Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Faster than vocabulary-ereader merged with elibrary

Ereaders are erasing the distinction between a book and a library. Readers are familiar with paper book sizes and weights that range from those that fit in the palm of a hand to paperback and textbook size to poster size. Now imagine digital equivalents of great variety, lighter weight and notably thinner, think clipboard thickness. More importantly, these devices will hold not just one book or article, but hundreds of books initially. Moore's Law (long article) will push this capacity into the stratosphere in the years ahead. The end of familiar careers? Not a chance. Now everyone will need a personal librarian and personal cataloging system. Everyone may also need the equivalent of personal first grade or primary level teachers to periodically update and review digital reading basics (long article).

The range of such devices currently extends from the iPod Touch and iPhone in the palm of the hand to the larger and more paperback to magazine sized reader products. They include: the readily available Kindles from, the scarce OLPC devices, Sony's PRS-300 and PRS-600, the expectation of a tablet computer from Apple and similar devices from PlasticLogic that will be promoted by Barnes & Knoble bookstores. The innovation in mobile information systems is just revving its engines. Much more is yet to come.

Change is coming faster than the vocabulary needed to talk about it. What should the term or phrase be for the merger of the ereader and the elibrary? ReadBrary? Librook? Use comments link below for suggestions!

When I first heard about these I couldn't imagine they would go very far. I'm still attached to curling up in bed with a book. But then I thought about backpackers and exchange students and all those folks on extended trips. It made sense, though I'd still rather hold the book in my hand. It's something like the online textbook, which is great in many ways, but where does it end?
I personally love having the ability to flip the pages, highlight words or phrases, and write in the margins. However, I can definitely see the many benefits new devices such as Kindles and iPads have. I have not had the opportunity to experiment with one yet, but I do wonder if they offer the same opportunities of a book I discussed.

I like the term "eLibrary." To me, the name still seems authentic, yet it's modern.
I was hesitant to join the Kindle craze, but I love having one. I have instant dictionary access, I can leave notes for myself, highlight passages, flag key pages, search, even see the highlights made by others. I occasionally catch myself trying to turn the Kindle at the end of a page, but I've found it a remarkably easy transition.
I like the inclusion of the word "library" to retain that sense of being a repository for texts, yet I feel like it should also reference the mobility of it all. Perhaps a compound word like "cloud-library" or "bookdrive," or a word like "moblibrary" using the root word meaning "to move" while also conveying that inter-connectivity.
Michelle, I like the cloud-library, but that seems a bit impersonal like it belongs to the world. How' bout cloud-brary. But my books are on my personal digital shelf, not in the cloud even that is where I buy them from. I like mob library but think it is too close to mob as in mob of people. But I like mobi-library. How bout pocket library or palm-brary?
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