The Dedicated eReader Lives

The dedicated eReader (with its pitiful eInk screen and inability to do little other than read books) was supposed to join the GPS unit, the MP3 player, and the camcorder in the dustbin of history, buried by tablets and smart phones. According to a study from eMarketer, however, there's still life in the old device yet.

The article predicts eReader use will increase by 3.5%. While the tablet market is far larger and expected to grow by 4.7% in the same time span, the eReader isn't disappearing yet: "the age of users is shifting for ereaders. This year, baby boomers will be the most likely ereader users, with 44.0% of internet users in that generation using the devices." 

That dedicated eReader has some advantages in price point, ease of reading in some light conditions, and battery life is no news to librarians, who have helped many an older reader learn to use devices given to them by their children or grandchildren. This study highlights the continuing need to improve the library eBook experience, not only from apps but from our catalogs, using APIs to provide as few clicks and the most direct experience from the library's site as possible, so that all our readers can get content as easily as possible.