May 24, 2022

New Essay Published by First Monday: “E-books: Histories, Trajectories, Futures”

Michael M. Widdersheim, the author of a new essay published in First Monday and linked below, is a Ph.D. student in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

Widdersheim’s essay runs approx 9500 words.

First Monday is a peer-reviewed, open access publication.


E-books: Histories, Trajectories, Futures


Michael M. Widdersheim


First Monday
Vol. 20, No. 6 (2015)


This essay traces the historical trajectory of e-books in the U.S. and imagines their possible futures. Legal, economic, and technical developments that led to contemporary e-books reveal a tension between commercial and non-commercial programming. Commercial e-book designs control end uses, reduce production and distribution costs, stimulate consumption, and monitor user behaviors; however, alternative producers and users on the periphery continue to challenge these centralizing tendencies.

Direct to Full Text Essay

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.