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On reading ebooks and digital fatigue: 06/18/16
EBook sales have been tracked since 2009. In a recent article in Publisher's Weekly (As E-Book Sales Decline, Digital Fatigue Grows by Jim Milliot, June 17, 2016) it's noted that ebook sales have declined in the last two years from a high of 36% of all units sold to 32%.
In the seven years that ebook sales have been tracked, I've read approximately 90 ebooks out of the 3315 books total I've read. Most of those books were egalleys read in 2009-2011. Things changed in 2015 when I realized I could get access to a bunch of older cozies I had meant to read as ebooks from my library. It was a great introduction to ebooks and a perfect way for me to get hooked. I need to give credit to whomever at my library (or their catalog vender) who started adding links to ebooks they access to.
One problem, though, with library ebooks is that they disappear after three weeks unless I manage to renew them. They aren't always renewable as there's only one digital copy available and multiple people wanting to read it. That gives the ebook a ticking time bomb feel to it which after a while gets to be stressful.
The second problem is that the library usually doesn't have access to the newest titles in a series. If they do, there's guaranteed to be a 40 person hold list. By the time my name comes up for an opportunity to download the copy, I've moved on to something else and don't have the time to schedule an unexpected ebook into my reading.
Another facet of my ebook reading is my road trip narrative project. Google Books and the Internet Archive have a number of the earliest road trip books for free download. Mind you, they've been OCRed so they have errors and glitches but it's still better than not being able to find the book.
Going back to my numbers, approximately 3% of my total books read since 2009 are ebooks. But if you look at this year alone, where I've actively started downloading and purchasing ebooks, I've read 15 and purchased 36.