Ebooks for libraries petition

I just finished signing the ebooks for libraries petition. I haven’t really weighed in on the ebooks discussion before, and don’t plan to write a lengthy post on it anytime soon. I try to stay informed about what’s going on with libraries and ebooks, but it’s not something I have to deal with in my current position. We’re interested in adding ebooks to our collection, but given our specialized focus and limited time, have yet to pursue it.

For now, I decided to sign the petition as a concerned patron rather than a concerned librarian.  I received my first e-reader, a Kindle Touch, for Christmas 2011. I’ve finished five books on it so far, and maybe I’m the publishers’ worst nightmare because I haven’t directly paid for any of them.  I say directly because my Amazon Prime membership paid for The Hunger Games trilogy which was available via the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and my taxes and Friends of the Library contribution (however modest these may be) support the public library from which I borrowed the other two. I’m currently using my Kindle to read a free copy of Jane Eyre, but that’s just because it’s easier to hold onto than the giant hardcover version I paid for. During this same time frame, I’ve also borrowed at least one physical book and two downloadable audiobooks from the library. I also received a print book as a gift, and purchased another for my three-year-old nephew. My point is that I do my fair share of both borrowing and buying, and don’t like that publishers have restricted my power to choose.

Here is what came to mind when prompted for comments on the petition:

Please don’t leave libraries out of the loop! I love books, but have luckily not been asked to pay for every single book I’ve ever read. I like being able to choose which to borrow and which to buy. Just because something is not available in my library doesn’t automatically mean I’ll rush to buy it. More than likely, I will never read that book and will forget about it completely. Think of all the educational and entertaining experiences I’ve missed. Have a little faith in readers, and the world will be a smarter, happier place.

I hope you’ll add your name and spread the word.

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