paper-less pundits

The pundits have it that eBooks are everywhere and they will replace paper based books – you know the ones that are nice to hold, bound in cardboard or leather, the ones that are easy to read and cause less eye strain – the type of books that you can dog ear for easy reference.

Yes, eBooks are available and they have their place.
But, certainly not as a big bold glossy book on the coffee table.

When people visit their local library they expect to find in the main, traditional books and electronic media eg. CDs, DVDs – something to hold and touch.

What the eBook pundits have not realised is that despite the availability of personal mobile devices (that can read an eBook) there is not a rich availability of titles. It comes down to licensing complications and the publishers have no intention of letting go and loosening the reins. It’s a long story … I spent an hour with a librarian the other day and was staggered by the difficulty of libraries to economically stock a wide range of eBook titles. It is extremely difficult for libraries to hold multiple copies. They need to be renewed yearly and you can’t just buy one title (that you want), you have to buy a bundle (and then renew it yearly).
Oh, and other slight obstacle - the eBook titles held by one library can't be loaned across the national/state library network.

As an analogy to the complexities of the licensing for eBooks, just think of Microsoft licensing.
For the home user, it is less onerous and you can buy the titles that you want.
There are even some free titles, especially of the classics – because due to copyright laws, published works may be freely distributed after a certain period of time.
As an example, here are 9 titles of free classics:
Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)
Get it free at Project Gutenberg Australia or listen to it on YouTube
Ulysses by James Joyce (1922)
Get it free at Amazon or listen to it on YouTube
3. The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)
Get it free at Project Gutenberg or listen to it on YouTube
4. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)
Get it free at: Google Play or listen to it on YouTube
5. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605)
Get it free at: Google Play or listen to it on YouTube
6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)
Get it free at: Amazon or listen to it on YouTube
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
Get it free at: Google Play or listen to it on YouTube
8. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)
Get it free at: Amazon or listen to it on YouTube
9. Hard Times by Charles Dickens (1854)
Get it free at: Google Play or listen to it on YouTube

Here's the source for the 9 freebies listed above


  1. I tried one of those e-readers and found it difficult on the eys.
    Prefer the feel of a good book.

  2. I don't want to go to a library to get an ebook.
    They cab be bought cheaply online.
    I will stay with real books during my lifetime.

    1. You may be interested that liquid e-ink is on its way. Probably 5-10 years before mass production.
      That will replace ereaders for people who like the feel of a paper book.
      I foreseen that technology replacing tablets.


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