Ebook dilemma


So, if I have the choice between:
-item 1: ebook for the Kindle, 7 euros. DRM-protected, MOBI format , found only after extensive search (amazon turned out to be the only seller I’ve found which would take my French money for this particular ebook). Can be lent to friends exactly once in the entire lifetime of the book. And, of course, my ebook reader doesn’t read MOBI, so we’re looking at cracking the DRM on my own ebook and converting it to epub via Calibre, probably losing a lot in the process (and, er, not exactly doing legal things, even though I wouldn’t be distributing the de-DRMed ebook).

-item 2: physical book. 5.50 euros including P&P. Fully owned by yours truly, lendable to whom I feel like it, as many times as possible. Can be dropped in the bath, lost in transit, etc.

What on earth makes you think I’m going to pick item 1 over item 2, exactly?

(yes, I know, item 1 takes up less space. But also can be lost when my hard disk crashes)

In other, less ranty news, I am now a proud subscriber to the digital edition of Locus, and it rocks. No more waiting a full month to get it, no more lost issues–and way cheaper than the international subscription for something I don’t keep around anyway (and before you ask, it comes in epub format, without DRM).


  1. Convenience, obviously!


  2. You see, this is exactly what still bugs me about ebooks. When I pay for a book, I want to OWN it. Read it where I want, when I want, lend it to whom I want for as long as I want, and give it to a second-hand bookshop when I’m done with it so other people can enjoy it. Or, if I keep it, I want to be able to read it in fifty years time after, say, the Kindle and all who sail in her are long, long outdated. Damn you ebook publishers, if you’d let me own what I’m paying for, I’d invest! Even the RIAA lets me own mp3s, damnit!

    (Sorry about the rant, but it seemed like it kind of fit the post…)

  3. Rob :=) Yeah. As Patrick Nielsen Hayden said some years back: an ebook sort of does all the things a paperback does–except worse.
    Dylan: seems to me this is a perfect place for a rant like this 🙂

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