Covers & Libraries

First: Sony Pocket has a new bundle with case that made me ponder. For $169 you get a Sony Pocket with a special leather cover branded with “Eat Pray Love” and “a code for eBook downloads of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert.”

Now, I am all for nice digital reader covers, though Elizabeth Gilbert’s book drove me up a wall and across the ceiling. I thought the paperback might have been retitled as “My Navel: Let Me Gaze At It.” So I don’t necessarily want to cover a Sony Pocket with a leather cover devoted to that book.

But would you want a digital reader cover customized to look like or embossed with the title of one of your all-time favorite books? Or do you prefer basic covers? I mean, half the fun of owning electronics is accessorizing, right?

More in Sony news: as one of the few, if not the only digital reader firm that focuses on library lending, Sony has unveiled the Reader Library program to support public libraries.

The Reader Library program will offer, according to Paul Biba’s report on TeleRead, a training program developed by Sony that will instruct librarians on digital reading choices and technology, as well as the devices themselves. Hey! That’s awesome. One of the major yay! segments of the Smart Bitch Test Drive last year was that several librarians had Sony Readers to show to their patrons, and a number were in LOVE with that sexy text size adjustment feature.

Today, 29 June 2010, is Library Advocacy Day, which makes Sony’s announcement right on schedule.  Check out the video on the ALA site for more information about libraries and how they’re hurting right now.

If you’re a librarian, what’s up with your branch? And how can patrons help?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Mireya says:

    That’s all fine an dandy, but their software SUX.  Their latest update does not work AT ALL in my system.  Yes, I have an older model, but the fine print didn’t mention anything about being on my own with future software updates.  I can’t even access their store any longer.

    Thank God for Calibre … :P

  2. 2
    Neveth says:

    I’m not a librarian, but I work at a library doing all the things librarians themselves don’t do. Personally I’ve been DYING for some sort of e-book lending program to make it’s way through the ranks, and lo! Though I can’t tell you the number of debates I’ve had with co-workers and patrons on how e-books are going to kill libraries and how paper books are inherently superior to electronic. *sigh* I think really they just need to learn that this won’t REPLACE paper, but I don’t know.

  3. 3

    If I were going to pick a special e-reader cover to emulate an actual book, I’d go the anti-theft route—something nobody’d ever want to steal, like a Windows 98 for Dummies manual or an Andrew Dice Clay autobiography.

  4. 4
    Cyranetta says:

    Unfortunately, many communities may not get the chance to have the debate about e-books and e-book programs, since various state budget deficits lead to libraries being seen as ripe targets for budget slashing (apparently one advisory board is suggesting that Ohio slash the Library and Local Government Support Fund—which means police and fire departments, too!—by 50%). It’s a rare community that can pick up the slack for state budget cuts.

    What’s really a shame is that some of the people who could most benefit from an e-book program either don’t have the correct equipment at home to use it and can’t afford (or resent even the idea of) replacement, or they find the whole process daunting and bewildering even if they have the right equipment.

    My capcha word is “youre76”—well, not quite yet, but I have friends who are and who inspired my final paragraph.

  5. 5
    Keri Ford says:

    I was going to pick a special e-reader cover, I’d do one with a quote, not a title.

    Can you imagine how fast the first line of P&P would go?

  6. 6
    An says:

    I think having a cover designed by my favourite cover artist would be the best. I love the covers of Patrica McKillip’s books.

    Wouldn’t that be better, and then you’re not stuck with picking only one book.

  7. 7
    KimberlyD says:

    I was going to pick a special e-reader cover, I’d do one with a quote, not a title.

    This! Imagine how great it would be if you could customize it with whatever line you wanted from whatever book. (I imagine it wouldn’t be any more difficult than any regular sort of personalization.) I could see people owning several different covers and picking one that matched their mood or the type of book they were reading. I don’t own an e-reader. I’m waiting until some sort of format is chosen as the standard or a reader that can read all of them or something. But if I did, I would LOVE these kinds of covers!

    does89-Even if Sony does make 89 covers, I would probably only own a few…

  8. 8
    Wendy says:

    Cyranetta said:

    What’s really a shame is that some of the people who could most benefit from an e-book program either don’t have the correct equipment at home to use it and can’t afford (or resent even the idea of) replacement, or they find the whole process daunting and bewildering even if they have the right equipment.

