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An "E-Reading Hub" with ten kindles in the Library of Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

An ‘E-Reading Hub’ with ten ‘kindle paper white’ E-readers was inaugurated in the Library of Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Pattom on 25 March 2015. This is arguably the first KV in the country with such an extended reader service.

E-Reader inauguration

Shri. K. Gopalakrishna Bhat IAS, Chairman, VMC & DPI, Kerala inaugurated the "E-Reading Hub" by handing over a kindle e-reader to S. L. Faisal, Librarian at a function chaired by Shri S. Ajayakumar, Principal, KV Pattom. Dr Ajithkumar, VMC Member was also present.

The kindles are loaded with freely available e-contents, including classics, open digital text books, subject reference materials and out of print books.

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Filed under: Library activities, ,

Ebooks outsell hardbacks at Amazon

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by

David Teather

It is an announcement that will provoke horror among those who can think of nothing better than spending an afternoon rummaging around a musty old bookshop. In what could be a watershed for the publishing industry, Amazon said sales of digital books have outstripped U.S. sales of hardbacks on its website for the first time.

Amazon claims to have sold 143 digital books for its e-reader, the Kindle, for every 100 hardback books over the past three months. The pace of change is also accelerating. Amazon said that in the most recent four weeks, the rate reached 180 ebooks for every 100 hardbacks sold. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said sales of the Kindle and ebooks had reached a “tipping point”, with five authors including Steig Larsson, the writer of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, and Stephenie Meyer, who penned the Twilight series, each selling more than 500,000 digital books. Earlier this month, Hachette said James Patterson had sold 1.1 million ebooks to date.

Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of the Bookseller, said the figures from Amazon were “eye-catching”, but added a note of scepticism. He said that while ebooks had outnumbered hardbacks in volume, they were likely to be some distance behind in value. Some of the bestsellers listed on the Kindle top 10 list were retailing for as little as $1.16. Free downloads of books no longer in copyright were excluded from the figures.

It does not appear that the growth of ebooks is damaging sales of physical books. According to the Association of American Publishers, hardback sales are still growing in the U.S., up 22 per cent this year.

The association says that ebook sales in the U.S. account for six per cent of the consumer book market. One publisher in London said the U.S. was “two or three years ahead of us. But there is no reason to suppose we won’t see the same thing happening here.”

Kate Pool, deputy general-secretary of the Royal Society of Authors, said most authors would be “delighted” to sell large numbers of digital books. “If you speak to most authors, they couldn’t bear to get rid of their old bookshelves, but if their readers want to read on an e-reader, then great. They are in it to earn a living after all.” The market is still relatively small in Britain. Digital sales were around £150 million last year, says the Publishers’ Association, over 80 per cent in the academic-professional sector, with only £5 million in consumer sales.

The Kindle has been available in the U.K. since October, although customers still need to visit the U.S. site and get the device delivered from America.

The books catalogue is also available only through the American site and the titles priced in dollars. A spokesman said there were 390,000 titles available for U.K. readers to download. The company will not release figures on the number of Kindles sold. “We are nowhere near the same level as the U.S.,” Denny added. “I have never seen anyone using a Kindle in Britain. The iPad is more interesting.” Amazon cut the price of its device in June in response to the launch of Apple’s iPad, which many believe could provide a substantial threat to the Kindle’s market. Waterstones has sold ebooks from its website for the Sony Reader since September 2008 and will sell its one-millionth title this year, a spokesman said.

Ms Pool said she had yet to invest in an ebook reader. “I have played around with one, but I haven’t read a full book on one. It is not that I am a Luddite, more of a scrooge, which I think is the same for many people. I am waiting for the price to come down, for the amount of content available to go up and I want to be sure I am not buying the wrong thing. I don’t want to be left with a Betamax when everyone else is watching VHS.”

 

© Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010

Courtesy: The Hindu, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article527066.ece

Filed under: E-Books, ,

How E-Books Will Change Reading And Writing

by Lynn Neary

Courtesy: http://www.npr.org/

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Ten years ago, few imagined that by decade’s end, people would be reading novels on cell phones. A lot has changed in the book world.

