Owning eBooks

eBooks or print? The choice is yours!Laura Roberts, Hannah Walk and Molly Schoemann had a fascinating debate on eBooks, printed books and eReaders at The Perpetual Post. Some highlights:

From MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m just being a big whiny whiner by not buying into the eBook craze. Still, I’m worried about the fact that eBooks are becoming more and more popular, and ultimately, when you get right down to it, they’re not books– they’re essentially software. And you don’t technically own them; you’re licensing them for your use. Where’s the fun in that?

From HANNAH WALK: I don’t own an e-book reader either, but as is the norm in my generation (I’m on the young end of the 18-25 market), I spend a lot of time reading on my computer. It never ceases to amaze me that I can consume all of that information without having any personal claim to it.When you read a book or a newspaper, you don’t own the story. You own a copy of it. The physical book belongs to you, but not the information. When you pay for a book, it is your acknowledgment that you are consuming information that isn’t  yours. “But, Hannah” you’ll say, “of course it’s mine. I own the book. It’s my property.” This is the frame of mind that’s causing problems for media sharing. Yes, the book is yours; the binding, the pages, the ink, even the curlicues you drew in the margin. The words are not yours. The characters are not yours.

From LAURA ROBERTS: I find the notion that we don’t “own” e-books a bit weird, especially given the almost random pricing publishers are doling out at this point in time. Sure, I don’t mind buying the rights to read an entire book for, maybe, $5 a pop… but at an almost hardcover price of $25? That being said, these digital forms of ownership kind of bug me. Take the way you “own” a domain name. If you really and truly owned the name after purchase, why would you have to pay for it again and again, year after year?

You can read the entire discussion at The Perpetual Post, and add your own comments to the discussion.

Source: The Perpetual Post