    This, this, a thousand times THIS!  If you go by the Interwebs you’d think EVERYBODY has an e-reading device or insanely covets ones.  Um no.  No they don’t.  And I live/work in an area where the rest of the country probably thinks all the residents walk around with their shiny new iPads, iPhones and whatever the hot new electronic device is at the moment.  Trust me, they don’t.  We see the people who don’t ever blessed day where I work.

    Re: libraries and ebooks – sadly I do know librarians like Neveth has described and the quickest way to shut them up is usally using the “format” argument.  Ebooks are not going to make print books extinct in my lifetime.  I’ll bet every penny I have on that fact.  What digital is though is another FORMAT.  It’s another way to get information and materials into the hands of readers.  Just like audiobooks, Large Print, and braille are other formats, so is digital.  And honestly?  Librarians should be all over that concept.  It’s all about getting information into the hands of people who need/want it – and the more formats we can provide?  The better.

    And for that reason, I’m pretty excited about the Sony program….

  9. 9
    Autumn Ray says:

    I have loved being able to check out e-books at the library has made my Nook even better than it originally is, and I am lucky enough to live in Seattle which has lots of digital books available. I think this is a really important feature that all e-readers will have to have in the future.

  10. 10
    meoskop says:

    I kinda like that cover, I don’t think you’d know it was for the book unless you knew the package -

  11. 11
    JamiSings says:

    I don’t have an ereader and with my migraines I will never get one. But if I was to have one forget favorite book, I’d want a cover with Barry Manilow’s handsome face on it!

  12. 12
    oneflewtoofar says:

    I know i’m the site’s local anti-ebook girl but I’ve got to say that’s a cute cover and based on aesthetics I’d buy it. It’s not that overly emblazoned with the title (it’s not on the exterior even), there is no author name either and eat, pray, love is a sweet if sucky sentiment that in a year no one will be able to recognize Julia Roberts or no Julia Roberts. So I like the case but am not sure about the machine inside.

  13. 13
    oneflewtoofar says:

    oooh, and the book art obsessed book binder I am wanted to say that if I was making eBook covers I’d make replicas of vintage/antique tooled leather covers in the gorgeous lush colours there were, like oxblood and emrald. You could have embossed victorian forals or geometric art nouveau stlyes with hints of gold leaf. I could seriously get designing those.

    mary

  14. 14
    orangehands says:

    It’s kind of like tattoos – there’s not one design I’d like to have for my e-reader’s life (if I had one, which I don’t and am not planning to), but it’s a smart idea. Plus a great promotional tool for an author.

    since various state budget deficits lead to libraries being seen as ripe targets for budget slashing

    This is completely breaking my heart. My local library has had major time cuts AND they’ve had to get rid of one their full days. Two of the librarians went into early retirement. Libraries are seriously one of the more important things in a community and the states are just tossing them away.

  15. 15
    Lizabeth S. Tucker says:

    Mireya -
    Sony contacted all eReader owners to have them send their devices to the company for a free upgrade.  Even though I’ve bought a later version, I sent them my first generation device to allow it to accept ePub.  It was returned less than 4 wks later.

    I would love decorated bookcovers, but not for specific books or even authors.  I would prefer a more generic selection.

    big49 I’m definitely big on having lots of selections, although perhaps not 49.

  16. 16
    Tullae says:

    I’d like to have a reader cover that had a good bookish quote on it like:
    “Never judge a book by it’s movie”
    or
    “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
    or even
    “Don’t Panic”
    or something like that, in large friendly letters.

  17. 17
    Glee Norto says:

    I’d LOVE a book cover that i could rotate Franzetta paintings, or maybe Fabio’s Greatest hits? but sans book titles or other text.  Just the cover art, in all kinds of chain mail bikini glory.  wooo!

    SALES66, i would indeed buy 66 book covers!  and oh, how cool would patterns to embroider your own be?  to freaking cool.

  18. 18
    Scribblerkat says:

    *giggle* “Don’t Panic”, yes. Or “Do you know where your towel is?”

    Seriously, though, I don’t put ads for anything upon my person or possessions. It’s a matter of principle. But a quote? Or a piece of art? That, I could do. (I want a dragon!) And I’d love to embroider my own.

