I just went CUHRAZY on my library’s Overdrive site, adding e-books to my wish list, checking out all the new things they’ve added. I must say, I really REALLY love that libraries are starting to offer e-books for our Kindles, Nooks, and other various reading devices, as well as audiobooks that we can download to our phones or other listening devices. I think it’s fantastic that libraries are staying hip with technology and offering their patrons other options besides traditional books and audiobooks.
So as I’m perusing the libraries site, I came across this link: Why aren’t there more e-books?
My first thought was “Duh, because maybe the library just doesn’t have all the funds to buy all the e-books. Chill out folks!”
What I read was kind of ridiculously… not cool, yet very conflicting.
Essentially, there are some publishing houses that either DO NOT sell e-books to libraries, price them so high libraries can’t afford them, or limit the amounts of times those titles can be checked out.
Now, the business side of me gets it. Why sell something to an organization that just lets people use that object for free when those people could buy it for his or herself from your company? That makes NO FREAKING SENSE! I would wants all the monies so I could make more money to hire (or however they do it) more authors and make more books so I could make more money… you get the idea.
However, the blogger/sort-of-an-industry-person-in-my-own-mind side of me doesn’t want to think of the people who make all my lovely books as greedy cotton-headed ninnymoggins. I want to defend them and say “But they make great books! We need to buy their books so they can make more great books!” The library is still full of lovely books that we can always check out (even though sometimes they don’t have new books right away which is super annoying but I still love you library)!
But sadly, the book-loving-library-patron-since-1984 side of me feels that these publishing houses ARE cotton-headed ninnymoggins and are just being greedy with the e-books. Libraries are places that support our communities, that give us opportunities to read and expand our mind. If publishers are limiting our libraries from doing this, whether it be by charging outrageous prices or just flat out not selling to them, is this limiting us as readers?
As you can see, I’m a little torn on this issue. I think that libraries have done a fantastic job of stocking their shelves with amazing books, both old and new. I love perusing my library’s shelves, even if I don’t check out a thing (ha, like that actually happens).
But I am a little saddened that some publishers, who happen to have authors like Nora Roberts, Meg Cabot, and Lauren Oliver under their umbrella, are doing this in order to turn profit. While I don’t think not having some e-books available to libraries is going to be the death of the written word, I do hate that the reason our libraries don’t have some titles is because of the publishing houses limiting them.
I’m curious to see what your thoughts are on this and/or if you have any other insight to this issue. Do you think this is an issue to get up in arms about or do you think it’s a relatively non-issue? Does your preference for physical books over e-books affect your opinion on this issue?
I’d love to know!