Thursday, 3 November 2011

10 reasons this man is giving up his Amazon Kindle

November 01, 2011 By Ellen Roseman, Toronto Star 
A reporter tries out a new $79 Kindle reader, Amazon's cheapest model ever, at a news conference during the launch of Amazon's new tablets in New York, September 28, 2011.
A $79 Kindle reader, Amazon's cheapest model, at a launch of Amazon's new tablets in New York, September 28, 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.

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