Stiftung Warentest: libraries are in e-book price-performance winner


(Picture: Tolino)

Cheaper to get almost to the e-book: The comparative test by Stiftung Warentest, the digital program of public libraries scores. But in comparison to Internet bookstores and reading flat rates there are some limitations.

The public libraries, not everyone in the search for new e-books on the screen. But the city libraries are the price-performance winner in a comparison of the Stiftung Warentest. As low as the bundled offer of some 3,000 libraries to get somewhere else not to electronic reading material. There are thousands of e-books to borrow for annual fees of 10 to 45 euros.

Moment borrow?

What at first sounds strange and after printed book, also in e-book from the library of the case. Users can borrow usually for 14 to 21 days and lose after this loan period to access the book - until the next loan. Overdraft fees have forgetful users will no longer pay for. Due to licensing issues that actually unlimited duplicable goods e-book is, however, to have in the digital library in limited number. Were merely use rights for three books bought only three library customers can borrow the same time. At coveted titles that can lead to delays. And there's a catch: Owners of Amazon's Kindle get at the library no reading material.

And even if accessible nationwide, you can register as a rule only for the local library. This goes for it in some cities online, in others you have to apply for a membership card on site.

Cheaper than printed books

Compared to the offer of libraries e-book flat rates come off worse, according to the testers. Accordingly, they have significantly less attractive books and are much more expensive. Some high-demand titles is often initially unavailable. The advice: subscription services worth more suitable for heavy readers who like to browse. Advantage of reading flat rate: no waiting time and no loan period.

And who does not find the book you want in the large catalog of libraries or subscription services, is looking for the best in the range of Internet bookseller. Here, however, you pay relatively the highest price. Which is usually but still about 20 percent below that of a printed book. (AP) /(Mho)