Are E-books good for reading?

Teenagers are certainly engaged by screens but not necessarily for reading. The result of our poll says that 50% of teenagers would probably read more on e-books as they get very engaged by screens, while 25% acknowledge they would probably get distracted and 25% prefer paper books.

We currently have 2 Kindles available for loan in the library. They are constantly issued! For students struggling with reading, they are great as the font size can be chosen and most e-books can also be read aloud. We plan to get more e-readers.

This article describes how e-books can motivate young non-readers and reluctant readers into reading and lead them to paper books too. http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/printissuecurrentissue/890540-427/are_ebooks_any_good.html.csp

A study http://www.fluency21.com/blogpost.cfm?blogID=2298 compared reading behaviour, text comprehension, and information recall from ebooks, tablet PC and paper. The results show it is equivalent, except reading is faster on a Tablet PC !  

Other researchers however point out the lack of spacial navigation cues on the e-books (and on the Internet in general) that could impact the way our brain develops and reactivates memory http://agnosticmaybe.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/this-is-your-brain-on-ebooks/ As we are guinea pigs in this space, it is worthwhile checking and questioning regularly the impacts of the technologies on our well-being. In this case,  I would argue, if we keep a balanced life of enjoying the outdoors, as we do in Wanaka, we’ll be safe.

Conclusion is that the most important technology is still “READING”!

Free ebooks on your computer

Project_Gutenberg_logoThe Project Gutenberg was founded in 1971 by Michael Hart, as a voluntary non-for-profit organization with the mission to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks, both to preserve literary works and to promote free literacy for all. Volunteers around the world scan and load works from the public domain (i. e. not copyrighted). It holds more than 130.000 references so I recommend you start from the Children’s Bookshelf. There are also free Audiobooks. Project Gutenberg is the respectable grandfather of ebooks! All formats available.

Ebooks for Young Readers (University of Virginia, Etext Centre)The University of Virginia Library’s Etext Center gives access to over 2,100 publicly-available ebooks, mainly classic British and American fiction, major authors, children’s literature (more than 120 titles), and much more.  You can read online or download Microsoft Reader to read on your computer (with the option to hear it as well -electronic voice).

In our country, discover the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre’s free online archive of New Zealand and Pacific Islands texts and heritage materials, and its 1500 literature e-items. It is really interesting but fairly advanced, so I have written to the Director of the project to get a Youth category…

Public Book Shelf is a free online library where you can sample and read romance novels online. The selection is quite large (because many books do contains some romance), but there are disrupting ads and you can only read online.

BookgluttonBook Glutton has quite a lot of free ebooks and you can listen to an electronic voice while reading. Here you can connect to groups and contribute. However, you will often get the “Pay now to see the rest” message. There are many other ebooks providers who will give away a few free titles but actually sell ebooks.

Do you know any other good sites?

Beyond books…

Books nowadays come in various interesting formats and extensions.

Films are the most obvious ones, as many films scenarios are based on novels. The books are then published to tie-in with the film, swapping its original cover with the motion picture poster, sometimes even changing its title. Click here for a list of Books made into Movies. Read the book to compare!

Audiobooks have been successful and useful since the 1990’s. They greatly help the reading and understanding of books. Check out our selection in the AUDIOBOOKS MULTIMEDIA Book Computer (clipart)section.

Many authors now have a website and most series will have one too. You will find there authors’ interviews, books summary or extracts, character analysis, often games, screensavers or wallpaper to download, and so on…

Here is a selection to encourage boys to read:

http://www.johnmarsden.com.au/home.html 
http://www.pauljennings.com.au/
http://www.anthonyhorowitz.com/ also www.alexrider.com
http://www.mi6.co.uk/sections/literary/index_higson.php3 (Charlie Higson’s Young Bond series)

Find a comprehensive list of New Zealand authors (includes their bio, their books and a link to their website) on http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/Writers/Information/Introduction.htm

Now books also come in digital format to be read on your computer, on a special device or on your phone. They can associate a read-aloud version, some music and some videos. And some are free! Check out www.vook.com and www.bookglutton.com where you can chat books while you read!

Books and Internet complete each other beautifully 😉

Audiobooks & Multimedia section

An audiobook is a reading of a book by the author or by an actor recorded on tape or CD.

MACLIC has a collection of 50 audiobooks which you can borrow, together with the book, if you wish to follow the text. Listening to an audiobook is a bit like being read aloud, it is easy and lively. It is great when you travel. If you struggle to read, audiobooks will help you greatly and will offer you the pleasure of discovering a story.

MACLIC also offers more than 20 selected or donated documentaries DVD and videos.

You will also find a few music CDs, mainly donated by Real Groove and NZ Symphonic Orchestra.

Have a look next to the library office. Ask the librarian for the CDs.

Click here for the list of all the section’s titles: https://maclic.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/audiobooks-multimedia.pdf