We lately mentioned the popularity of Amazon’s Kindle owner lending library rogram, but iPads and Kindles have another popular lending option that is also exploding. OverDrive reported that traffic to its “virtual branch” websites more than doubled last year, seeing a 130% increase. While much of that increase can be attributed to e-readers, OverDrive also saw a 22% rise in traffic from smartphones and tablets.
The increase in lending might be good news for libraries, but it is unclear whether publishers will find it so. If a lent e-book displaces a sale, as some publishers seem to believe, that means that many more people won’t actually buy their books or e-books. (This is undoubtedly why HarperCollins put a 26-checkout limit on its e-books and Penguin has ceased providing any to libraries at all.)