ELECTRONIC BOOKS: CONTENT PROVISION AND ADOPTION POSSIBILITIES AMONG USERS IN LATVIA
Introduction. This paper provides a brief summary of the most common advantages and disadvantages of electronic books (ebooks), based on the diffusion of innovation theory. The first part of this research deals with the analysis of Latvian electronic book collections available on the Internet. The second part examines the usability of e-books. Finally, the author suggests ways for more successful adoption of electronic books.
Method. The research was based on content analysis and examines how three different user groups interact with e-books, using verbal protocol (as the main research method) and a questionnaire (as a secondary research method).
Analysis. The following categories were used to perform content analysis of Latvian ebook collections: general information, availability, contents provision and information retrieval possibilities. The verbal protocol data and notes taken during the observation process are transcribed and compared with answers obtained from questionnaires and content analysis.
Results. Content analysis shows there are at least fourteen collections of Latvian e-books available on the Internet, offering a total of 527 e-books. The results from verbal protocols and questionnaires clearly show different expectations of and requirements from e-books among different user groups. These differences are mainly based on the respondent’s age and their different levels of computer skills.
Conclusions. The research shows that the analysed e-books are not suitable for long-term reading. Only successful utilisation of the many e-book advantages could make them more attractive than traditional books.