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Tuesday Midday Links: Romance Dominates Library Lending, Maurice Sendak Dies

I highly recommend watching these two videos Maurice Sendak did with Stephen Colbert:


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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Carin
    May 08, 2012 @ 12:15:31

    “Two out of five e-book readers who choose a tablet as their primary reading device use an iPad; at the end of 2011, two-thirds of those e-book readers were using an iPad, roughly a 25 point drop, according to a new study from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)”

    I didn’t go read the link, but this doesn’t necessarily disagree with the data posted yesterday. When did the “two out of five” date point come from? Before the KindleFire and Nook Tablet? That would explain the data. Yesterday’s article adds a third data point from Spring 2012, and if I remember right, it says the iPad is regaining strength.

  2. Annemarie Hartnett
    May 08, 2012 @ 12:28:09

    I’m a devoted Overdrive user. I primarily use my e-reader, but I like being able to access my borrowed items on tablet and iPhone as well. I wonder if romance is the most popular because there is otherwise a limited selection. If I’m just looking for something to read without any particular title in mind I just browse what’s available, the majority of which are romance titles. While I have discovered a few new-to-me authors as a result, romance isn’t the only genre I read and I’d like to see a more diverse catalog.

    (Arrrg. Every time I try to use the Kobo codes I get “Due to publisher restrictions Promo codes are not allowed for this product.”)

  3. Ren
    May 08, 2012 @ 12:28:24

    I’m not a huge fan of Sendak’s books (and wish Colbert would learn to shut the hell up when he’s “interviewing” someone), but those segments won a spot on my Best Thing An Author Has Ever Done list the first time I saw them.

  4. Las
    May 08, 2012 @ 12:37:25

    Here’s an interview of Sendak:

    And with that he’s off again. Of Salman Rushdie, who once gave him a terrible review in the New York Times, he says: “That flaccid fuckhead. He was detestable. I called up the Ayatollah, nobody knows that.” Roald Dahl: “The cruelty in his books is off-putting. Scary guy. I know he’s very popular but what’s nice about this guy? He’s dead, that’s what’s nice about him.” Stephen King: “Bullshit.” Gwyneth Paltrow: “I can’t stand her.”

    I’m not very familiar with his work, be he sounds like my kind people.

  5. Isobel Carr
    May 08, 2012 @ 12:56:59

    Sendak was high on the list of my favorite curmudgeons.

  6. DS
    May 08, 2012 @ 13:10:20

    Where the Wild Things Are came out 1963/1964. I was 8 or 9 and already reading well above grade level, but I loved that book. I probably nearly wore the library copy out looking at the illustrations.

    And all that fuss about Sendak’s naked little boy from In the Night Kitchen– What a crock.

    Terry Gross with NPR’s Fresh Air is going to play all of the interviews that she did with Sendak over the years. I’m looking forward to it.

  7. Carrie
    May 08, 2012 @ 13:14:48

    RE: iPad– When you compare the iPad to the Kindle ereader, it hasn’t gained much ground. It certainly looks stagnant. As of February 2012 (according to the graph in the article) the Fire was gaining on the iPad in number of users.

    Here is what I see: this article seemed like a poll of ereader users rather than data about ereader sales. It could include people who bought ereaders years ago.

    Also, iPad is only used as an ereader by roughly 25% of people who use ereaders, but iPads are certainly selling well for other uses than as an ereader. I bet most people who have iPads don’t routinely read books on them. I know several people with iPads and Kindles, and they read almost exclusively on their Kindles.

    My husband just bought me a Kindle Fire to play with (refurb) and I’m enjoying it. But I’ve already noticed that it’s heavier and therefor harder on my wrists and thumbs than my Kindle3.

  8. Carin
    May 08, 2012 @ 13:38:10

    I was thinking about the Overdrive browsing facts. Back when my library was using Overdrive I used to browse romance all the time. It was frustrating, though, because not all the books I would consider romance were tagged “romance”. After a while I would just browse by “recently added” to see what was new. It certainly made me appreciate the importance of cataloging the books correctly!

    I’m in Kansas and we’re done with Overdrive now. The new 3M digital lending software is up and working – at least on my iThings, it is. But the process of moving the old collection to the new software is slow, I guess. AND they only got permission to move about 50% of the ebooks over. This reminds me that I haven’t checked in a month or so. I should go see how the digital library is doing.

