eBooks

So there’s a new Kind­le that looks qui­te attrac­tive. Many things on the Kind­le platt­form appe­ar qui­te nice: You can read the Kind­le books on mul­ti­ple devices (the Kind­le app for iPho­ne and iPad just as well as your desk­top and lap­top com­pu­ter) and have your libra­ry avail­ab­le on all devices equal­ly. The way I under­stand it, you even see your own notes and pro­gress on your books on all plat­forms; this is how sto­ra­ge should be done (local copies for off­line, but basi­cal­ly be acces­si­ble from any­whe­re).
And yet, as with many other of the new media con­sump­ti­on gad­gets, you get a big bag of con­cerns that at least still give me second thoughts on all of this.
For one, I don’t want to lea­ve such a well-docu­men­ted trail of what I read, when and for how long. I know that by shop­ping at Ama­zon, I alre­ady lea­ve qui­te the trail about my rea­ding habits, and buy­ing stuff on the Kind­le does not chan­ge that all too drasti­cal­ly. And still, I feel that the more data Kind­le trans­fers to Ama­zon, the less com­for­ta­ble I am with rea­ding stuff on such an elec­tro­nic gad­get.
Also, we’ve seen that Ama­zon is able to chan­ge the libra­ry on the Kind­le without your appro­val or inter­ac­tion. This gives an ent­i­re­ly new mea­ning to the con­cept of „purcha­sing a book.“ It’s actual­ly much more like a public libra­ry: You pay for the pri­vi­le­ge of being allo­wed to read a book, but only litt­le of the expe­ri­ence is under your con­trol.
And that brings us around to the next point: I want to be able to pass on books. Once I’ve read them, I want to have some­bo­dy else have them. Or I want to be able to loan them; eit­her just for an after­noon of leisu­re or for others to com­ple­te­ly read tho­se books. That’s just not pos­si­ble on the Kind­le. But then, I also think that it’s not pos­si­ble on iBooks, so that levels the play­ing field.
For the time being, I just might be stuck with paper books.

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