Magazine article Online

Letters to the Editor

Magazine article Online

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

E-BOOK REPORT FROM THE FIELD

To the editor:

I just finished reading Donald Hawkins' informative article, "Electronic Books: Reports of Their Death Have Been Exaggerated" in the July/August 2002 issue of ONLINE. I first became interested in e-books just 2 months ago when I "bought" one for a book club selection, The Blue Nowhere (about computer hackers, strangely enough). I loaded it onto my husband's Pocket PC and delighted several people while waiting for an elementary school band concert to begin and several more people at my book club meeting with its portability and readability. The back lighting is extremely easy on the eyes as is the ease of adjusting font size. My husband went on to read another e-book, Michael Crichton's Timeline.

Along with some of the problems and positives that Hawkins points out, I would like to add that many online distributors like Barnes & Noble and Booksamillion do not offer a wide range of e-books. They do not market them very well and yet, what could be more convenient than ordering a book via the Internet and having it arrive on your computer within seconds of completing the order? And, at lower prices than hardbound books and most paperback books (some ebooks are listed at 99 cents!) and no shipping charges or tax, you would think that consumers would eat them up. What a disappointment to know that they are not. I found that people are interested in a wide-eyed, innocent way, but will not take the first step and actually order one.

Thanks to Donald Hawkins for the wealth of information he serves up. I remember as a child watching Captain Kirk reading on his computer console on the Enterprise in Star Trek and thinking how neat that would be. The neatness is still here, although more education and marketing seem to be necessary on the parts of librarians, universities, distributors, and publishers.

Joan V. Wolff

Serials Librarian

Wyeth Research

E-BOOKS IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES

To the editor:

Just read Donald Hawkins' article on Electronic Books in the July/ August 2002 issue of ONLINE. It was a fine compilation of the e-book past, present, and future. I believe, as he does, that this technology (in an improved form) will be around for the future. The listing of problems faced by public libraries is well done. …

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