"Over the last couple of years, I’ve really noticed if I sit down with a book, after a few paragraphs, I’ll say, ‘You know, where’s the links? Where’s the e-mail? Where’s all the stuff going on?’ " says writer Nicholas Carr. "And it’s kind of sad."

Carr says he’s thought of himself as a serious reader all his life, but in an article in The Atlantic, he argued that the Internet is training us to read in a distracted and disjointed way. But does that mean writers will have to change the way they write to capture the attention of an audience accustomed to this new way of reading? Carr thinks the answer is yes, and he looks to the past to make his point.

"When printed books first became popular, thanks to Gutenberg’s press, you saw this great expansion of eloquence and experimentation," says Carr. "All of which came out of the fact that here was a technology that encouraged people to read deeply, with great concentration and focus. And as we move to the new technology of the screen … it has a very different effect, an almost opposite effect, and you will see a retreat from the sophistication and eloquence that characterized the printed page."

As digital platforms proliferate, writers are trying to figure out how to use them. Novelist Rick Moody recently wrote a story on the social networking site Twitter. Moody says he got intrigued by the idea of writing in abbreviated form to fit within the 140-character limitations of each Twitter post.

"I began to see that trying to write within this tiny little frame, 140 characters, was kind of like trying to write haiku. It’s very poetical in its compaction, and it kind of got under my skin, and I kept thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to try and work with this?’ " Moody says.

His flirtation with Twitter was not entirely successful. The delivery of the story went awry, and some industry insiders were bombarded with repetitive tweets. Still, Moody doesn’t regret the experiment. But he does have doubts about Twitter’s literary potential.

"It forced me to try to imply more narrative than I could actually include in the piece, because I was so stuck in this little box. It’s hard to have dialogue between characters in the confines of the Twitter box," Moody says. "That was all fun. Whether I think Twitter is going to be a great vehicle for fiction, I’d say no."

A lot of writers are trying their hand at Twitter books — both on the Web and in print — but Time magazine book reviewer Lev Grossman thinks it’s a passing fad. Asked what might have some staying power, Grossman suggests the cell phone novel. Written on cell phones and meant to be read on them, many of these books are best-sellers in Japan. The authors are usually young women, and romance is the main theme.

"They tend to be narratively very propulsive, [and] not very interested in style and beautiful language," Grossman says. "There tends to be a lot of drama and melodrama, sex and violence. They grab your attention, and they don’t really let it go."

Apart from Twitter books and cell phone novels, Grossman, who is also a novelist, says the real challenge for writers is electronic-book readers like the Kindle. He says the increasingly popular devices force people to read books in a different way.

"They scroll and scroll and scroll. You don’t have this business of handling pages and turning them and savoring them." Grossman says that particular function of the e-book leads to a certain kind of reading and writing: "Very forward moving, very fast narrative … and likewise you don’t tend to linger on the language. When you are seeing a word or a sentence on the screen, you tend to go through it, you extract the data, and you move on."

Grossman thinks that tendency not to linger on the language also affects the way people react to a book when they are deciding whether to buy it: More purchases will be based on brief excerpts.

"It will be incumbent on novelists to hook readers right away," says Grossman. "You won’t be allowed to do a kind of tone poem overture, you’re going to want to have blood on the wall by the end of the second paragraph. And I think that’s something writers will have to adapt to, and the challenge will be to use this powerfully narrative form, this pulpy kind of mode, to say important things."

Grossman, Moody and Carr all believe that traditional books will still be around for a long time, and that some of the changes that may occur in writing will be more evolutionary than revolutionary. But it’s hard to know, says Carr, whether traditional books — and the people who read and write them — will have much influence on the culture in the future.

"The real question is," wonders Carr, "is that segment of the population going to just dwindle and be on the periphery of the culture rather than at the center, which is where printed books have stood for centuries now?"

Perhaps we’ll have to wait another 10 years to find out.

