It's not only e-books that can be changed. Any edition apart from the first might be.
Still, once that book, text book or otherwise, it does not change, it does not just go away, and you can trade or sell it whenever you want
Schools already loan devices. Kids are assigned a device the same way they are assigned a textbook that must be returned. I know they are doing it with iPads and I can probably find a link given a little time.
I know people have a romantic soft spot for books, as do I,, but I'm currently sitting next to over 300 books in a device the size of a piece of toast so I'm not as concerned as I was before about the decline of printed books. I'm also someone who is starting to have trouble with my eyesight and I welcome the ability to make text larger and smaller with the touch of a button (or screen). I think eventually these devices will be very cheap or free and available to all just like our local libraries.
One for the books as shopping centre opens a new chapter
September 7, 2012
Carolyn Webb/the AGE
Melbourne Central's Justin Shannon in the Little Library at the shopping centre that operates on an honour system. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer
AMID the hundreds of retail outlets clamouring for your dollar at Melbourne Central shopping centre is an unlikely balm for the soul.
The centre's owners, the GPT Group, have quietly set up a free lending library. It's proved a hit and it's here to stay. At first glance the Little Library - on a busy level-two through-way from Swanston Street to the station - seems full of dog-eared 1970s potboilers.
It's an interesting concept and … worthy of thinking about for other centres.
A closer scan of the shelves yesterday revealed a biography of war hero Sir Edward Dunlop; Kevin Morgan's Gun Alley, about a 1920s Melbourne murder; the Michael Connelly crime novel Lost Light; and Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex.
But today the titles could be different, says Melbourne Central general manager Justin Shannon. In the first two weeks after it opened two months ago, the library turned over about 500 books. The first 1000 came from an appeal for donations via Facebook and Twitter, and GPT bought other books from op shops.
The idea was inspired by a US movement to set up free boxes of books in suburbs and towns. Little Library users can borrow with no fee, paperwork or overdue fines. They are asked to either return the book or to donate books from home.
Mr Shannon said it is a community service, deliberately sited in a prime spot. But he also believes it attracts new customers as a ''point of difference'' from other shopping centres and online retailers.
''Melburnians love these quirky little spaces,'' he said. ''They love their laneways and this integrated perfectly.''
Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman was astounded.
''I have never heard of the concept before,'' he said. ''I'm going to go down and have a look. To bring something quirky in and do something different I think can only help the retailers already in that shopping centre.
''It's an interesting concept and … worthy of thinking about for other centres.''
Shahri, a saleswoman at Hart & Heim, a gift shop next to the library, said: ''We love it here. I think it gives people that might be drifting alone somewhere to stop and appreciate. I think a lot of guys go over there while their girlfriends shop. People stop and take photos, they're quite excited about it.''
Paul Allan, 50, a student who lives in the city, is staying in a hostel while looking for permanent housing, so using the library means he doesn't need to lug books around. On his way to class, he often grabs a book to read over coffee in the nearby food court.
Yesterday he brought back two novels, and borrowed Irish academic Brian Keenan's true story of being kidnapped in Lebanon, An Evil Cradling.
''This is about the third time I've brought books back. It's a great idea,'' he said.