Comment about ebooks.

In a June 3, 2004 New York Times there was an article titled, "In the Virtual Stacks, Pirated Books Find Eager Thumbs". I found a line in the article that really made me think.

The article was mentioning a 39 year old man that downloads many books that still are under copyright and he also used Project Gutenberg. Here is the brief section from the article.

For classics he visits Project Gutenberg, a vast legal repository of mostly older works for which no copyright is in effect; he uses news groups to download current publications still protected by copyright. ''These groups offer opportunity to read books not always available,'' he said. ''I have yet to find a library or bookstore so well stocked.

He has not found a library or bookstore that is as well stocked as Project Gutenberg? Project Gutenberg currently has around 13,000 etexts. Even small public libraries have collections that rival that number. But I think this gets to an interesting point. Why would such a small collection be considered so large by the user? I think it is because every etext listed can be clicked on and viewed full text. The book is always on the shelf. It is never out of print. The user gets the experience of, "if you see it we have it." At a library sometimes the book is missing or checked out.

What do you think of the users statement of never seeing a library or bookstore so well stocked?

Comments

well stocked

I thought he was referring to the newsgroups, not guttenburg. The quote reads:

"For classics he visits Project Gutenberg, a vast legal repository of mostly older works for which no copyright is in effect; he uses news groups to download current publications still protected by copyright. ''These groups offer opportunity to read books not always available,'' he said. ''I have yet to find a library or bookstore so well stocked."

Given the millions of potential uses on newsgroups...it might be better stocked than my local library branch(rural area) maybe even better than our regional library system. I can't say because I don't know where's he's actually going to get these "books".

Perhaps this guy is like me and lives in the boonies and hasn't travelled very far?

s/

Re:well stocked

I think slash interprets it right but I'd also like to reply to the original question that quantity is not quality. How many public libraries have every book by Charles Dickens? Every single work of classic literature? Because Project G is limited by copyright they are limited to focusing on only what time has already filtered and weeded. It makes for a well stocked library.

Re:well stocked

I suppose it also matters what your definition of "well-stocked" consists of. My personal library at home I consider to be well-stocked - with Shakespeare, a collection of leather-bound Charles Dickens, Tom Clancy and Ann Rice and a smorgasboard of Star Wars-related stories and cookbooks. Probably not in the same class as the newsgroups or Project G, but good enough for me.

It seems to me that a user's impressions of a collection revolve entirely around whether or not the item they seek is available when they want it. Naturally, if they are disappointed, the library's "approval rating" is going to diminish.

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