E-books turn page on reader trends

Online bookselling and e-book downloads are gaining in popularity and prompting public libraries to get with the program.

Online bookselling and e-book downloads are gaining in popularity and prompting public libraries to get with the program.

Regina's main library has adapted to the changing trends in reader behaviour by offering downloadable audio books and e-books from its website. Saskatoon's library also plans on offering those alternatives to physical books.

Though trends are shifting, more people are coming into the library than ever, said Trudy Harder, planning manager for Saskatoon's Frances Morrison Library.

"People still love books and coming in and looking at magazines," said Harder.

Saskatoon's and Regina's central libraries have multimillion-dollar expansion proposals in the works.

David Gerhard, a computer science professor, expects e-books to become the preferred choice for many readers.

"They can make multiple electronic bookmarks," said Gerhard. "They can search through the text to find things. They can do all sorts of stuff that they can't really do with a physical book."

Vianne Timmons, president of the University of Regina, downloads books onto her small electronic Kindle tablet, which is handy for travelling.

The Kindle, from online retailer Amazon, is a portable digital media device commonly used for reading e-books. Sony and other companies also have e-book readers on the market.

"I don't have to carry a pile of books," said Timmons. "I can order them online and read them online."