Photo via Robert Nelson
Looking for something to put on your e-reader? Random House recognizes the expanding e-book market and is digitizing thousands of books.
The move helps minimize the use of paper, ink, transportation emissions and all the other elements of the heavy carbon footprint associated with printing. And it also means a far larger selection of titles for e-readers, which means a bigger incentive for people to look into getting the bookish gadget.
The numbers are showing that this move is about as savvy as a book business can get right now. Random House has 8,000 books in electronic format and ready for download already, and plans to have more than 15,000 titles in their e-library. Within a few months, thousands of titles will be added to the growing selection. And with good reason:
Random House's vice president for digital operations, Matt Shatz, says e-book sales have increased by triple digit percentages in 2008, thanks in part to Amazon.com's Kindle reader, but he declined to offer specific number.
Even without a specific number, triple digit percentages is pretty telling.
While e-readers are still a really small market, it is a market that is on the uptake. And while the exact impact on the environment is yet to be known, using a single electronic device (with the possibility of being recharged with renewable energy) is better than buying a new printed book every time you’re in the mood to read. However, it has yet to prove itself greener than a the public library – an institution that minimizes consumerism in general.