eBooks vs. Print – One Reader’s Experience

I have joined the crowd of readers fascinated by Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series.  On a recent vacation, I was able to take the first book in the series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) with me as a library-loaned eBook.  I loved the fact that I could have a whole group of books on my Kindle and not have to count their weight in my checked or carry-on baggage for the airline. I loved the fact that my page was automatically saved when I quit reading so I didn’t have to worry about losing my place. I felt really comfortable reading the book on the Kindle Fire and it was nice to have the backlit screen when reading in the dark, certainly less of a disturbance to my husband.  I should also note that turning pages was noiseless on Kindle.

I now have book two of the Millennium series, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, checked out in a hardcover, print format. The first thing I looked at when I started reading was the biographical notation about the author on the fly leaf of the dust cover.  I discovered that the author wrote all three books, then promptly died.  I also learned a few things about his background, which relate to some of the things in the plot.  Reading this information also answered the question I was pondering about whether or not there would be more books from this author.  This information was not included in my digital copy of the first book,  although I am sure I could have looked online and readily found it.  I also paged through the book, quickly peeking ahead at a section to see what was coming. This is not typical behavior for most fiction readers, but many people find it handy to do with non-fiction works.  It is something that is definitely more difficult to do with many eBooks. The best have linked tables of contents and indexes, but not all.

For me, I am not sure if I have a preference overall. It’s a matter of circumstance.  My early ereader experiences have certainly convinced me that I love having one, but I don’t think it can replace print in my life.

— Lori Smith, Part-time Reference Librarian

Note: The BSC Library has the Millennium series in both print and ebook formats.

Dakota or What’s a Heaven For – BookTalk at BSC 2012

Our final BookTalk at BSC 2012 discussion promises to be something special!

Brenda K. Marshall, the author of Dakota or What’s a Heaven For, will lead the discussion of her book at the BSC Library on Sunday, March 4, from 1-3 p.m.  If you like historical fiction and learning about North Dakota’s history, you will enjoy reading Dakota or What’s a Heaven For.

In addition, Marshall will be on campus March 1-2 to meet with English classes and to give a Visiting Writer lecture on Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building.   Her book will be available for purchase that evening.

To find out more, check out Brenda Marshall’s website and view her “book trailer.”  Very cool.  We also invite you to take a look at our BookTalk at BSC 2012 LibGuide.

BookTalk at BSC discussions are free and open to all.  Come whether you’ve read the book or not!


E-textbook Vendor Sues Publisher

 Another salvo in the battle over digital rights … This story was first reported on Mashable by  on February 15:

“Publishing giant Cengage Learning wants to stop selling its titles through digital textbook seller Kno, and Kno — which counts on Cengage material for about a quarter of its sales — is suing for breech of a license agreement.

The scuffle between the two companies illustrates a vulnerability in businesses like Kno that convert paper textbooks to digital textbooks on behalf of third-party publishers.

It began, according to a court filing obtained by Mashable, after Cengage Learning raised concerns over features Kno adds when it converts publishers’ textbooks to digital format.

One of those features, Journal, creates a digital notebook for the reader by highlighting passages from the text. These notes are later viewable in a separate view, and according to the filing, the publisher considers this to have “infringed Cengage’s copyrights through the creation of a derivative work.” Cengage gave Kno 30 days to correct what it saw as a copyright problem.

Kno was working on a Journal-free solution, but Cengage terminated the license agreement after 30 days nonetheless. Now Kno is suing Cengage for doing so — while continuing to sell its books on the Kno platform.

“We regret that we had to take legal action against Cengage Learning in order to ensure that our customers continue to have access to Cengage content,” Charles Sipkins, a spokesperson for Kno, said in a statement to Mashable.

Losing Cengage’s content could be disastrous for the startup, which closed a $30 million round of funding last year and has raised a total of $65 million in venture capital.

In Kno’s own words, from the court filing:

Kno would not be able to replace Cengage’s unique textbook collection by contracting with another textbook provider. Student-users must buy the books assigned by their teachers or professors. To the extent those teachers and professors assign Cengage’s titles, there is no substitute for the student-user or Kno.

