Ebook appreciation month #2: One (e)Book, One City

Ebook appreciation month continues!

One Book, One City events predate the ebook, but technology sure makes it easier to get one book into many hands. In my first ebook appreciation post, I told you how publishers put a damper on ebook borrowing, with limits on how many epub files can be borrowed and for how long. But a big event like this means a city (or its library) can negotiate a deal with a publisher to allow unlimited borrowing, and Edmonton is the first Canadian city to do so.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper is the One Book One Edmonton selection for 2015. If you have a Edmonton Public Library card, you can borrow it. But, you can’t download it to an ereader, so you’re stuck with your phone or tablet. And it’s being released in six parts. The first one is up till the end of the program on November 16, and subsequent parts are available for a week at a time. Part 2 is only available till October 19, so get on it!

At first, I was put off by having to read on my phone. It’s smaller than an ereader, the battery life sucks, and the back-lighting is harsh. However, the BiblioCommons technology on the back end allows you to do this:

Not only can you easily share quotes to social media, but it’s all pretty. In other words: it’s branded, social media-ready content. What if a publisher could do this kind of branding in an ereader? Or an author? Or… a book blogger? Those who clutch their pearls at the thought of ereading must be strangling themselves over this kind of application, but I think it’s got a lot of potential.

Have you participated in a One Book, One City event? Would you post branded quotes to your social media?





  1. ebookclassics

    Is there a reason for releasing the book in parts? File size? I remember when the Toronto library chose The Cellist of Sarajevo for One Book in 2014 they had mass quantities of the paperback available, but not sure about digital copies.

    • lauratfrey

      I think it’s what they negotiated with the publisher. From the library’s point of view the publisher is really concerned with controlling access. That’s a good question though! And from what I understand we are the first to go this ebook route in Canada. NYC and Chicago have done it too. Take that Toronto! 😉

  2. Kristilyn

    I’m loving this read-along! I hope it will happen more … do you know if it’s just a one time thing? I kind of like that they’re releasing it in parts because I can only read on my iPad for so long. It forces me to read so much, then take a break. As it is, I usually read a chapter, then go do something, and repeat. You went to the launch, right? Did you get a physical copy there? I love the look of them … I just wish I wasn’t on a budget!

    EPL also gives you access to Hoopla, which is great. I don’t think there are any limits to how many can download their audiobooks, ebooks, music, movies, etc. Not sure how that works, but I love using that in conjunction with the physical library and Overdrive.

    Overdrive also has the Big Library Read which they do 3-4 times a year. Different genres each time and a fun way to try something new!

    • lauratfrey

      I don’t know if it’s one time. I know we had a One Book One Edmonton thing at least once in the past, in 2007. Hopefully this does well and they do more. Thought I haven’t seen a ton of social engagement… next time if you’re alone in a Twitter chat @ me and I’ll join you!

      They had physical copies at the launch but I didn’t buy one. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to read the book at that point. I was just there to see and be seen, ya know? 🙂

      I need to try Hoopla and do a post on that!

      • Kristilyn

        I KNOW! They had the Twitter chat and I was so disappointed. They asked maybe 3 questions and I was the only person participating. Do #yeg readers just not use social media?

        I miss going to events to see and be seen … I feel so lost these days in the blogging world! I’m trying, though. If only my little would take a bottle and I’d be able to hit up some events, but she won’t, the little bugger. lol

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  4. Naomi

    I would totally post the quotes on social media, if I used more social media! I love that.

    We’re on our fourth One Book Nova Scotia this year. But, in the last two years, I had already read the book before it was announced, so didn’t really ‘read along’ with everyone else.

  5. Rick MacDonnell

    I absolutely love the ability to (attractively) quote pieces of the book on social media. This is the sort of thing that would start to sell me on e-readers. They can’t simply try to replicate the experience of reading the book. If Web 2.0 isn’t involved, then I’m not interested. If there are tools for twitter and blogs and these sorts of things, you’ve got my attention.

    However, until e-readers can produce the smell of a book, I’m not having it haha.

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