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Archive for September, 2011

Lending rights

Hearing that Amazon has decided to allow US libraries to lend out Kindle editions made me think again about some of the effects that libraries lending out ebooks will have.  When I download a novel to my phone or iPad for free, courtesy of my local library and the Overdrive Media Console, I do wonder whom I am potentially putting out of a job.

Presumably the librarian, who may before long be sitting behind a desk with no customers because they will all be borrowing their ebooks without needing to visit the library.  Also the local high street bookshop and its staff for much the same reason.  Plus of course the books’ printer; and the book shipper and delivery truck driver who takes the books from the printer to the warehouse.  And the warehouse staff who could soon need to be thinking about to whom they can rent out their huge sheds and miles of racking. Possibly not the publisher, or at least not the editor at this stage.  Not the author, who will continue to get royalties on the e-book I have borrowed.

But then I guess I am saving paper, energy and carbon emissions (although I believe this can be up for debate). So how guilty should I feel for taking advantage of the new technologies?

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