Abstract : Summary: « Reading ebooks : a new reading contact ? » Since ebook reader software and hand-held dedicated ebook devices have arrived on the market in 1998, they have been heralded for opening new intellectual cognitive pathways. At the same time, alarmist voices have arisen, prophetizing the end of the printed book and of reading traditions. Is the future of reading really at stake ? Reading practices develop within implicit “reading contracts” which define minimal conditions and necessary presuppositions for establishing communication structures between texts, readers and authors. Ebooks with their “invisible” digital format could greatly upset these conventions and fragilise the central role of books in western culture and society. Do ebooks modify or change the different ways of negociating meaning through texts ? Will a new reading contract emerge with these dedicated devices that offer high readability (in the sense of legibility), portability and physical eye comfort ? These issues will be addressed through the results of a recent survey done with public library users of ebooks in the Rhone-Alps region in the first semester of 2002.