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That’s not my book! The problem with e-reading

November 6, 2012

I have a bit of a storage problem.  I always have, even when my father-in-law built the wall of bookshelves, but now that the house is sold (hurray!) and my daughter and I are in a miniscule 2-bedroom apartment, the storage problem is…noticeable.  I mean, like, the little hallway to the bedrooms is half its usual size because there are boxes of books lines up down it.

That’s not even all of them.  About 95% of my husband’s books are in storage while he’s away training, and I put several boxes of books I haven’t read into storage as well, keeping only the top hundred or so books I THINK I might read over the next year.  God, that sounds so gross.  I’m not a shopper, not a stuff-wanter, -buyer, or -haver.  Except when it comes to books.

You’d think e-reading would be the perfect solution for me, and yet…the problem here is that I don’t feel like I own the books.  I mean, the Kindle ones.  You’re basically licensing them, not buying them–you know that, right?  All the classics I’ve gotten from Project Gutenberg–okay, I feel like they’re mine.  But the rest, I feel like they can be taken away from me at any time.


This is an example that proves that while we believe we are buying books, they can be taken from us at any time.  Can you imagine going to your local bookstore and then them coming into your house to take your books back?  That’s where I feel we are with e-books right now.  I’m really into the Song of Ice and Fire books right now, but I cannot imagine making a purchase, even the cheaper mass purchase of them, without the guarantee that they will STAY ON MY GOSHDARN DEVICE.

And so.

I am giving serious thought to seeing how many of the classics I have in tattered conditioned can be switched over to a reliable e-format, but for right now, I’m not really buying anything.

Because I’m afraid.

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