The biggest e-book story of the past few weeks has to be the growing reluctance of large publishers to allow libraries to lend their e-books. The ALA’s meetings with top publishers, while reportedly amicable, did so little to relieve publishers’ concerns that library lending of e-books will reduce e-book sales that a week after the meeting, Penguin announced that was severing its relationship with Overdrive, which distributes digital books to libraries. It’s merely the latest in a group of publishers who now refuse to sell or license e-books (or digital audio files) to libraries, including Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and Brilliance Audio. Librarians are understandably concerned and upset; the Librarian in Black has gone so far as to suggest that libraries post flyers to raise patrons’ awareness and put public pressure on publishers to reconsider.
Other interesting articles this week:
The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal writes about the New York Book Review’s recent change of opinion; in a single year, they’ve gone from dismissing e-books to trumpeting their value.
And over at Cracked.com, Christina H. explores, tongue in cheek, 8 Unexpected Downsides of the Switch to E-Books.