Tag Archives: worldreader

E-Readers Creating Book Lovers in Kenya

Students in Kenya proudly display their new E-readers provided by Worldreader.org.

Worldreader is cracking the code for E-reader usage in Kenya.

If you’ve traveled in the developing world, or even in the most rural parts in the West, you know that cellphone technology is often more widely available than land-line communications.  It’s simply more affordable to build a cellphone tower than to hard-wire every building in town, resulting in cellphone usage that “leapfrogs” ahead of regular phones.

We’re starting to see the same thing happen with library construction in some parts of the developing world.  Although libraries and librarians are desperately needed throughout the developing world, in some cases E-readers can “leapfrog” the proliferation of the printed book.

It’s not that simple, of course, as language, technology, power-grid and many other issues pose significant barriers to the widespread usage of E-readers in the developing world.

Turning Kids into Book Lovers

But as you can read in this blogpost, non-profit Worldreader is starting to really tackle those challenges.

“Yesterday was the first day that I witnessed the kids getting to explore the e-readers on their own.  It was magical.”

As we say at GoneReading, more reading is always better, and Worldreader is absolutely getting it done by pushing the envelope and figuring out new ways to bring the magic of reading into the most underdeveloped corners of the world.

Just as in the developed world, the proliferation of E-readers only increases the need for libraries and librarians, it doesn’t replace them.  But E-readers can play an incredible complementary role, resulting in a sum that is greater than the parts.  Libraries + librarians + E-readers might just be the next killer app, so to speak.

Keep an eye on Worldreader.  I can assure you that GoneReading will be doing the same!

You can read more about Worldreader in eBookAnoid.

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Hey book lovers, flatter us by subscribing to this blog.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to fund libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world.

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Reading Is Evolving – And That’s A Good Thing

"The Evolution of Reading" merchandise now available for purchase at GoneReading.com. All profits benefit literacy.

The publishing world is in an upheaval, Borders has filed for Chapter 11, and libraries are struggling to maintain their funding.  All true, but none of these facts are evidence that reading itself is on the decline.

It’s evolving, for sure.  But I hear a lot of false speculation that reading as an activity is doomed to plummet along with sales of the printed book.

To the contrary, here is my three-step argument that reading will thrive in the years to come:

  1. eReader ownership is growing at a meteoric rate, with 12% of adults claiming to own such a device, double that of just six months ago.  This trend is not going to stop anytime soon.
  2. eBook sales are skyrocketing, with Amazon now reporting that eBook sales actually outpace that of printed books.  Again, it’s hard to see this trend slowing down anytime soon.
  3. People read more once they convert to an eReader, as shown by two independent studies in this article, as well in this release by researcher Harris Interactive.

If these three statements are true, and it’s hard to find arguments against any one of them, it seems blindingly clear that reading has a solid future.  Publishers, printers, bookstores and libraries all have their challenges ahead of them.

But reading itself stands to prosper.

More Reading Is Always Better

We have a saying at GoneReading that more reading is always better, regardless of the content or format.  And the fact is that eReaders will play a dramatic role in increasing readership in every corner of the world.

The positive implications for the developing world are unprecedented.  Just as cell phone technology has leapfrogged landlines in the developing world, eReaders can leapfrog the printed book with stunning results.  Non-profits such as WorldReader are adapting and testing eReader technology to bring the magic of reading to places where the printed book has yet to arrive.

Lastly, there’s also a strong case to be made that eReaders are better for the environment than the printed book.

My Conclusion

No one loves the printed book more than myself; I’m fortunate enough to own hundreds of them, and I have yet to buy an eReader.

But our sentiments can’t stop technologies from evolving and improving.  Despite the pain these changes effect in the short run – and they are heart wrenching changes for many people in the industries mentioned above – the evolution of reading is good for the world.

Feel free to prove me right or wrong by commenting below!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this little article, please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
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