Saturday, March 1, 2014

Musings: Why Ebooks are Not Real Books to Me (Yet)

Don't let the title fool you into thinking I'm anti-ebook; I think ebooks have a lot of good. They allow poor people to publish books (like An Excuse For Company), giving indie authors an actual method to get their stories out (Hi! Thanks for letting me read your stories! They truly are great!). And to reviewers living out of America and Canada, they're the easiest ways that a publisher can use to get an ARC into our hands. But despite all these advantages (and trust me, I love them), I'm not ready to treat ebooks as real books. I tend to keep them separate in my mind.

For one thing, sometimes I don't feel like I own my ebook. True, I'm not using the Kindle, where Amazon has wiped out customer accounts. But I do read DRM locked galleys. And while I'm a plenty fast reader, I can imagine how people who read slowly can't finish the galley before it's expired (and by then, it might be archived!).

Which leads to my next point: You can't share an ebook. Sure, there are gift-ing methods, but how do I lend an ebook to my friend? Right now, I think the only way I could pass a copy on would be to copy it, but that's piracy. But with a printed book, I could just lend that copy to my friend and get it back when it's read. No copying needed.

And this point is quite unrelated, but I've never had a reading slump when it comes to physical books. E-books yeah, but when I think I'm sick of reading, all I need to do is to look for an actually book that doesn't come with distractions like Plants vs Zombies 2 and start reading. I normally find myself wondering why I ever got tired of reading in a few minutes.

So that would be my really short musing on ebooks. It's probably not the last time I'll be thinking about ebooks so look out for a part 2 sometime in the future!

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