Courtesy: http://www.npr.org/

Filed under: Article of the Week, ,

“Kindle”,the E-Book Reader

 

 

By

Stuart F. Brown

Scientific American

More and more people are gazing at electronic-book readers—lightweight slates about the size of a thin paper­back that can store up to 200 downloaded books. Although prior generations fizzled, Sony’s Reader, introduced in 2006, and Amazon’s Kindle, which debuted last year, are both selling well. The key difference is the screen.

Interactive: View the insides of the Kindle E-Reader

Researchers had wrestled with e-book readers for decades, but most sported power-thirsty, backlit LCD screens that glared in low light or were drowned out by bright sunlight. The breakthrough this time is a screen made with “electronic paper” from E Ink Corporation in Cambridge, Mass. Sony, Amazon and other makers worldwide are using the material.

E-paper displays are reflective: ambient light bounces off them, so they look and read like ordinary paper. The screens are very energy efficient, too. “The only power used is when you turn a page,” says Isaac Yang, manager of software product development at Sony in San Jose, Calif. No current is needed to sustain the characters on a page once it has been called up. Yang says about 7,500 pages can be turned on a single battery charge. Downloading books consumes additional power.

Sony’s Reader, roughly $300, has a stated capacity of about 160 books, which are found by linking it to a computer via a USB cable and going to the company’s online bookstore. Amazon’s Kindle, $400, can hold about 200 books and can download them by connecting to Sprint’s wireless data network. Amazon also offers paid subscriptions to certain newspapers and magazines. Newly released books typically cost around $10. Enthusiasts who have posted online reviews note, however, that the software for downloading and managing files can be a bit cumbersome.

The fonts on both the Sony and Amazon handhelds can be made larger or smaller, and both can display black-and-white jpeg and gif images, Microsoft Word documents and RSS news feeds. Each item, of course, will occupy some of the roughly 190 megabytes of memory.

Market analysts remain unsure about whether e-books and readers will ever become ubiquitous. Some people are fiercely attached to the tactility—and even the smell—of paper books and periodicals, whereas others love the idea of carrying around heaps of documents in a device weighing 10 ounces. Perhaps the next frontier—color screens—might sway the masses. E Ink is working on prototype e-paper that incorporates the red, green and blue filters needed to show full-color imagery; such a surface could potentially support downloaded video and books on a screen much bigger than a cell phone but much lighter than a laptop.

Did You Know …
RESOLVED: Reader screens made with E Ink paper have a resolution of 167 dots per inch (dpi). A typical ink-jet printer achieves 300 dpi, a Web page 72 dpi.

CHINA, FRANCE: eRead Technology’s STAReBOOK is popular in China, as is Bookeen’s Cybook in France. Les Echos, an electronic newspaper publisher in Paris, offers editions that can be downloaded over Wi-Fi connections onto the iLiad reader made by iRex in the Netherlands.

FORERUNNERS: Researchers at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center worked on an oil-filled microcapsule system named Gyricon in the 1970s. In 1971 Michael Hart, a University of Illinois student, obtained mainframe computer time to begin to digitize and archive books and other items, with the goal of someday distributing a massive digital library.

THE LAST BOOK: In 1997 Joseph Jacobson, a young professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and an eventual founder of E Ink, published a paper called “The Last Book.” In it he envisioned a hardcover book containing several hundred blank electronic pages. Futuristic memory chips in the book’s spine would hold the entire catalogue of the Library of Congress, and a simple control would display any one of those titles on its pages.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Stuart F. Brown is a writer in Irvington, N.Y.

Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,

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Students can call 1800 11 8004 from any part of the country. The operators will answer general queries and also connect them to the counselors for psychological counseling. The helpline will be operational from 08 a.m to 10 p.m. On-line counseling on: counselling.cecbse@gmail.com

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Dial 1800-11-6555 for expert advice on reproductive, maternal and child health; adolescent and sexual health; and family planning.

S. L. FAISAL
Librarian
Kendriya Vidyalaya (Shift-I)
Pattom
Thiruvananthapuram-695 004
Kerala India

Mail: librarykvpattom at gmail.com