Hardcopy Books Still More Popular Locally Than E-Books


By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) It seems like every new electronic device is heralded as "the wave of the future." Tablets and e-readers are no exception. But is the average person ready to give up printed books completely?

The Twin Falls Public Library has almost 200,000 items in its physical collection. It's only been a year since they started buying electronic books. But more and more people are borrowing their e-books every month.

Reference Librarian Jennifer Hills says, "Slowly but surely we've been adding more and more to that collection every month. There's probably 500 books in that collection. So it's very, very small compared to what we actually have in print. But it is growing, and we know it's popular among people who really want e-books on their readers and tablets."

Hills says traditional printed books are a 500 year old technology that's lasted for a reason – namely, because it works effectively. While nationwide there's a small shift in the popularity of books from hardcopies to electronic ones, here in Magic Valley things are staying pretty much the same.

Barnes and Noble Store Manager Michelle Daley says, "If they still want to support those local bookstores, they can buy those e-books in store, and then get them on their devices. They just have to come into the store, and they can ring up the e-book, give them a code, and it goes on their e-book device."

But Hills says some publishers won't let libraries buy electronic versions of their hardcopy books to lend to their patrons. So right now, it's not as easy as just buying e-books to read at home.

Hills says, "Certain publishers will say you can purchase this book, but you can only let it go out so many times, and then you have to repurchase the book. Although that happens with physical copies, that doesn't necessarily mean that works really well for electronic copies. But that's something we're trying to work around."

If you got a new tablet or e-reader for Christmas, don't miss the Twin Falls Public Library's e-reader workshop. Find out how to make your device work at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday January 9th, downstairs in the Program Room along with learning how to use the library's "Overdrive" e-book borrowing service.

Dec. 28, 2012.

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