  9. LG
    May 08, 2012 @ 13:52:36

    It’s been a couple years since I had access to a library that used Overdrive, but I learned very quickly that it was less disappointing to browse than to search. When I tried to search for books I would have liked to check out, they either weren’t part of the collection or were checked out. Browsing allowed me to see what was there that might fit my tastes, with less of a possibility of disappointment.

  10. T
    May 08, 2012 @ 14:12:51

    The ipad is seemingly blowing everything out of the water in the tablet category
    but not sure if people who get ipads get them primarily to use as ebook readers – I wouldn´t personally. E-ink for me. A lot of ipad owners might be likely to have e-ink devices as well for dedicated reading (anedoctal, but that is the case).

    The number of people using ipads as reading devices is likely not decreasing – just the percentage of them, which will be represented in the sample. Looking at those graphs seems like the huge difference is android tablets (particularly kindle fire) now being used as e-readers more 0ften – it would make sense, amazon has a particular inroad to readers as a segment of market (small segment) and they have been promoting it heavily as an e-reader. TLDR :ipad is conquering all, but a lot of people who get ipads do not get it to read ebooks, particularly since if they are serious readers and can afford an ipad they might be able to afford as well a cheap e-ink device.

  11. Karenmc
    May 08, 2012 @ 15:59:32

    @Carrie: I read on my iPad until I bought a Kindle WSO. Now I use the iPad for iPaddy things and the Kindle for reading. It’s easier to take the Kikndle with me, and that long battery life is a great thing.

  12. Jenny Lyn
    May 08, 2012 @ 17:29:05

    I can’t read for long on my Kindle Fire because of the weight. It’s just too heavy to hold up for long periods of time. One would think the iPad would have a similar issue but I don’t own one so I can’t say for sure. I bought the Fire primarily for its portability, but I thought I might use the back-light feature to read in bed without having to use a clip-on light. Nope. My Kindle is hands down a better reading device. Plus there’s that awesome battery life and e-ink screen with no glare.

  13. sarah mayberry
    May 08, 2012 @ 17:54:00

    Thank you so much, Las, for that link to the Guardian interview. What a bloody character! A fantastic curmudgeon. I shall love his books even more knowing they came from such an irascible heart!

  14. SAO
    May 09, 2012 @ 01:52:53

    I mostly borrow romance or mysteries from my library as E-books. Their non-fiction selection is poor and extremely poorly organized. On the shelves, if you look for a book on, say, gardening, the books next to it on the shelf will be about gardening so if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you might find something else that will do. The Overdrive seems to go by author name or title, so “The Victory Garden” might be next to books about WW2 or who knows what else.

    There are so few books that search is awful. Search for, say, Karen Robards and if they don’t have any, you will get a long list of books, fiction, non-fiction, adult or children’s by authors whose first names are Karen, whose last names are Roberts or who have either name in their book title or description, like a biography of Isak Dinesen, whose real first name was Karen.

    I’d search instead of browsing if the search function was less useless. I note, that part of searching a physical shelf is browsing. If you don’t find what you want, the neighboring books are probably interesting, because they will file Karen Robards under Romance or Mystery and stick it in with non-fiction children’s books by an Author names Karen something.

    I read a blog post recently about bots taking over journalism and writing articles. Good God, if computers can’t figure out what is a useful library search, how the hell are they going to write an article (except by plagiarizing someone else, but that’s a different issue).

  15. eggs
    May 09, 2012 @ 04:46:33

    I don’t expect ipad reading numbers to grow amongst the heaviest of readers. Let’s face it: ipads are not cheap. Many people who can afford to buy one can probably also afford to buy a dedicated e-ink device for reading after they discover ebooks on their ipads. For serious readers I imagine ipads are a gateway device. If that’s true, then the numbers are never really going to increase as each batch of new ipad owners will migrate to a dedicated e-ink device.

  16. Carin
    May 09, 2012 @ 07:34:58

    I had a Sony Pocket reader and really liked it. Then I got an iPad and I’ve never looked back. I like reading on the iPad so much more. I do a lot of my reading at night. With the iPad I turn to night mode, crank the brightness down and the font up and happily read without needing a light shining on my reader.

    I really like all the other things I can do with my iPad, and I like having one device that can do them all. I wouldn’t want to carry a separate book or ereader. It’s bigger than a dedicated ereader, but I just bought a bigger purse and I’m fine. My eyesight is still ok, but I appreciate the bigger screen of the iPad that can display more words when I use a luxuriously big font.

    Now I use my old Sony reader to lend ebooks to friends, but I don’t read on it any more. I’m with the iPad all the way.

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