Are e-books the death of the physical book? (SLA Weekend Course 2013)


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Panel debate with contributions from the floor. Are e-readers the death of the book? Panel: Duncan Wright, Adam Lancaster, Bev Humphrey; Chair: Ann Cowdrey, SLANI

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Are e-books the death of the physical book? (SLA Weekend Course 2013)

  1. 1. SLA conference Belfast Are e-books the death of the physical book?
  2. 2. SLA conference Belfast @dusty_jacket Are e-books the death of the physical book?
  3. 3. will-never-replace-paper-video/
  4. 4. Paper books  Publisher pulp 77million books a year  40% of books printed are pulped  In US 30million trees cut down for books  1.6million metric tons of paper used for books in US  4billion worldwide for paper  Most cut down from unfarmed sources  70% comes from unfarmed  In Canada, UK’s biggest source of pulp 90% comes from ancient forests
  5. 5. Sales in the UK  In 2012 digital sales soared +188%  All book sales increase up 6.1%  E-book non fiction rise of 128%
  6. 6. NLT research  39% young people read daily using electronic devices  28% printed materials daily  E-book reading doubled to 12%  52% rather read on screen  32% read in print  4 out of 10 own a tablet or smartphone  Boys more likely to read on screen
  7. 7. Jonathan Douglas (NLT) We are very concerned by our findings that children who only read on-screen are significantly less likely to enjoy reading and less likely to be strong readers. Good reading skills and reading for pleasure are closely linked to children’s success at school and beyond. We need to encourage children to become avid readers, whatever format they choose.
  8. 8. Sales revisited  Paper book sales decline 0.04%
  9. 9. Misinterpretation of data  Ebook sales risen  Physical book sales remain same  So those people who’ve always read paper still do  Types of ebooks that have heralded unprecedented rise such as Fifty Shades  Ebooks giving platform to read what/when/how
  10. 10. Misinterpretation of data cont… NLT says  Young people reading electronically = weaker readers  Young people reading electronically = not for pleasure  Isn’t this obvious though  New readers are being formed by electronic devices who may not realise they are actually reader. Of course they are weaker they never use to read!
  11. 11. A library  a. A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending.  b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged.  c. A room in a private home for such a collection.  d. An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection.
  12. 12. Our role, especially in schools  Provide material for all types of learners  Do all we can in every way we can to encourage reading  To promote reading for pleasure i.e. to show young people they can read what they want in whatever way they want  We should not be prescriptive as to how this happens or what this looks like that is not our role
  13. 13. Talking books, board books, hardback books, paper back books, magazines, newspapers, computers, e-books, tablets, braille, large print books, signs, leaflets, manga, graphic novels, comics, fiction, non fiction, The more ways there are to read surely means the more readers there can potentially be…