Time for one of my periodic spins around the virtual bookshelves of the Ontario public library system to report on the state of our ebook collection. Here’s a table showing the growth in availability of ebooks since December last year.

Audio fiction Audio non-fiction Ebook fiction Ebook non-fiction Total
December 2010 4,202 1,060 1,185 139 6,586
February 2011 4,534 1,089 3,297 505 9,425
August 2011 5,197 1,139 5,773 880 12,989

It’s pretty impressive, with the number of books almost doubling in that time period. Also interesting is that the number of fiction ebooks has now surpassed the number of fiction audio books. One thing I’ve noticed about my own use of ebooks is that I’m more likely to pick up non-fiction titles as ebooks than I would in the physical library. I don’t think I’ve ever browsed the non-fiction shelves in the smaller library that I use on a regular basis, and in the larger one I’ve only ever looked at one or two sections. In the virtual library I fall across books that sound interesting more often, even if sometimes the classification seems a bit odd (Zombies: A Hunter’s Guide seems an unlikely candidate for the section on ‘History’, for example, while Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is classified as ‘Non-Fiction’. Or perhaps I’ve become a bit out of touch with the world and it’s my perception that’s the problem. Maybe zombies and sea monsters really are roaming the earth and oceans…).