    I am hoping that, someday, audiobooks and ebooks will be as much a part of a library’s service as paper books. I don’t have a preference – I love them ALL. As for cutting funds to libraries, yeah, that’s always the first thing to go. God forbid we should take money from… well, never mind, not going to go political-postal here. But our society really has its priorities messed up.

  19. 19
    Kilian says:

    I think having a cover designed by my favourite cover artist would be the best. I love the covers of Patrica McKillip’s books.

    @An

    I never judge a book by its cover, unless the artist is Kinuko Craft, cover artist for McKillip’s books.  I have never read a bad book that had her art on the cover.  If Kinuko’s on the cover, I buy the book.

  20. 20
    Anne D says:

    Being that I make cloth covers to fit over the Sony’s, I have to say I’m all over the idea of dressing up my Sony Reader :)

    Not sure if I’ve ever loved a book enough to ‘brand’ it (so to speak) to my reader. Although I did think of printing fabric with my own covers and turning it into a cover for my 505 LOL!

  21. 21
    SB Sarah says:

    I probably shouldn’t share the link for Oberon’s tooled leather ereader covers right? There’s a set for the nook, too.

    Alas, they have discontinued their Sony covers.

  22. 22
    Carin says:

    I have this on my Sony Pocket:
    http://www.decalgirl.com/item.view/38385
    It’s not a cover with a protective lid or anything, but I LOVE it.  Pretty!  Clever!  Makes me smile every time I pick up my reader.  Win.

    I like the idea of quote covers, too.  I’d go for that.

  23. 23
    Mama Nice says:

    1. Oh My God I LOVE your re-title of EPL – so what I felt about that book!

    2. No…I don’t think I’d like a cover for my Reader that looks like a book…favorite or otherwise. MAYBE something Shakespeare-esque, but it would have to be funky and flirty to boot (maybe I’ll start a new store on Etsy…after the 501 other things I need to do) I have a skin for my Sony 505 (I was a lucky test driver who chose to keep her Reader) for now, I still use the sad pleather cover it came with when I feel I need more protection than just the skin…still shopping for a cover I like enough to fork over cash on. All shopping suggestions welcome!

    3. Almost all my e-reading is done via stuff I borrow from my library’s media mall – it’s awesome! I would love a wider variety to choose from, because really that’s my biggest beef: poor variety of selection of digital library books.

  24. 24

    I love my Sony Pocket but I’ll stick with my MEdge Latitude cover/case.  It’s lightweight, durable, lime green and it holds the booklight. 

    I haven’t tried the library program yet, but I’ve been wanting to check it out.  Thanks for the reminder.

  25. 25
    Kathleen says:

    This is the biggest reason I haven’t tried a digital reader yet.  I don’t want to (can’t afford actually) to buy all the books I read.  I read sometimes as many as 2-3 per week.  At $15 each that’s almost as expensive as a crack habit. 

    If movies can be done on Netflix, then we need a Bookflix…no that’s not right….Netbooks…no that’s an itsy laptop.  You get the idea.  Netflix for books.  Borrow it.  Read it.  Return it.  Simple and inexpensive.  Even for print books, if I return late and rack up $8 worth of late fees, it’s cheaper than buying 4 books.  And the $$$ goes to the library to….buy more BOOKS!

  26. 26
    Anna Piranha says:

    The Omaha Public Library system does have an ebook catalog.  I read books on my netbook as well as my desktop at home or my work laptop.  We use mobi and adobe files.  There are audio books as well, but I’ve never listened to one yet.  You can even put holds on the ebooks which are already checked out.

  27. 27
    ev says:

    Our city passed legislation earlier this year pulling the library out of the main tax basis and putting it into a seperate one that lets us fund it in a way that we were able to reopen 3 closed branches. This after the state cut the funding. I don’t understand the intracacies of it, but I do understand how important the libraies are. As did the residents-it was the largest turn out for a non-election vote that we have ever seen. There were lines of people out the doors of the voting places and it passed with overwhelming majority- even if it does mean a very slight increase in our property taxes. I love living in a place where people understand the need for the library. We have a growing e-reader library and are interconnected with all the libraries in the area- over 30 of them.

    Well, pooh on Oberon- I have the link and was going to get one for my Sony. But thanks for the MEdge Latitude link. I like the purple for the 700!!

  28. 28
    Carin says:

    I really like Kathleen’s Bookflix idea!

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