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March 2018
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Kindle Library Lending Off to a Slow Start

Kindle Library Lending debuted last year, and has shown modest growth, but has a ways to go before it really takes off.  The number of libraries that offer the service has grown tremendously, but the selection of books offered has not.

My local library offers access to e-books for the Kindle, Nook, and other electronic devices.  But, I rarely find anything I like.  If I do, it already has a waiting list a mile long.

One of the biggest barriers to the program is reaction from publishers.  The Big 6 are having a hard time relinquishing their books for borrowing because they’re afraid that it will make a big dent in sales.

I read an article earlier today that got me thinking more about this dilemma, and I began to mull over ideas suggested in the article that might help them get over their fears.

E-books are easier to get and transport than regular books.  So publishers are afraid that book sales will go the way of music sales did about 10 years ago.

I think with careful handling through licensing, a compromise can be reached.  The result would be a benefit for both libraries and publishers.  By adding e-books to their collection, libraries can shake their old stereotypes and offer something that is new and exciting.

For publishers, the benefit is the exposure to books that can lead to a purchase.  There are people who borrow books from a library, like them a lot, then purchase them to read again.

Another option is to join Amazon Prime and use the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.  It has a much broader selection, but you can only check out one a month.  I have checked out a lot more books from there than from my library.  I am currently waiting very impatiently until the next month to download the third book in the Hunger Games Series on my Kindle.

I think it is important to still get the word out about e-book borrowing in libraries.  Increasing the demand for books can’t hurt.  Just remember, it is the publishers not the libraries themselves, that are setting the book limits.  I hope to see a future where both print and e-books will be readily available to library patrons globally.




Hunger Games Trilogy Kindle Edition

Mockingjay, the final book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series has been all the rage recently.  At the moment it holds the #5 spot on Amazon.com’s Kindle and Kindle DX bestseller list.

So, for a little background, the Hunger Games Trilogy consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  The setting of the trilogy is a futuristic country called Panem that is separated into 12 different districts. Two young teenagers from each district are drafted to participate in The Hunger Games each year.  Out of the 24 contestants, only one will live.  This country is a result of the collapse of the United States, and plays off of reality show culture.

The first book in the series, The Hunger Games, introduces Katniss, the main character of the series.  She takes her sister Prim’s place in the Games along with Peeta, the other representative in District 12.  They are out to woo their audience while outlasting their competitors, literally.  One reviewer quoted the movie “Jaws” when describing the nature of the torture this book:

“you don’t actually need to SEE the shark in order for it to be terrifying. Sometimes not seeing the shark is even worse.”

Catching Fire explores Panem’s political structure, and the rebellion that comes from the results of the previous year’s Hunger Games.  Katniss takes on more of a leadership role and the novel provides a great lead in for the final book in the series.

Mockingjay is a war story.  Panem is at war, and Katniss has to fight the battles while facing the ghosts that have cropped up after three years of relentless brutality.  The lives of her family and friends are at stake.  All of this has come from the government and the evil President Snow.  I have friends who have said that this book is a real thriller, and that they couldn’t put it down.

There is a bit of romance in this trilogy and physical violence of course, considering it is about fighting for survival. The mind torture is what makes the trilogy a hit with adults in what appears to be strictly young adult reading material.  The reviews are awesome.  Collins manages to take an idea that is not so new and adds a fresh spin to it.  She also adds a bit of humor to provide comic relief.  One Amazon.com book reviewer claims this is the first series that they’ve had such a strong connection with since Harry Potter.