First, today, Amazon revealed digital lending on some of its titles. The terms are similar to those for nook books: 14 days, you can only lend once, and you can’t read the book while it’s out for borrow.
The ever-wise Paul Biba at Teleread notes that the process of selecting which books are eligible for borrowing purposes is rather cumbersome on the publisher end: they have to individually de-select the books they wish to be ineligible, which, judging from how much was available for lending when the nook debut, is passing few.
So let me ask you: if you had the ability, would you lend a digital book? Is 14 days enough, if the title is eligible? I wonder how many books have actually been borrowed digitally – and read in that 2-week time frame.
Sally sent me this link to a Time Magazine article about a study from Personality and Social Psychology Review that indicates college students have decreasing levels of empathy:
Turns out, modern students just don’t seem to care. The research shows that today’s college students are a shocking 75 percent less empathetic than the students of the ‘70s.
Why are the students of today less caring? Scientific American offers a few possibilities. One could be an increase in social isolation—compared to the ‘70s, Americans today are far more likely to live alone and less likely to join groups.
Sally found the follow section more interesting, however:
Another possibility is a decline in reading. Studies have shown that people who read fiction are typically more empathetic, yet the percentage of college students who read for pleasure is less than 50 percent—the lowest it’s been in ten years.
I have no idea how I would have made it through college without fiction reading – so the idea that college students don’t read for pleasure drops my jaw. But the possibility that fiction reading increases empathy doesn’t shock me at all. After all, we romance readers we feel things deeply, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).
Do you know a college student? Do they read a lot for pleasure or generally not so much?