Tuesday, November 08, 2011

10 reasons this man is giving up his Amazon Kindle

Sorry I’m so late today. We had the launch of my latest book, Orchestrated Murder, last night and it took me several hours to unwind afterwards, so I got off to a very late start this morning.

The following is something I found, and serendipitously it fits in beautifully with some recent posts on Type M, especially Aline’s from yesterday.

While I don’t think that e-books are going to disappear, the following article that first appeared last week is quite interesting. I hope our readers find it so, too!

November 01, 2011

I’m a fan of electronic readers. So, I was surprised to hear that Jim Edmonds has had enough of his Amazon Kindle after using it for two years.

He gave me 10 reasons why he’s going back to physical books.(Some reasons have more to do with the Kindle than with other models.)

1) You don’t actually own the e-books you buy. They’re only licensed for you to use on a Kindle and/or Kindle software.

2) Amazon tracks what you read on your Kindle (as outlined in its terms of service agreement).

3) Most e-books have DRM (digital rights management) and can only be used on a specific device, such as the Kindle or the Nook (from Barnes and Noble in the U.S.)

4) You can’t donate, resell or give away e-books that you’ve bought.

5) You can lend some e-books once, but only if the author or publisher allows it. Most don’t.

6) You have no way of knowing that the e-books you’re buying will work on any other device in the future. You might have to repurchase them to use on another device.

7) Prices for e-books are going up. They sometimes cost more than a regular book

8) E-books usually have more errors in them than physical books do.

9) Your local libraries may have a limited selection of e-books. And the waiting list for e-books may be longer than for physical books.

10) Your local library may not have e-books in its catalogue before they’re released, so you can't get onto a waiting list in advance (but only after release).

Edmonds often sends me his comments. He’s president of Fellowes Canada, which specializes  in records storage, shredding machines and computer accessories.
I’d argue with him about his seventh point. E-book prices are going up, but only because publishers are flexing their muscles and dictating what Amazon, Kobo, Sony and Apple can charge. They felt Amazon’s early pricing was predatory.

The $9.99 price isn’t as widespread as it once was, but it’s still around. And I’ve never seen an e-book that costs more than a physical book, unless it’s an esoteric title.

Meanwhile, I’d agree with him that e-books often have errors. And I’ve had some bad experiences when my reader stopped working.

Recently, my Sony Reader was replaced with a later model. I kept all the e-books I’d purchased (a few dozen), but lost all my bookmarks during the transition.

As a result, I couldn’t pick up where I’d left off and had to search for the spots where I’d stopped reading. I doubt that would happen with cardboard bookmarks inside traditional books.

Amazon launched its first Kindle in late 2007. We’re still discovering how this new business works and how it may evolve. And thanks to Edmonds, we have a list of reasons why e-books may not be everyone’s choice.


David said...

Re Kindle e readers.
For me, most of the advantages of reading from a kindle compensate for the disadvantages as have been mentioned.
So far, each book I have ordered for the kindle has been cheaper than the current printed version.
The kindle has the ability to alter the font size. Many books are printed in a small font.
The kindle has its own e book marker. Mark the page and return right away the next time.
The kindle has the ability to download a free sample chapter of a book you are thinking of purchasing.
The kindle is very lightweight, an advantage on carrying a hard back tome, while travelling.
BUT!!! the kindle will never replace the buzz of spotting a book in a book store, purchasing, and carrying it home.
So I have found that I can have my cake and eat it. But sometimes, it doesnt taste quite as sweet as I first imagined.

Rick Blechta said...

David, I’m just playing devil’s advocate here. You’re right. There are lots of advantages to e-readers and traveling is an especially huge benefit if you have one.

I thought this was an interesting article since everything we see these days is about the death of books and how wonderful e-readers are. Like anything else, there are up sides and down sides.

Thanks for weighing in with your thoughts!

Anyone else?