Kobo on September 30 will launch the Aura ONE, a dedicated e-reader that promises seamless searching and one-click downloading of library ebooks via OverDrive. Using a review unit provided by Kobo and a personal New York Public Library (NYPL) account, LJ explored the process.
I don’t feel comfortable without a book nearby (a print book, that is). And the older I get, the more books I read at the same time; I’m usually in the midst of two or three. This is no boast, because I’ve religiously avoided reading serious literature ever since the course that required me to read Nausea and The Death of Ivan Illyich in the same week. Now I read mostly mysteries, which I could argue are, in fact, serious literature, but I don’t because then I wouldn’t want to read them anymore. I get a lot of paperbacks from Amazon, especially since I recently discovered how cheaply I can get used paperbacks there (I also get lots of used paperbacks from the Harvard Bookstore in the interest of supporting brick and mortar bookstores). Then one of my favorite mystery writers released a novella only in a Kindle version available through Amazon. I broke down, downloaded the Kindle app to my laptop, bought the novella, and read it online.
Describing the service as a potentially “disruptive challenge to libraries,” Jamie LaRue, principal of LaRue and Associates Consulting, told LJ that “even in rural areas now, a lot of folks have ereaders, and find that they prefer ebooks. This kind of service, at that price point, will probably result in another market shift. $9.99 is a pretty good deal.”
In a quick reversal of its position on Kindle lending, Penguin on September 26 loosened the terms of its renewed agreement with OverDrive, announced only the day before. The publisher has agreed to allow library patrons to download ebook titles wirelessly via OverDrive’s “Get for Kindle” function instead of, as initially announced, first downloading titles to a computer, and then side-loading those titles to their Kindle classic or Paperwhite using a USB cord.
“Penguin will resume doing business with OverDrive as of this morning,” Penguin spokesperson Erica Glass told LJ on September 25. According to a blog post by Karen Estrovich, collection development manager for OverDrive, 17,000 Penguin ebooks are already “live and available for purchase in OverDrive Marketplace.” Although Estrovich refers to the transaction as a purchase, the books are being offered for a one year term on a one copy/one user lending model.
Avid readers who have made New Year’s resolutions to visit their local library more often might be interested in the Library Extension for Google Chrome. The free extension lets users know whether specific books, ebooks, audiobooks, and music CDs are available at their local library while they browse for those titles at Amazon.com.
National Federation of the Blind to Take Protest to Amazon, Denouncing School Kindle Use as Discriminatory to Blind Students
The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) this week settled the lawsuit filed against it in May by four blind patrons assisted by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Under the terms of the settlement, FLP has agreed to supplement its collection of more than 60 NOOKs with ten accessible devices, according to a press announcement from the NFB. Within four years, the library will transition to a collection of e-readers that are all accessible to the blind, and will begin incorporating an accessibility requirement into its technology procurement contracts.
A library loan, until now, was not a financial transaction with an immediate profit for an author. At best, a loan held out the hope of future sales and royalties. Now, the loans themselves have been monetized, provided Amazon’s neo-library does the lending.
On its digital library blog, OverDrive has posted the following video that explains how to get library ebooks onto Amazon’s Kindle. The Kindle officially became compatible on Wednesday, September 22, with most of the ebooks that are available through a library’s OverDrive collection.