Buy books, not ebooks

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John F
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Buy books, not ebooks

Post by John F » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:13 am

Once you have a printed and bound book, it's yours until it crumbles, or you do. Not so an ebook, it appears.

Microsoft's Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM
Elena Lacey
July 1, 2019

Your iTunes movies, your Kindle books—they’re not really yours. You don’t own them. You’ve just bought a license that allows you to access them, one that can be revoked at any time. And while a handful of incidents have brought that reality into sharp relief over the years, none has quite the punch of Microsoft disappearing every single ebook from every one of its customers.

Microsoft made the announcement in April that it would shutter the Microsoft Store’s books section for good. The company had made its foray into ebooks in 2017, as part of a Windows 10 Creators Update that sought to round out the software available to its Surface line. Relegated to Microsoft’s Edge browser, the digital bookstore never took off. As of April 2, it halted all ebook sales. And starting as soon as this week, it’s going to remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them.

Other companies have pulled a similar trick in smaller doses. Amazon, overcome by a fit of irony in 2009, memorably vanished copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from Kindles. The year before that, Walmart shut down its own ill-fated MP3 store, at first suggesting customers burn their purchases onto CDs to salvage them before offering a download solution. But this is not a tactical strike. There is no backup plan. This is The Langoliers. And because of digital rights management—the mechanism by which platforms retain control over the digital goods they sell—you have no recourse. Microsoft will refund customers in full for what they paid, plus an extra $25 if they made annotations or markups. But that provides only the coldest comfort...

https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-e ... lypse-drm/
John Francis

jserraglio
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Buy books, not ebooks

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:27 am

John F wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:13 am
Once you have a printed and bound book, it's yours until it crumbles, or you do. Not so an ebook, it appears.
Buy books, borrow ebooks.

Hardcopy only for select books. For the rest, digital copies from lending libraries are an invaluable and space-saving resource.

Impermanency has its uses. I just bought the print copy of David McCullough's Pioneers but am actually reading a library copy on Kindle. Same with Melissa Fleming's Hope More Powerful Than the Sea. Each format has its strengths and weaknesses. Why choose when one can easily enjoy both?

John F
Posts: 20690
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Buy books, not ebooks

Post by John F » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:28 pm

That's more or less what I do: recreational reading (detective stories etc.) and nonfiction of passing interest on Kindle, if it's available from the public library for free in that format. I haven't yet actually bought an ebook.
John Francis

jserraglio
Posts: 5570
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Buy books, not ebooks

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:22 pm

John F wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:28 pm
I haven't yet actually bought an ebook.
I bought only one, Things Fall Apart and then only to sync it with an audiobook. But I also bought the print edition. Having loaded up on Barnes and Noble, Manhattan remainders and close outs, I woke up one day to discover I owned thousands of books, including several hundred first editions and early printings.

My favorite book moment was encountering my little daughter holding up the boards of a 1767 edition of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding which she had detached from its binding while exclaiming, "Daddy, you have lots of old books!"

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