I want to love E-Books 1


There was a bit of a hullabaloo this past week in the e-book world.  Apple apparently penned some deals with book publishers, and then one book publisher and Amazon have had a spat. *shrug*  None of that is anything I really want to be bothered with.  Instead I simply want to love e-books.  I really do.

To bad I have some problems; price and DRM.

Let’s take DRM first.  When I buy a paper book, I own it. I can loan it to my friends and family, donate it, or even sell it. When I buy a e-book from Amazon its more like an extended rent; I can’t loan it out, donate it, or sell it.   If I can do any of those things please tell me how.

Second we have price.  I am a cheapskate, and I am always looking for deals on books. I frequent used bookstores, borrow from friends, check out from the library, and yes buy new (though I don’t buy hardbacks).  So when I go online and see E-books selling from the same cost as a new paperback or more, I am bit at a loss.

Logic tells me the cost of manufacturing and delivery should be less than paperback and I , the consumer, should see that reflected in the cost of the book.   On top of that the restrictions placed on my usage of the product should also be reflected in a lower cost.  Yet in most cases they are not.

I could deal with the DRM, if the costs to me was lower.  And I could deal with paying full paperback price for an e-book if when I did I got an actually file I could transfer, loan, or sell.   Alas since neither of those are the case, and publishers are trying to find ways to raise prices on e-books, I don’t see myself getting rid of my bookshelves anytime soon.


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One thought on “I want to love E-Books

  • Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    I read Charlie Stross’ blog, and he has been doing a bit of crying about the whole Amazon spat since the publisher who got into the pissing contest carries some of his books. It seems the main point of contention was that Amazon wanted to put a cap on the price of ebooks at $10, but the publisher MacMillan wasn’t happy with that situation.

    I’m with you. I love books but I’m a cheapskate. (It’s what allows me to at least pretend I can do indie game development.) Given the costs of publishing physical books, it does seem a bit strange that not being able to charge more than $10 should be seen as a strain.