Leave it to Portland. I mean, when one of your landmarks is an entire city block crammed full of new and used books, you may have a thing or two to say about how we read—and share in the experience of the written word. And while ebooks may have changed that dynamic a bit, one Portland startup is working to rethink how we can be using that format more effectively.
Category Archives: eBooks
Rentin’, readin’, and returnin’: Portland’s iFlipd creates a platform for renting ebooks — and getting value out of recycling them
Last year, author Robert Galbraith published The Cuckoo’s Calling, and, in spite of high critical praise, the book was met with little fanfare from readers. In fact, during its first four months of release, the bookonly sold a measly 1,500 copies.
The other day I walked past a used bookstore. My eyes fell on a dog-eared paperback of Shelley’s Frankenstein. If I purchased and read the copy in the window, I wondered, would my experience be the same as it would if I downloaded it from Project Gutenberg and scrolled through the book on a computer?
ONE might easily think that print publishing is a fussy business: all of that preparation to put ink on paper seems rather last century—or last half millennium. Electronic books have been hailed as the future and the perfection of the codex format, because of their ease of production, distribution, and infinite perfect replication.
Could e-books actually get in the way of reading?
That was the question explored in research presented last week by Heather Ruetschlin Schugar, an associate professor at West Chester University, and her spouse Jordan T. Schugar, an instructor at the same institution. Speaking at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association in Philadelphia, the Schugars reported the results of a study in which they asked middle school students to read either traditional printed books, or e-books on iPads. The students’ reading comprehension, the researchers found, was higher when they read conventional books. In a second study looking at students’ use of e-books created with Apple’s iBooks Author software, the Schugars discovered that the young readers often skipped over the text altogether, engaging instead with the books’ interactive visual features.
Highlights from a new study by BookNet Canada on the Canadian digital publishing market:
– 90% of Canadian publishers are producing ebooks
– The remaining 10% plan to produce ebooks in the future or are in the process of doing so
– 19% of Canadian publishers have their full lists available as ebooks
– About a fifth of Canadian publishers have developed enhanced ebooks and about a fifth have produced at least one app