Today vs. Yesterday

Welcome to another week here on Four Foxes, One Hound.

The theme this month has been all about books, and we finish it with the question on everyone’s lips – Are we concerned about the development of e-books/e-readers, the availability and the possible danger of pirating.

I admit I’m the old-fashioned paperback girl converted to an e-book reader. Sorry!

Having said that, if I really enjoyed a book, I still buy the paperback for my bookshelf. After all, there’s nothing better than going back to a book you’ve read and have another flick through it and read certain passages.
Anyway, e-books. Yes, I suppose, one has to go with the times, and if that is the way to go, I can’t change that. There are many concerns I have. I can remember getting an e-book from the library a few months back. I hadn’t had any idea on how this would work. Anyhow, I got the e-book downloaded, and three weeks later got a message from the library via email to destroy the file.

Say what?

The email clearly asked me to destroy the file. I was wondering what would happen if I didn’t. Self destruction? A small James Bond’ish kind of device letting the library know that I hadn’t deleted the file, yet. But … nothing happened. The library assumed I was a compliant customer and suddenly I was the owner of an e-book.

Paid nothing. Zilch. Nix. Niente.

Okay, in all fairness, I did delete the file once I had read the book to shrug off the guilty feeling I had (from memory it honestly could’ve destroyed itself it was that bad).  However, I wonder how many readers have actually figured out the system and added to their e-book collection to the publisher/author’s expense?

Is it a fair system?

Sign of the times or not. It’s not thought through well enough, yet, to make it a fair system. And don’t get me started on those people out there who think they’re the bee’s knees by sharing e-books on pirate websites.

Am I wrong? Please share your thoughts.

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About Iris B

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her dog. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio
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17 Responses to Today vs. Yesterday

  1. Traci says:

    Interesting that your library asked you to destroy the file. What sort of system do they use? I know our library uses Overdrive, and if you load a file into Adobe Digital Editions, the file is literally NOT THERE after the allowed checkout time (I’d loaded the book onto my computer, mostly to prove to myself I could do it). Most of the e-readers people have here seem to work the same way…but we have found a tiny glitch with wireless. Nothing that would allow you to save the file indefinitely, though, I don’t think.

    I can see the worries over pirating and such. Myself, I prefer physical books, and probably always will. What I see here is people who want both mediums rather than one or the other. And that’s my hope, that this reading world is big enough for both e-readers and p-readers to co-exist.

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    • Iris B says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Traci.
      I’m afraid I’m not sure what system they use, I would have to go to the website and check. But I found the email “Your loan period for Fetish by Tara Moss has expired. All file copies must be deleted within the next week.” LOL
      It was quite funny, because in all honesty I was curious whether it would self-destroy if I didn’t.
      I believe that there’s enough room for both kind of readers and probably will be for a long time. The system is not 100% yet and not even secure enough to go just electronic all the way.

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  2. jeff7salter says:

    I still don’t have a good grasp of the LENDING of e-books.
    I have a Kindle — which I think is about a year old now — and I have a couple hundred books in it. I find it difficult to navigate and frustrating to see what’s there and get to it … etc.
    Once I’m IN the book I want and am reading it, the Kindle experience is okay (except for a few times when the page won’t advance … or it advances too far).
    But nothing will EVER take the place in my heart for books made of paper. I prefer hardcover, even though they’re heavier, but I love paperbacks too.
    Surely books were a primary reason I entered the library profession in 1976 when I went to Grad. Lib. Sch. Retired 30 yrs later.

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  3. I, too , have “borrowed” ebooks online and the files expired on their own. Most libraries in the U.S. have a limited number of each ebook that can be downloaded at any one time, like copies of books on a shelf, as it were. I’ll have more thoughts on Friday, but I should have approached this on the Library week: as much as I love libraries,it is unfair that most want any and all works to be readily available to all, for free.This works one at a time in print to some extent, but when they want all works always in unlimited qualities,online to be ‘out there’, it is unfair to the writers, artists, publishers, et al. I hear there are some big battles looming….

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    • Iris B says:

      How did they expire? They just disappear or had a lock to it? I’m sure they will ahve to come up with that system here as well.
      Can’t wait for your “Friday” thoughts 😉

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    • Traci says:

      Trust me, Tonette, the library has to pay for those e-books, and when I saw the prices on some, I nearly fainted! I’ve been following the e-book pricing/availability thing for a while now, mostly due to some of the big publishers refusing to work with libraries (insane prices, restricted lending, etc). It’s an interesting battle, I’ll give you that. I, personally, have no problem with the way most publishers want to give out the digital rights, usually as one file at a time. It’s basically the way we already lend books, one copy for a patron. What upsets me are the patrons that seem to think because something is online, it should be available to anyone and everyone who wants it, and immediately. They see no reason that 30 people or so shouldn’t be able to all access the latest James Patterson novel, and all at the same time. Why wait in line anymore? Um, cause it doesn’t work that way. And it’s really hard when they think we, the library, have purposely set it up that way. Nope, it’s the publishers that set those rules – we just buy the rights to the file.

      And I will go on record as saying pirated copies of any book, e-book or p-book, are WRONG. Just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s stealing, plain and simple.

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      • Oh,no,Traci, you misunderstand. I didn’t mean the way things are set up.I heard a talk on BOOK TV where there had been a big problem with the government interfering with the publishing community working out arrangements with the libraries, some of which have been over-zealous with making any and all books too-freely available.It seems there was a nice compromise , but the agreed upon arrangement was not the way the government wanted it, yet, they are slow to act . Apparently, there IS a problem with some powers-that-be within the library systems.

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      • pjharjo says:

        Tonette- There ARE problems with the “powers that be,” in more than just the library systems. I’ve been being tossed about by them while I’m working on getting my momma out here. 😦

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  4. Sherry Gloag says:

    An interesting post, Iris. Apart from the app on my PC I don’t have an e-reader so can’t comment, beyond, form what you are saying, it seems the authors are losing out, again.

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  5. pjharjo says:

    Pirating…. A topic occasionally belabored by my RWA chapter. But EBooks lent out by libraries?! Now that’s a new one on me!

    On the former, my chapter has been forced to begrudgingly accept the fact of pirating as a mark of how popular we are if “they” think our book is good enough to STEAL.

    On the latter, I don’t know what to think, but will be sure to chat with chapter mates about it!
    So yes, I agree with you, Iris; it is not a fair system.

    I also think Traci’s library has a Great Idea! A command should be written into the program to make those books self-destruct, ala, James Bond, 😉 after the allotted time limit, AND, I would add that a command should be written into the lending program which will make the books so no-one is unable to copy them!

    And Jeff, I believe we all possess the same fondness for traditional print books. (Save for the cyber generation who will never know what they miss out on by only e-reading.) Ah…the smell of fresh ink on the fresh parchment of a new book!) I can remember how I used to love just to open a new book, press my nose into it and inhale before I even read a word. 🙂

    Tonette, yes it is totally unfair, to all who make stories appear for the entertainment of the masses, and Sherry, I would take what you have said a step further to say that it’s the “artist” who is “losing out again.” Don’t we/they all? First it was movies and now it’s books. “/

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    • Iris B says:

      Yes, Janette, you can get an e-book from the Library … a big supplier (as Traci) mentioned is overdrive.
      I look forward to reading your thoughts “on Tuesday”
      PS – And you know anything “Bond-like” has my approval 😉

      Like

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