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Digital Textbooks Are Evolving College Students Learning Experiences: BISG Report

BISGDigital textbooks are changing the way that college students obtain books and the way that courses are structured, according to BISG’s fourth annual report Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, Volume 4,

The research tracks and analyzes how students and faculty members obtain, consumer and teach educational content in multiple media formats. According to the report, students usage of textbooks is declining slightly while online study guide usage is slowly gaining momentum. In addition, students revealed that they are always on the hunt for low cost and free ways to get course materials, from scanning copies of their friends’ books to downloading pirated copies of textbooks illegally.

Here is more from the press release: “Instructors report much higher levels of assigned textbooks than do students, while the percentage of students who actually purchase their books is lower still, perhaps as students ultimately are the ones to decide whether the value of a ‘required’ textbook justifies the cost.”

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Libraries Are Challenged by eBook Business Model: Study

logo-iflaWhile more libraries in the U.S. are buying and distributing eBooks to patrons, the business model still needs to be worked out,  according to a new study by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Unlike the print book business model, in which libraries buy a certain amount of books for a set price and distribute those texts widely, most digital content is licensed with specific conditions about when and where it can be distributed. According to the report, libraries are struggling with “an inability to guarantee library user access to otherwise commercially available eBooks with reasonable pricing and acceptable use conditions.”

Here is more from the report:

…libraries continue to have to deal with imposed and inflexible terms and conditions, some of which impede legislated copyright exceptions. As a result, efforts are underway in university libraries to retain the right to interlibrary loan through piloting controlled access to researchers outside the institution with the content licence. Such pilots have sought publisher consent.

 

Study Claims That Reading Harry Potter Makes Kids More Gay Friendly

hpReading Harry Potter books can make kids more gay friendly argues a new paper by Italian researchers, published online recently in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

New York has the scoop: “In one study, researchers gave high school kids in Northern Italy two questionnaires: one asked about the books they’d read (both Potter and non-Potter) and the other was meant to gauge their attitudes toward gay people. As it turns out, the kids who were bigger Potterphiles — and who identified with the eponymous character — were also more likely to have positive feelings toward gay individuals.”

New York points out that outside factors could also be at play. For instance, Harry Potter readers could come from more liberal families since some religious groups have criticized the series.

Only 17% of Parents Say Reading is Top Priority This Summer: Study

bebooksmartOnly 17 percent of parents say reading is a top summer priority. This depressing news is according to a new survey from Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s. Harris Interactive surveyed more than 1,000 parents with children ages 5-11 online in April to come to this conclusion.

The research also found that kids spend almost three times as many hours a week watching TV or playing video games as they do reading in the summer months. In fact, kids spend an average 17.4 hours a week watching TV or playing video games and only 5.9 hours a week on average reading. The study did reveal that parents who emphasize reading are twice as likely to have a child that reads every day. For those kids that do read, the research found that 83 percent prefer print books to eBooks.

To help promote summer reading and literacy in general, Macy’s and RIF have launched their 11th annual Be Book Smart campaign today. The effort encourages Macy’s customers to donate $3 at any Macy’s store register which will help fund children’s literacy efforts. Shoppers that do so will get $10 off a purchase of $30 or more. The campaign runs through July 13.

The Self-Published Book Market Grew 79% in the UK in 2013: Nielsen

nielsenbooksSelf-publishing is taking off in the UK. In fact, the self-publishing market grew by 79 percent in 2013 in the UK, according to new research presented by Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book, at the Literary Consultancy conference this morning in London.

The Guardian has the scoop: “With print sales falling by 10% last year, and book purchasing as a whole down 4%, ebook sales continue to grow, according to Nielsen’s comprehensive tracking of book purchases, up 20% in the UK in 2013, with 80m ebooks bought by UK consumers, to a value of £300m. But it is the DIY market which is showing the most eye-watering growth, up 79% to 18m self-published titles purchased, worth £59m, according to the statistics released on Friday.”

