Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Library Dilemma Isn't Really a Dilemma

At a recent conference, an elderly lady asked me if my book was in the library. Keep in mind that I was speaking about writing and the book, and the attendees knew that all speakers had their books for sale in the bookstore. The gentle woman was intrigued about my story, but she waits until they are in her library.

She clearly informed me that she doesn't buy books. She checks them out from the library.

I was very polite, and my initial disappointment quickly passed. After all, my intent as a writer is to draw readers to my stories, and if she loves Lowcountry Bribe, she'll most likely look for Tidewater Murder in 2013. Of course, if she loves it, she'll tell her friends, mention it to the librarian, maybe (fingers crossed) leave a review on Amazon.

Upon returning home, however, I stumbled upon a news release. Sponsored by OverDrive with the American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), a survey was completed . . . a huge survey. It constitutes the largest study of library e-book usage ever, with more than 75,000 people responding. Turns out that:
  • Library readers actually BUY 3.2 books per month (print and electronic).
  • Over a third of library readers subsequently purchase a book they've borrowed.
  • These readers usually experiment reading new writers via the library.
  • Over half of the readers are aged 40-64, avid readers.
  • Almost 80 percent of the readers are female.
  • Three-quarters of library readers hold college degrees.
  • Readers are readily borrowing ebooks from the library now, with 84 percent borrowing on their Kindle, Sony Reader or Nook.
From Marketwire press release: The survey took place between June 13 and July 31, 2012, at thousands of OverDrive-powered public library websites in the United States, with 75,384 respondents completing all or part of the survey. The intent of the survey was to gain insight into the borrowing and buying behaviors of library e-book readers and is not representative of the U.S. population as a whole. To see the full survey data, please visit OverDrive's Digital Library Blog. With more than two-thirds of U.S. public libraries participating in OverDrive e-book lending, 87 percent of the U.S. population has access to e-books and audiobooks through this service. To find a library with OverDrive eBooks near you, visit search.overdrive.com.


In my house on Thanksgiving Day, we go around the table and express one thing we're thankful for. So...this Thanksgiving week, I am very thankful for library readers. I am very thankful for librarians. I appreciate the cities, counties and states that continue to fund libraries. And I bow humbly to all the Friends of the Library nonprofit groups that promote, support and assist libraries across the country.

Just take the time to leave a review someplace.

Just remember though, if you borrow your reading material from a library, please take the time to leave a review for the author at Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, a blog or even Facebook. The author will be eternally grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.


8 comments:

Diva J. said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Hope!!!

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Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Honestly, I didn't even know you could borrow an ebook from a library.

More importantly, that photo of the home library is making me drool.

Hope Clark said...

Isn't that library gorgeous? I could live in that room.

Brenda Miller said...

Hi Hope,
This is my first time visiting your blog, I like the format.

I am a frequent user of ebooks from my local library. I am also one of those people who plan on buying the ones I would like to read again. If it is a well written book, I want a copy of it for myself. I also want to read more of the author's work. A bond takes place. I keep a list of my favorite authors and my favorite books.

Hope Clark said...

Brenda, Glad you visited the blog! It's only weekly now (used to be daily) so you don't get overwhelmed. You sound like so many other readers out there, and that's how I've come to respect libraries.

Krysten said...

I don't go to the library too often, but I was always the one buying the book I borrowed and fell in love with. My mom could never understand that when I was a kid. She'd say, "But you already read it." Yep, and....? Ha ha.

Hope Clark said...

There's something about owning a book you love. I do that all the time, so you're not alone. I'm that way with Lee Childs and Lisa Gardner novels.