Books vs eBooks

recite-1l27nz1Such a true statement, and yet, people often ask us if we’re seeing a decline in readers of actual books at the library. It’s actually quite a balanced answer: people who read traditional books are often also reading eBooks. If the world had been taken over by eBooks, we would have seen huge evidence of that by now, I think.

However, that being said, there is an interesting statistic that has come up recently regarding people who do download eBooks. It seems that more and more people are purchasing cheap eBooks…and yet, not reading them.

The people at Kobo delved into the statistics last year, and found that 60% of eBooks sold through their company were never even opened. Sixty percent. That’s a lot of books. And the more expensive the book was to begin with, the more likely someone would at least open it. So, are cheap books really benefiting anyone?The trend seems to be on buying these digital books when they’re offered as promotions, but maybe it’s simply the old adage “out of sight, out of mind”, that makes people ignore the books once purchased. They’re not sitting out in plain sight on our shelves as eBooks, and so, tend to be forgotten.

This could be why Amazon’s new plan to pay authors for the number of pages read–instead of for the entire book sold–is bothering a lot of people. If readers are downloading books because they are being offered at a reduced rate…and then not reading them at all, the authors will lose out. Effectively, it looks like Amazon will be the big winner here.

Unless the world and environment deems we cannot physically make books anymore, I think the digital world of reading, and the traditional world will not collide or overrun one another.

Have you ever purchased an eBook and not read it?

Writing at the Library

NOVELYes, we’re going to write books again in November at the library! It’s a long, difficult process, so we’re getting ready starting with a workshop on Sept., 29th from 6-7pm to find out how.

We have an active adult writing group that has been meeting, learning, and challenging themselves for over a year now, and we’d love to have new members. Plan on coming to the meeting to see how to prepare for writing your first novel (or your 5th), and get to know some fantastic local writers who are working at their craft, just like you!

No registration required. We’ll see you at the meeting!

Going Against The Norm?

ugJust when you thought the world of picture books couldn’t change, along comes BUG IN A VACUUM by super Canadian children’s book author, Melanie Watt. Watt is famous for her fantastically original and funny SCAREDY SQUIRREL and CHESTER books, and now with BUG, she deals with the five stages of loss in a completely new way. What has she done? Written a 96-page picture book. 96 pages……and every single one of them is brilliant!

After discussing “typical” books with our writers here at the library, I am going to have to bring this to our next meeting to show them they can write outside the box…..if they do it right. Of course, Watt has a host of successful books to her name already, so doing something a bit different (a typical picture book is about 24 pages) is okay. Publishers are more willing to take a chance on a unique book when they know the author’s reputation will make sales.

All strange facts about this book aside, it is another unique and endearing story from Melanie Watt, spurred on by an adorable and ambitious little fly and a cute little dachshund waiting in the wings. Of course, the lessons learned about grief are also well addressed here, but children will love the story regardless of the message.

Looking for a great gift for a slightly older picture book reader? This is it. BUG IN A VACUUM will be one we can’t keep in the library for very long.

Nerd Herd Gathering

28187This month, our Nerd Herd Teen Book Club has been reading Rick Riordan’s THE LIGHTNING THIEF, the first in the Percy Jackson series. We’re getting ready for our meeting today from 4-5:30pm, and we anticipate a lot of discussion about this one.

Will it be the first book we all agree on?

nerdIf you have teens aged 12 and up who would like to become a part of our Nerd Herd, they can drop by the meeting today–whether they’ve read the book or not–for some lively discussion, some crazy games…and snacks. Will there be blue cupcakes today? Only time will tell……

The Nerd Herd is getting ready for an exciting fall, including a Skype author visit with Kelly Loy Gilbert in October, and a party in late November. How could you not want to be a part of this?



This past weekend, I was watching a movie when a trailer at the beginning caught my attention. It was for GOOSEBUMPS, the Movie, coming out October 16 in theatres.

R.L.Stine is the author of the well-loved scary series called GOOSEBUMPS, and I know these are super popular in our library, so I was intrigued by the trailer. However, it surprised me that the movie immediately referenced the books…something which I’m pretty sure the books don’t do, so I wondered what this was going to be about. Apparently, the movie is not so much an adaptation of the popular series, but something that is counting on the popularity of the series to sell tickets.

Will it be scary? Probably. Will kids flock to the theatres to see it?  I’m not so sure…with a cast that looks a little older than the kids at which the books are aimed, I think maybe they hit the market a little bit off. Think your teen will want to go and see a movie called Goosebumps? No matter how much they loved the series growing up, I’m betting on no.

Maybe this will prove me wrong.


watchmanWe now have two copies of Harper Lee’s GO SET A WATCHMAN circulating at the Carleton Place Public Library. While reviews have been less than stellar online, the book is certainly gaining some conversation. And whether or not Lee wanted this book out there or not is something maybe we’ll never know. However, it seems there might be another–or two more–manuscript(s) that were locked away in Lee’s vault.

Apparently, WATCHMAN was found by Harper Lee’s lawyer Tonya Carter in a vault where Lee’s sister’s items were kept. There are rumors of another story called THE REVERAND, that hasn’t yet been released, and the possibility of the third book that will bridge the story between TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and GO SET A WATCHMAN.

If found, it’s likely this book will also make it to publication, if only because Lee’s fans demand it. It’s not clear why none of these other books were released after MOCKINGBIRD, but it’s likely Lee did not feel they were ready, and simply wanted to stay out of the limelight. Such is the difficulty for some authors who have books rise to popularity. It will be interesting to see how this all comes out in the end.

Have you read WATCHMAN yet? If so, do you want more from Harper Lee? Let us know in the comments what you think.

Are you Anticipating?

underI was slow to pick up Patrick deWitt’s award winning THE SISTERS BROTHERS, but loved it. Witt’s story was everything I thought as Western wouldn’t be–funny, full of endearing characters, and enlightening.

So, when I saw that his newest book UNDERMAJORDOMO MINOR is coming out this fall, I immediately put in on my to-be-read list. Points for weirdest title ever aside, this book is billed as a fable without a moral about a man named Lucy who becomes the Undermajordomo of the Castle von Aux. With adventure, a mystery, and a double murder,  I expect it to be as surprising as the last. deWitt will probably earn some more awards for his skillful writing, and creative characters, so if you haven’t read anything by this Canadian author, put this on hold now, or pick up THE SISTERS BROTHERS.  You won’t be disappointed.