E‑Books in OverDrive

Anoth­er sign of the chang­ing times…

5,400 pub­lic libraries are now lend­ing free e‑books and audio books to their patrons. With the help of Over­Drive, library cus­tomers can down­load texts to their Sony e‑book read­ers, com­put­ers and var­i­ous hand held devices. They get two to three weeks with the book, and then, poof, it expires. It’s yet anoth­er trend wor­ry­ing pub­lish­ers, and I have to think it might make the Ama­zon Kin­dle peo­ple a lit­tle ner­vous too. The New York Times has the full details here.

Mean­while, on a quite relat­ed note, the Times sep­a­rate­ly pos­es the ques­tion Does the Brain Like e‑Books? to five promi­nent thinkers. When you read their replies, you can’t help but won­der whether we’re gen­er­al­ly devel­op­ing a flawed dig­i­tal read­ing experience–one that does­n’t real­ly give much thought to how we read when we read well. But then it’s impor­tant to remem­ber. We’re ear­ly on in this game. And, with a lit­tle time and smarts, we’ll end up with some­thing much bet­ter, even if it’s some strange fusion of the tra­di­tion­al and dig­i­tal book.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.