"Then a Barnes & Noble 'superstore' came to town. It anchored a mini-mall with a large parking lot. The bookseller already had a cloudy reputation; I knew that its steep discounts on best-sellers were putting pressure on smaller bookstores near its locations. The retailer was then making its big expansion push. Soon after the opening, I drove over to check it out. Look, Starbucks coffee! A magazine rack filled with alien titles such as Zyzzyva, Utne Reader, and Foreign Affairs. A 'Cultural Studies' section. An entire shelf full of Faulkner. Going to Barnes & Noble became a Saturday afternoon. It was as if a small liberal-arts college had been plunked down into a farm field."
— Michael Agger, The New Yorker
"Publishers, fearful that selling to libraries will hurt sales to the general public, have thrown up roadblocks. Some major publishers jack up the price libraries pay for e-books compared to what they charge the public. Others make only a small number of titles available, delay their availability until weeks after the general release, or require libraries to buy another copy after lending it 26 times. Such policies actually mark an improvement over the recent past. Until earlier this year, some major publishers refused to sell to libraries at all.
Public awareness that libraries lend e-books will play a key role in whether Amazon's digital book business erodes, Barclays said. As it is, relatively few people know about borrowing digital books, although their numbers are growing. A survey last year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 31% of the public was aware that libraries lend e-books, up from 24% in 2011. Only 5% of people actually had checked out a digital book compared with 3% in the prior year, Pew found. 'E-books are becoming more important, and we do expect them to grow going forward,' said Christopher Platt, director of the joint technology team for the New York and Brooklyn public libraries. 'Digital is not a boutique service. It's part of the future of the library.'"
— Verne Kopytoff, CNN Money
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