print-loving librarian

It figures that as soon as my DH buys me a Kindle I’m writing a post about how much I love print. Owning a Kindle, or any kind of ereader for that matter, firms my resolve to love print materials. I love the book. And the hubbub about OverDrive, the HarperCollins DRM limitation of 26 loan periods to their publications cements that philosophy more firmly in my mind.

First, I tried OverDrive, because that’s what my public library system offers access to. Hated it. I tried it on my Droid. First, there was the wait. I waited several weeks for Secretariat. I checked it out. I had it for two weeks. A two week loan period is not ideal for me, especially when a book doesn’t immediately suck me into it. This was the case with Secretariat. By the time I returned to dip into it Secretariat expired and was removed from my Droid. So, this experience was negative for me. As a librarian, I’m used to a higher-level of library privilege than the average library patron. Such as: I don’t pay fines. Or, I get automatic renewals. Those sort of things. Naturally, I’m predisposed against OverDrive.

As a curmudgeonly librarian, as a fatalist, too, I’m always looking for the end of the world. I’m looking for the end of the world as we know it. The internet boom will end and we will return to finding information the old fashioned way in print indexes and then we’ll all be screwed because we don’t have print indexes anymore because we’ve cancelled those subscriptions in favor of electronic databases. But it will be the end of the world anyway, and who will do research anyway?

I’ve casted around my house and pilfered through the stack of library books to find a book, any book that speaks to me, and mostly I’ve found them lacking. The first book I bought for my Kindle–but not for my Kindle for Droid (that’s another post altogether) was Amayrillis in Blueberry and I was mostly irritated by its characters and plotting, so my first Kindle reading experience was unpleasant. I sampled a half-dozen or so books before committing to buying the book. DH is smitten with his Kindle. I’m irritated that he and I can’t swap books with each other. Not that our reading interests intersect at all. Perhaps we’ve read two or three of the same books in the fifteen years or so that we’ve been together, but the idea of intermingling our books is nice, especially since our funds frolic together in the same bank accounts.

So yeah, just like human cloning and genetically modified organisms, ebooks cause more trouble than they’re worth. They turn publishers into greedy monsters. I say power to the writers. Self-publish. Set your own prices. Manage your own rights. Cut the publishers out of the loop completely. Get your work into the hands of the people who want to read and share your work. But, be done with the Big Six. They’re greedy bastards.

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