wide range available to iPad users in the medium-term.

When it comes to displaying PDF documents, however, the iPad also offers practical advantages that are not to be underestimated. For one thing, the 9.7 inch screen affords sufficient space even for viewing documents in A4 format. For another, the iPad has excellent functions for enlarging documents and navigating. In practical tests, it proved to be very effective even for reading particularly cumbersome e-paper versions of daily newspapers. Thanks to the multi-touch interface, selected excerpts can be enlarged quickly and easily. It is expected that even more applications will be developed which exploit these functions. The GoodReader app, for example, which can be used to download and organise PDF documents and read them offline, is proving to be very useful. Exchanges with other users or with users’ own PCs are already possible to a certain extent, through they are still far from easy, via platforms such as Dropbox or iWork.com from Apple.

Even though Apple’s iPad still leaves a lot to be desired and lacks some important functions, it nonetheless opens up new possibilities. This concept has proved popular with customers, albeit in the form of neither a laptop nor a smartphone nor an e-reader. This platform is therefore becoming all the more interesting for developers of applications involving these new forms of use, as well as for those, such as publishers, who provide the content.

8. Implications for library services

For libraries, the developments outlined above create – as always – both risks and opportunities, in that they could clearly give rise to both positive and not-so-positive scenarios. Both Amazon and Apple follow a vendor lock-in strategy, which means that customers are obligated to buy products from their own brands for as long and as exclusively as possible. The iPad serves to encourage the purchase of e-books from the Apple Bookstore, for example, while the Kindle successfully fulfils the same purpose for Amazon. External contents – or, from the customers’ perspective, their own contents – only find a way onto the reading device via indirect means. In addition, there are as yet no models in the pipeline which would provide a role for libraries. The worst case scenario for booksellers and libraries would be if direct purchasing were to prevail and individual customers only bought e-books directly from Apple, Amazon or Google.

On the other hand, the current licence model adopted by academic publishers is absolutely ideal for libraries, or for university libraries at least. This model, which has been endorsed by major suppliers such as Springer or Wiley, proposes that universities (usually via the library) pay for a campus licence for e-books and e-journals. The licenced titles can then be used by all members of the university, without restriction, from the IP range of the university. For universities, this model first and foremost raises the question of how the university members can be made to realise that they have the library to thank for this service and not to suppose that they can simply get hold of these contents for nothing.

However, publishers make mass downloads of e-books difficult by dividing the texts into chapters, which then can, and often must, be downloaded individually. The use of these texts, even legally, is also complicated by the fact that all of the chapter-by-chapter downloads are given the same neutral file names (e.g. fulltext.pdf). Organising the individual files on a PC thus becomes an ordeal which is anything but customer-friendly. In this respect, the publishers really need to make their service far more attractive. Ideally, the metadata would be embedded and included in the documents, as is the case with files in the music industry.

The iPad is just the device to revive this licence model and type of service. Like the iPhone, it provides an internet connection via a Virtual Private Network (VPN), so that users can access publishers’ catalogues remotely via LAN from the IP range of their university. This data can then be obtained online and saved locally. The advantages of the iPad for using PDF documents have already been outlined. However, it is surely in the best interests of both publishers and libraries to facilitate the use of these files as required – and described above.

Models for the future which are largely based on tried and tested principles are, of course, easier to formulate than completely new ones. It therefore becomes very difficult to try and draw up potential scenarios and solutions for handling e-books in public libraries. Fictional works are likely to be the most important medium in this case, although this is also the main area of focus for commercial suppliers. At the moment, with competition from online stores which make current titles available to download continuously and without delay, the odds seem to be stacked against libraries and even against traditional bookshops. There are, however, some innovative approaches which give libraries a legitimate cause for hope.

Firstly, there is the “onloan” approach, in which e-books are loaned out to customers for a specified limited duration in each case, in line with familiar lending principles. It may sound anachronistic, but this business model gives libraries the chance to play an active role and offers customers the advantage of lower prices. Publishers’ pricing policies are likely to play a major role in the customers’ acceptance of the service. At the moment, e-books – those from Amazon excepted – are generally priced at the level of the cheapest quote for printing and, in view of the restrictions on use imposed by the DRM, many customers may find this too expensive. A study carried out at an American university has shown that the costs a student has to pay would be considerably higher were he to convert to exclusively using e-books. With printed books, on the other hand, students can recoup some of their expenditure by selling on their textbooks. This does not work with DRM-protected e-books, which cannot be passed on.

