Tuesday, December 26, 2017


A couple of weeks ago, I finally gave in an ordered an e-reader, which arrived on the Friday before Christmas. I resisted for many reasons, some of which still bother me:

  • You don't own e-books, you licence them, which means you can't resell, loan, or give them away without breaking the terms of your licence
  • They don't smell right (or at all)
  • You can't fill shelves with them
  • The reading experience is sterile
  • How much electronic waste are millions of generations of e-readers going to generate over the next couple of decades? 
I finally gave in because something I feared eventually happened: some of my favourite authors are no longer publishing traditional books in the physical world. Unless I resort to piracy, I can't read their stuff. 

It was Lois McMaster Bujold who broke me. She's written several new books set in the same fantasy universe as The Curse of Chalion, The Hallowed Hunt, etc., and you can't buy print copies because they don't exist. 

Hence my surrender. To ease the pain, Sylvia bought me a very generous Amazon gift card, which I've used to fill my new Kindle with electronic books. 

I knew it would happen eventually; I just didn't expect it to be this soon. E-books, how does it feel now you've won the war? 


Leslie said...

Ebooks haven't won the war, Earl; they're just another channel for getting content to consumers. Print isn't going anyway anytime soon. Ebook retailers, though — that's a different story.

Never for Ever said...

OH EARL! Why didn't you talk to me first... a Kindle? The evilest of evils. They are so closed off as an ecosystem they make me want to scream. Seriously...I don't care about political bullshit all that much but Amazon's attitude towards ebooks is both predatory and very, very well thought out.

Oh well, your point about them wearing out is well taken and next time you can get something that is epub compliant and we will ...ahem... "convert" your "licensed" acquisitions for the purposes of backup and archival ness and stuff.

And the Penric books are fun. Novellas and short stories are now a big marketing thing to help keep up interest in series...and likely fun for the authors as well.

Never for Ever said...

Oh, and be sure to visit Baen's Free ebook Library. And Buy as many books from Baen (they sell kindle versions) so the $$ goes straight to Publisher and author rather than filling Amazon's pockets

Earl J. Woods said...

All fair comments - I'm just getting more curmudgeonly in my old age, I guess. I'll definitely visit Baen and ask you guys for reader opinions when this thing wears out.