Monday, July 21, 2014

Amazon Offers Unlimited EBook Subscription

The NYTimes reported that Amazon "introduced a digital subscription service that allows subscribers unlimited access to a library of e-books and audiobooks for $10 a month."

"The service, Kindle Unlimited, offers a Netflix-style, all-you-can-read approach to more than 600,000 e-books. So far, however, none of the five biggest publishers appear to be making their books available through the service. HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster, for example, are not participating, representatives from the three companies confirmed. Penguin Random House and Macmillan declined to comment, but a search on Amazon suggests that they are not making their books available."

This all sounds wonderful, right? And then here it comes - the call to close libraries. "More titles, easier access and quite possibly a saving of public funds. Why wouldn’t we simply junk the physical libraries and purchase an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription for the entire country?"

To that end, I think that the Magpie Librarian responds best. As Magpie points out, public libraries offer far greater services than just access to books. These services include but are not limited to:

  • Adult & child programming
  • A safe environment (for latchkey kids and the homeless)
  • Offer job finding services
  • Lending the very technology that you need to access ebooks (i.e., Kindles)
"I mean, if this unlimited Kindle subscription can not only lend us books, but provide safe places for our kids, educate us, help close the digital divide, provide specialized research assistance, help us in natural disasters, find us jobs, help the homeless population AND lend us free Kindles, then, well damn. I, for one, welcome our Amazon overlords." Thank you, Magpie!

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