walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

You Don't Have a Kindle Because You Don't Read

Not you, Dear Reader. Rob Pegoraro at WaPo. Here, he _claims_ it's because of the DRM issue.


After listing his electronics booty (flat screens up and down, smartphones, digital cameras, desktop and an iPad 2 on backorder), he notes that he does not own an eReader, and "that's not an accident".

What's really in-credible about this article is that he then describes "how the first good, mass-market music-download store worked", and by that, in case there was a question in your mind, he means Apple's iTunes store, and how that eventually led to the End of DRM for the industry as a whole, which continues to be led by iTunes, with Amazon in second place. Yet despite this, Pegoraro's objection to buying an eReader now is that he doesn't trust any of the contenders "to lead that category of hardware and software for as long as you’d want to reread that book".

It's hard to go on from that. After all, the analogy which demonstrates quite clearly that (a) the market leader is a safe bet and (b) both major players have demonstrated a strong dislike for DRM and an inclination to get rid of it when possible before is somehow supposed to convince us to fear the opposite -- that was _his_ analogy. Not mine.

Pegoraro then lists the limitations of ebooks: no meaningful lending, no reselling, difficult to cut-and-paste or even photocopy, following it up with the question:

"Why would I want to pay almost as much as for a paper book — in some cases more — and then have my purchase constrain its usefulness and therefore cut its value"

In pretty rare cases more (altho I have indeed paid more), but never mind that now. I can manufacture arguments against buying new books or hardcovers or whatever with that line of reasoning. How's this for a restraint: if I leave my book behind on public transport or decide to use it to start a fire, or drop it in the tub, it's gone. But if I do that with my kindle, I _still own the book_. Anyone who has lost a box or more of books in the course of a move knows just how reassuring this can really be. [ETA: Don't start fires with your kindle. You'll probably be violating some important clean air law, give yourself cancer, whatever. Don't do it.]

But I think this example is really a lot more compelling. If I buy a book that is _not_ acid free, how do I know it won't totally destroy itself and everything it touches over the course of the next 50 years? I don't. So why would I risk buying a copy?

Because I wanted to read it.

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