First public digital library in US launched in San Antonio


A public library without books, bet you never saw that one coming. The future is shaping up quite handsomely, no longer do we need to walk around with a bunch of books, all is needed is a tablet, and you’re good to go. Because of this new trend, several libraries have chosen to get rid of paperbacks in favor of digital, yay!

Just recently, the first bookless library in the U.S. launched in San Antonio with over 10,000 e-books that can be accessed via 900 e-book readers, 57 computers, and 40 iPads including 4 touchscreen tablets. It is possible this new bookless initiative could increase library readership since almost everyone these days seem to prefer digital.

With the way things are going, we don’t expect the book to be the dominant technology for too long. As of now, folks can purchase the digital version of a book far cheaper compared to the paperback type. Furthermore, it’s even more convenient to go digital because one would be able to travel with hundreds of e-books at the same time, you can’t do that with paperbacks.

Some of you guys might have a soft spot for the traditional library system, but I don’t, you hear me? I don’t. I’d pay big bucks to see everything converted to a digital system, unfortunately, I have yet to acquire big bucks.

[via My San Antonio, image via Bookmasters]

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  1. Darcy

    On both Kindle and Nook, it isn’t uncommon to see public domain books anywhere fro $0.99 to free. However you will seldom see a new, first run, book for less than $7.99.

    Trouble is, I’ve talked to the authors, many of them at conventions. They all agree that Amazon, B&N, etc set the publication prices so high they can’t make any profit at all unless their book sell for that much.

    Personal opinion, The publisher’s first concern is to protect their print business (In their view). They want to promote the eBook, but without destroying their product base (In their view). Gouging both the author and reading public to make an obscene profit is just secondary to them (In their view).

    EBooks do not have costs for paper, ink, printers, binding, transport, storage, and reduced costs for sales, etc. that’s a massive savings which we never see. So why do they charge so much for the readers? They could give them away and still make a profit. Well my personal opinion is; “The publisher’s first concern is to protect their print business (In their view). They want to promote the eBook, but without destroying their product base (In their view). Gouging both the author and reading public to make an obscene profit is just secondary to them (In their view).” Giving the readers away free would make the demise of the printed book faster.

    The opinions expressed in this post are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the view of anyone associated with

  2. Louis

    So how do we access this eLibrary ? Is there a cost involved ?

    I do agree with your sentiment in general — I’m a prolific reader, and being in China means no real way to purchase English paper books, except by ordering them from Amazon (airport luggage from home being too expensive).

    So I’ve turned my little Asus 10″ netbook into primarily an eBook reader, and it works great, using the Kindle software. That enabled me the past 3 years over here to read a significant amount of books (the University don’t stock much paper fiction in English).. So to that extent it’s a good thing.

    Yet … I still prefer the paper, did I have a choice :-)

    One thing I do have to differ with you on, and that’s your statement that eBooks are significantly cheaper than paper based versions — that may be true for new writers of fiction, on the fringe, but for mainstream writers of fiction, or even worse, for University text books, the paperback versions pretty much cost the same as the eBook versions, not much difference really.

    This has been the biggest disillusionment I’ve experienced re eBooks — I will absolutely buy an eBook if it is priced at say 20 % of the price of the paper version (after all, an eBook is nothing other than a few hundred kb’s of text — if comparing the actual cost of producing it to the cost of producing a paper based version).

    The only real cost involved in producing an eBook is the author’s royalty, which is pretty much a VERY small part of a paper book’s price anyway, and the nominal value there-of should be the same to that author, regardless of whether the sale of his book is in paper or digital.

    So that’s why I will absolutely NOT EVER buy an eBook at Amazon’s (and other’s) ridiculous prices — that has to be the biggest ripoff of the last century !

    They are going to get sucked in an unnecessary version of piracy, just like with the movie / audio industry, for abusing technology to charge obscene profit, instead of keeping their markups honest, and passing the “saving due to technology” through to the end buyer.

    Obscene profits leads to piracy, both parties being wrong, and everyone, especially the authors, loses. Everyone wants to see authors get their fair royalties, and no-one truly wants to pirate, but also : no-one accepts being ripped off by publishers and retailers.

    Let’s hope eBook publishers and retailers see the light and come to their senses, before they fall down the same bottomless pit as did the audio / video industry.