The filing indicates that historically Cengage titles have made up about a quarter of Kno’s sales, even though Kno sells books from about 40 publishers. College students also began a new semester in January, the month the lawsuit was filed.

“This is the [sic] one of the most popular periods for the sale of e-texts, and Kno’s lost sales will be substantial,” the filing reads.

Cengage’s quickness to terminate its contract with Kno highlights the precarious situation businesses like Kno face. Cengage sells books in a similar format to Kno’s at CourseSmart, Chegg and CafeScribe. Putting its books on another such platform is a matter of handing over the paper versions for reformatting, and thus its commitment to one platform or another is minimal.

As Kno said itself, students don’t have a lot of choice in which textbooks they use. For the most part, they’ll buy whatever books their professors assign them through whatever platform offers them. Publishers have no shortage of digital book platforms on which to license their content, and that leaves those platforms with little leverage in deals.

Cengage Learning declined to comment for this article.”

Read Kno’s complaint here:  Kno Lawsuit.

Beyond Library Walls – One Year Anniversary

Today, February 21, marks one year since we launched the Library’s Beyond Library Walls Digital Collection!

If you aren’t already downloading ebooks, eaudiobooks, and video from the collection to your ereader and other devices, what are you waiting for?!  There’s something for everyone in this collection.  If you need help, ASK a librarian.

Save the date: Wednesday, April 11

On April 11, we’re planning a series of workshops on downloading library materials to your ereader and other devices as part of our National Library Week celebration.  Watch this space and your BSC email for more details!

A Series of Thoughts – Exhibit by BSC Alumna Jenna Jacobson

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A Series of Thoughts by Artist Jenna Jacobson

On display at Gannon Gallery/BSC Library

February 20-March 16, 2012

Join us for an artist’s reception on Wednesday, February 22, 4-6 p.m.

Artist Statement 

As an artist, there are moments when a single idea can consume my thoughts until I express them visually.  Nature’s ever changing color palettes, textures, and reflections fuel my imagination and fill my mind with images I must recreate.  This series captures the moment when I felt artistically compelled to create what I have seen and imagined.  In my oil pastel and acrylic paintings I play with illusions that are created by light, tactile organic textures, and saturated color palettes.

— Jenna Jacobson (www.jennajacobsonstudio.com)

Presidents Holiday Weekend – Library Hours

The Library will observe these hours during the Presidents Day holiday weekend:

  • Saturday, February 18 — CLOSED
  • Sunday, February 19 — CLOSED
  • Monday, February 20 — CLOSED

Regular hours will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21.

Even though the building will be closed, the Library’s ODIN catalog and databases are available 24/7.

Have a good weekend!

Penguin, Kindle Users, and OverDrive

Yesterday, we received word from OverDrive, which powers our Beyond Library Walls Digital Collection, that as of today (February 10, 2012):

Penguin will no longer offer additional copies of eBooks and download audiobooks for library purchase. Additionally, Penguin eBooks loaned for reading on Kindle devices will need to be downloaded to a computer, then transferred to the device over USB. For library patrons, this means Penguin eBooks will no longer be available for over-the-air delivery to Kindle devices or to Kindle apps. 

OverDrive is continuing to talk to Penguin about their future plans for eBook and digital audiobook availability for library lending.

We have some Penguin publications in our Beyond Library Walls collection.  If you’re a Kindle user, this change affects you.

If you have questions about downloading BSC Library eBooks to your eReader (whatever kind you have), ask us.  We can help!

But the Book Was Better ….

Calling all readers and film buffs!  

“But the Book Was Better …” is a book/film discussion series sponsored by the Cinema 100 Film Society and Friends of the Morton Mandan Public Library.

This year we’re talking about True Grit by Charles Portis and the films of the same title.  The 1969 version starred John Wayne, Kim Darby, and Glen Campbell, and the 2010 Coen brothers version starred Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin.

Read the book and watch the films on your own, then head to the Morton Mandan Public Library (609 West Main) for lively discussions!

  • Book discussion – Sunday, February 5 – 1:15 to 3 p.m.
  • Film discussion – Sunday, March 18 – 1:15 to 3 p.m.

The book and films can be borrowed from libraries, including the BSC Library, or rented/purchased from booksellers and video stores.