There was time when major publishers were apprehensive at offering digital content in public libraries because they thought it would cannibalize their retail sales. This is a common misconception because according to a new report 50% of the e-Books that were read in the library in the past 12 months were than purchased from companies like Amazon or Kobo.
A new research paper conducted by the Book Industry Study Group found that that over the past 12 months, 96% of survey respondents read at least one print book, while 44% read at least one e-Book. It turns out that most library patrons prefer to check out physical books (75% had in the past 12 months) over e-Books (25% had checked out an e-Book), and physical audiobooks (80% had not checked one out) over digital (95% hadn’t).
James LaRue had some interesting musings on the research findings.”The limitation of the study is that it is only presents findings from library users. I truly believe, based on my own observation and my own changing pattern of use, that people who do read e-Books have kind of given up on the library. Romance readers are the example: They can’t get the quantity of what they want, so they go elsewhere to new, non-library channels. Once they find what they want, they just don’t get to the library as often.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.