FacultyEnlight

TOOL BOOX AND BIBLIOTECH WORK TO INCREASE THE ACCESSIBILITY OF READING

Last month, we reported an upsurge in e-reading while the popularity of reading in general remained static. However, reading may see a spike in the near future as one county in Texas and one start-up in Israel blaze a digital path to greater accessibility for readers.

Israel-based Tool Boox is an e-bookstore that lets you pay per page you read rather than per book you download. While this may sound like a publisher’s worst nightmare, Tool Boox Founder and CEO Yoav Lorch told Mashable he believes “buying creates a barrier” and trusts this new platform will encourage more readers to try a greater variety of books. Students and researchers may especially benefit from being able to access pertinent articles and book chapters at a fraction of the cost of an entire book. According to Mashable, “It’s easy to imagine a system — perhaps subsidized by university libraries — where they could pay for just the portion they need.”

University subsidies may be exactly what Bexar County, Texas needs to make good on plans to launch BiblioTech, the first all-digital public library system in the US. CNET reports that while many libraries already allow people to download digital books, the residents, students and faculty members in Bexar County, including all of San Antonio, will be able to check out actual e-reading devices. While the project will certainly be expensive, BiblioTech’s chief architect, Judge Nelson Wolff, insists it will only enhance rather than replace the traditional library system. BiblioTech and Tool Boox share a common goal of making it easier for people to get their hands and eyes on books. Any way you look at it that spells good news for readers.