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Ebooks – What The World Needs Now

March 1, 2010

I came across a very good article on Paper Not Included today, which covers just about everything I would want to say about the current situation with ebooks.

Why do I use iTunes to download my music instead of torrent sites? Why do I pay for albums instead of typing “band name + torrent” into Google?

First – because it is wrong and illegal, but secondly and perhaps, for many people, more importantly it’s because iTunes is easy. I can buy an album with one click – I don’t have to worry about it being in an odd format that my iPod won’t play, I don’t have to worry about it being a fake file or it being a low resolution thing that sounds bad.

*Click* = *bought*.

I’m not an iTunes fan. I use a variety of places for music downloads, but mostly Amazon.com because a lot of stuff I like never makes it over here. I use Zencast for my podcast subscriptions, and so far I am not attached to any one retailer for ebooks, because I still don’t have an e-reader. A big part of this is because of the proprietary formats – once I choose a reader, I’m also committing myself, at least in part, to a retailer.

If I had the choice, I would like to be able to buy my ebooks, in the format I want (or even better, an open one) from Amazon. I love the site, and the customer experience I have had with them, as a buyer of paper books over the last 10 years. I know what I am dealing with, and I also find that most of the time, their recommendation system will come up with something interesting.

So, if some of the major retailers were to come up with an alternative to the Apple bookstore, which would work for any device, I’d definitely be interested. Especially if they could kill off the regional issue at the same time!

The previous article on the Paper Not Included blog is also highly relevant to me. I really want to make the move to ebooks, but I have at last count, a couple of hundred books I keep around and have read many times. Most of these would not win any literary prizes, but they are the books I turn to again and again, when I need cheering up, or I’ve run out of shiny new ones to read. If I was really ruthless, I could probably cut the selection in half, but it would hurt. My problem is that I really cannot justify spending all that money on ebook versions of these. I don’t think that there’s really a good solution to this – extras would probably push me into buying some of them, but it wouldn’t work for them all.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2010 8:58 pm

    This was pretty good. Keep up the great work!

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