While self-published books are on a rising trajectory, they still only represent a small portion of the overall publishing market in the UK.  In fact, according to the report, this portion of the market only accounts for 5 percent of the total books bought and only 3 percent of the money spent on books last year. However Nielsen expects these numbers to continue to grow.

 

 

eBooks Expected to Outsell Print in the UK by 2018: Report

samsungkindleeBooks will outsell print books in the UK by 2018, according to a new report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The company made the prediction based on the fact that the eBook market is growing steadily in the UK. According to the report, eBooks represented 18 percent of all book revenue last year and this will grow to 41 percent by 2018.

“The entertainment and media industry is at the forefront of the digital revolution, because so many of its products and services can already be delivered in digital form,” stated Phil Stokes, Entertainment and Media lead partner at PwC. ”It may not be long before digital revenues from print, film, publishing and music overtake physical revenues in some markets. Media companies don’t need a digital strategy anymore; they need a business strategy, and a business model, which is fit for the digital age.”

Fewer Kids Are Reading For Fun: Common Sense Media Study

kidreading

Fewer American children are reading for pleasure than they have in the past, according to a new report from Common Sense Media.

The research revealed that the number of nine-year-old kids that read for pleasure once or more per week went from 81 percent in 1984 to 76 percent in 2013. The numbers are worse for older kids. Only about a third of 13-year-olds reported reading for pleasure less than twice a year.

Children who do indulge in reading for pleasure tended to be those kids whose parents read to them and whose parents read themselves. Those kids who are read to spend about 30-60 minutes a day reading.

Print Textbooks Lead to Higher Reading Comprehension Than Digital: Study

ipad304Digital textbooks may not be as powerful of learning tools as print textbooks. According to new research from West Chester University professors Heather Ruetschlin Schugar and Jordan T. Schugar, when middle school students were given the same reading assignment in print versus digital, the readers’ comprehension was higher when they read print books than when they read eBooks.

The professors presented their findings at the American Educational Research Association in Philadelphia. The report suggests that enhancements in eBooks such as games and activities actually take away from reading comprehension.

The New York Times has more: “Such flourishes can interrupt the fluency of children’s reading and cause their comprehension to fragment, the authors found. They can also lead children to spend less time reading over all: One study cited by Ms. Smith and the Schugars reported that children spent 43 percent of their e-book engagement time playing games embedded in the e-books rather than reading the text.”

Rich People Read More Than Poor People in the UK: Booktrust

booktrustSocioeconomic background has a lot to do with how much people read in the UK. According to a new report from Booktrust, which includes survey results from 1,500 adults, the more money you have, the more likely you are to read and vice versa.

Twenty-seven percent of adults from the poorest socio-economic backgrounds revealed that never read books, while only 13 percent of the richest people surveyed admitted to never reading books. In addition, the report found that 62 percent of richest respondents admitted reading daily or weekly, whereas 42 percent of the poorest respondents read that often. Not surprisingly, richer people own twice as many books as poorer people.

Despite discrepancies in access to books and the time spent reading, most of the interview subjects agreed that reading improves their lives. According to the report, 76 percent of survey respondents said that reading improves their lives. Broken down into socioeconomic background, 83 percent of rich adults and  72 percent of poor adults admitted this. (Via The BBC).

Women Still Lag Behind in Book Reviews: VIDA

vidagraphBooks written by women are reviewed on average much less than books written by men, according to the annual VIDA count a report that tracks gender inequality in literary publications.

The organization looked at the number of women whose books were reviewed, as well as the number of female reviewers in 39 literary publications and found that some are more gender balanced than others.  Gender-biased publications included The New York Review of Books which published 212 book reviews written by male reviewers in 2013, and only 52 by female reviewers. In addition, The London Review of Books reviewed 245 books written by men last year and only 72 written by women.

Not every publication was so biased. The Paris Review was very balanced with 47 men and 48 women represented overall. Granta reviewed books by 30 females and 36 males.

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