Why I Refuse to BUY EBooks

Submitted by dlnieman on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 00:36
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I looked at a Nook on a recent trip to Barnes and Noble. Immediately I could see some real reasons why I like the idea of eBooks. I like the idea of loading two or three books on an eReader before going on vacation. My wife can attest to the fact that it would limit the weight of the luggage that we bring on a trip.

I like the idea of reading in the dark, when I have insomnia. I could sit in bed and read from a well-lit screen.

I also like the idea of being able to manipulate font sizes so that I would not have to tote around a large print book again.

However I will never, never BUY an eBook. I could give romantic reasons as to my decisions; the smell of new books, padded covers of collector's editions etc. Yet these are not the reasons that I would never BUY an eBook. I would never buy an eBook, because the book would never be permanent. What do you buy when you BUY an eBook? You buy the rights to download the eBook to a portable device or to a PC.

What's wrong with this? The books I buy I do not buy to hold temporarily. I don't buy bestsellers. I don't buy the next big thing. I buy books that I plan to keep for a lifetime. EBooks are the antithesis of this. Individuals who buy eBooks don't plan on keeping them forever; filling Kindle after Kindle with classics; libraries of flash drives alphabetized.

We talk about many aspects of ebooks, but we say little about the fact that we never buy an eBook really. We buy the temporary. It's the epitome of planned obsolesce. The writers, the patrons, the libraries pay through the nose and the only ones who make the money are the multinational conglomerates who will continue to control the purse strings of book publishing and distribution.