Why e-books still suck

I like reading the books of the Oxford World’s Classics imprint. So far I’ve bought the paper versions through the British Internet store The Book Depository because of the fixed prices for books in the Netherlands, but I’ve been considering to switch to e-books. Recently e-book readers have been getting cheaper, costing less than € 100 now. However, the e-books of OWC titles themselves are only available with DRM, which is a barrier to adoption for me.

DRM is simply unacceptable to me because I value my freedom. DRM enables companies like Amazon to limit my freedom, even giving them a kill switch to do so. The publishing industry doesn’t seem to understand that DRM doesn’t help. Apple already stopped using DRM for music in iTunes back in January 2009. Some have seen the light already though, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is available without DRM for example. I can only hope the rest of the publishing industry will follow suit soon.

I’d like to use an e-book reader, obviously it’s much easier to take along if you travel than paper books. Paper books are damaged easily, while e-books don’t. The only disadvantage is that you can’t ‘impress’ people with a filled bookshelf anymore. But I’ll only buy one when there is a sufficient amount of titles available without DRM.

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