What I’m Learning About eBook Use

I facilitated another focus group this week about the wildly successful eReader pilot that’s been run at our place recently, and I’ve been learning some interesting things about users’ preferences in eBook use. Namely:

  • they like to read recreational eBooks
  • they prefer to “read to learn” in print
  • they don’t report having many technological probllems with eBooks
  • they especially like having the portability of taking 50 books (the number of pre-loaded titles on our eReaders) with them at a time
  • they generally prefer lightweight, single-purpose readers to heavier, multi-purpose devices
  • most of them like using a Kindle.

These are just a few of the things users have brought up in our focus groups. I’m not yet convinced that eReaders can serve me well, but I’m going to do some experimenting this summer and let you know what comes of it. In the meantime, I’m looking for evidence of how eReading is affecting others, and here’s one pretty convincing cultural story in their favor: Reading In Bed: How An E-Reader Saved My Marriage and a biologically-based favorable study: NSF Says Electronics Interfere With Sleep, But What About E-Readers?

Time to go back to reading my latest print paperback, but more “e” as it happens,

Cheryl LaGuardia About Cheryl LaGuardia

Cheryl LaGuardia always wanted to be a librarian, and has been one for more years than she's going to admit. She cracked open her first CPU to install a CD-ROM card in the mid-1980's, pioneered e-resource reviewing for Library Journal in the early 90's (picture calico bonnets and prairie schooners on the web...), won the Louis Shores / Oryx Press Award for Professional Reviewing, and has been working for truth, justice, and better electronic library resources ever since. Reach her at claguard@fas.harvard.edu, where she's a Research Librarian at Harvard University.