The onloan approach can be implemented in a number of different ways. Smaller libraries will primarily contact a supplier who can provide them with a platform. NetLibrary from OCLC/EBSCO is one such example, as is – more obviously – the “Onleihe” (onloan) platform used by various German municipal libraries. This service is provided by DiViBib GmbH, a subsidiary of ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH. Sony’s e-book readers support this type of onloan service. The rights management and authentication are taken care of with the help of Adobe Content Server software, or by the customer via Adobe Digital Editions. An e-book loaned out via the customer’s account at his home library is then available to read on a reader or PC for eight days. In the USA, the company Overdrive provides e-books for libraries to loan out, together with the necessary platform and service.

A potential new service which a university library could offer would be to provide students with e-readers at a discount price, while the library prepares e-books for each subject area or loads them onto the devices before they are handed out. For this to work, however, licencing problems would still need to be overcome. Publishers are still rather sceptical and at best may only offer their assistance with a pilot project. This is how the Kindle DX is being introduced in the USA, on a trial basis only. In principle, however, open services which are not restricted to one platform or one type of device are likely to be successful. Libraries should therefore develop and provide services which, with current trends in mind, can be used from any end device. Experience has shown that customers do not appreciate being told by the library which type of device they should use. To me, the best solution would be to offer a comprehensive range of freely available e-books in the most commonly used formats, directly accessible from the library catalogue. Users could then download the required format directly onto their PC, tablet or e-book reader.

There are also other possible approaches. At the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, Blackbetty Mobilmedia introduced terminals for downloading e-books via Bluetooth in a format suitable for mobile phones – a service which could easily be offered in a library as well. All the basic rules of marketing apply here and the first point to consider is which target group a planned new service should appeal to.

9. Conclusion

Given the fact that developments in the area of e-book readers, e-readers and tablets are still very much uncertain, it is extremely difficult to make any predictions for the future. The e-book – in contrast to the electronic newspaper – has not yet successfully established itself, even in the academic world. This, however, is expected to happen in due course, particularly if the range of services offered by publishers can be made more customer-friendly. If mobile devices are also provided with the functions needed for working with electronic texts on a day-to-day basis (metadata management, the opportunity to annotate text, integration into reference management systems, integration into the user’s personal working environment, integration into the cloud, etc), this breakthrough could happen very quickly. In the field of fiction, the e-book could establish itself as a rival to the paperback book – and not just from the customers’ perspective, but also as a business model for publishers. However, the electronic versions must not exceed a certain maximum threshold in terms of price. E-books could therefore become attractive to customers and publishers as an affordable second option after expensive hardbacks.

As far as libraries are concerned, these uncertain prospects mean that they have to be prepared for a variety of different scenarios. It would be wise to give some thought to potential new services for users with mobile reading devices – be they dedicated e-book readers, netbooks, smartphones or tablets. And it would be worth doing this in cooperation with other libraries and publishers rather than going it alone.

10. References

Auletta, Ken: Publish or Perish. Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and save the book business? In: The New Yorker, 26.4.2010.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/04/26/100426fa_fact_auletta (accessed on 3.5.2010).

Drinkwater, Karl: E-book readers: what are librarians to make of them? In: SCONUL Focus 49 (2010), p. 4-9.

Gottschalk, Felix: E-Book: Ein Talent entwickelt sich nicht von selbst! DB Research from 12.11.2009. Article available via the archive in the eResearch section at www.db-research.de.

Griffey, Jason: Gadgets and Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the Library. Library Technology Reports. American Library Association 2010.

Mumenthaler, Rudolf: Das iPhone als e-reader. In: Trau keinem über 30? Die TUB wird 30! Kolloquium über eBooks und die Zukunft der Bibliothek anläßlich des 30-jährigen Bestehens der Universitätsbibliothek der TU Hamburg-Harburg. Edited by Thomas Hapke. Hamburg-Harburg 2010, pp. 27-40. urn:nbn:de:gbv:830-tubdok-8459.

Ricker, Thomas: PVI‘s color E-Ink displays are a perfect match for Kindles. Published on 19 March 2010 on engadget. http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/19/pvis-prototype-color-e-ink-displays-are-a-perfect-match-for-kin/

Tischer, Wolfgang: Good Bye, eBook! Gemstar gibt auf. In: Literatur-Café on 17.5.2003 http://www.literaturcafe.de/bf.htm?/ebook/byeebook.shtml (accessed on 3.5.2010).

Vasileiou, Magdalini; Hartley, Richard and Jennifer Rowley: An overview of the e-book marketplace. In: Online Information Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2009, p.173-192 (DOI: 10.1108/14684520910944454).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>