Especially when you possess more books than most county libraries.
|This is just the foyer area...|
Floor to ceiling, baby
I more than once heard exasperated friends (who’d I'd roped into helping me lug boxes around) ask whether I’d ever heard of eBooks.
Why yes. Yes I have.
See, I’m not really a Luddite. I have the smart phone, I do the Twitter thing (I still think people who tweet should be called twits, just saying)
But gosh darn it, I want to FEEL pages when I read a book. I love the wood pulp smell of my old battered paperbacks, and the dusty tang of all those gilt-edged hardbacks.
And there’s a part of me that doesn't entirely trust digital media.
Not the content, but the technological architecture and it’s susceptibility to manipulation by anyone with either power or an agenda. Since eBooks are a post-Napster commercial enterprise, the architecture is “locked”.
As opposed to, say, MP3s.
You can make MP3s to your heart’s content. There’s nothing really stopping you from playing, copying, distributing or sharing MP3 files—at least not from the technological side. The MP3 was originally a proprietary audio file format designed by Steinberg in Germany; they used to charge a licensing fee to create MP3 files. But no one programmed in DRM so somewhere along the line the genie was let out of the bottle and no power on earth can put it back in the bottle for Steinberg to control.
In other words, you are the master of your MP3 files. Enjoy that, revel in it, cackle a little maniacal cackle if you must.
It is different for your eBook.
Did you know that in 2009 Amazon pulled copies of George Orwell’s “1984” from Amazon AND FROM the eReader of everyone who had purchased the book? (They call that irony) It’d be like a publisher reaching into your bookshelf and removing the book you bought last week. It doesn’t even matter the reason the book was yanked: IT WAS YANKED. Sure, sure, the internet goes berserk when it happens, but this feature is BUILT INTO THE ARCHITECTURE.
Are you picking up the paranoia in my all caps?
Yeah it’s convenient, and yeah it feeds our instant gratification itch. But it’s not really ours so long as the technological architecture facilitates content control by anyone other than the end user.
What do you think, O great expanse of Internet?