Dylan Love admits that he was wrong to hate ebooks and that they’re pretty awesome. This came a month after explaining why he hates them.

I have to admit that I have been coming around on them, DRM and all. I bought Clancy a Kindle last Christmas. She never really used it and when somebody stepped on it and broke it, I considered junking the idea until Clancy said she was really ready to give it a go. So we got another one and since Lain was born, she’s been using it a lot. Kindles, as it turns out, are much better for one-handed reading.

I still consider the DRM to be problematic. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why it’s there. But it makes me much more price-conscious than I otherwise would be. The DRM that comes with the books makes it so that I never feel like I am buying anything and adjusting my price-point accordingly. I am typically uncomfortable spending more than $5 on an ebook, while I will gladly spend twice that for a book that I own.

In a way, this is highly illogical. It means that I mostly get inexpensive books that haven’t gone through all of the big publisher filter. So often I don’t know what I’m going to get. I forgo books I know I’ll enjoy in favor of risks. I am about a third a way through a book that is truly dreadful. Unlike a bad song or a bad TV show, that is a considerable time investment that I could have saved for under $5.

And yet, I don’t plan to change any time soon. For $10 or more, I want something I can freely loan out. Considering how much more generous the economics of ebooks are compared to print-publishing, the few times I have spent more than $5 I would have felt ripped off if they hadn’t been gift purchases for Clancy. This way, even if I bite the bullet on a bad novel, I am at least supporting authors and small publishers that are pricing these books how I think they should be priced.

Perhaps the greatest thing about going through Amazon, though, is the synchronization between devices. It’s really nice to be able to switch between my tablet, an ereader, and my smartphone. With baby in hand, I sometimes have to go with whatever is nearby. It’s great being able to pick up where I left off. I collected a bunch of free books from the Gutenberg Project and other sources, but since Lain was born have found them to be less than useful. So I end up picking up a free copy of the same text from Amazon itself.

Last year, my father bought an “ereader” that was aligned with B&N. It was technically a tablet, but the makers (Pandigital) did everything they could to hobble the device to the point that all you could really do is read books, surf the web, and maybe listen to music. When I got home, I tried to set him up with the Amazon appstore, but it was locked down. There is a way to circumvent that, but when I asked Dad if he wanted me to try even though it could result in a disabling of the device (or more likely, my having to take it back home to Arapaho and experiment with it), he figured one in the hand was two in the bush.


Category: Theater

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