4 Opinions on E-books

I keep hearing that E-books are the future, and I believe it to be true.  Many libraries, included the one I work at, are working hard to keep on top of e-book technologies to provide users with options for their various e-book readers and/or mobile devices.

Yet at least at my library we have found the usage of our e-books surprisingly low.  But an article that I read recently seemed to shed some light on the low uptake of e-books. Shrimplin, Revelle, Hurst, and Messner discover that there are 4 types of opinions regarding Ebooks in their article: “ Contradictions and Consensus: Clusters of Opinions on E-books” (Shrimplin, A. K., Revelle, A., Hurst, S., & Messner, K. (2011). Contradictions and Consensus — Clusters of Opinions on E-books. College & Research Libraries72(2), 181-190).

  • Book Lovers – have an emotional attachment to print books and do not use e-books unless the have too.
  • Technophiles – are the other end of the spectrum and have a strong emotional attachment to technology and prefer E-books on their brand new tablet.
  • Printers – Sometimes print e-books. Unlike “book lovers” they would use e-books if usability were improved.
  • Pragmatists – are comfortable with print or e-books and use whatever they can to get information.

I haven’t seen the actual data but it certainly rings true, having helped students who only want E-books, and other students who absolutely refuse to use an e-book even if it is the best book available.