March 2010

The Problem With EBooks

I'm a fan of eBooks and eBook readers in general.  And I dislike the fetishization of books as objects.  This particular critique of eBooks isn't going to wallow in the supposed luxury of walls of books, or the smell of the paper, or the ability to jot notes on the flyleaf.  As far as I'm concerned, the most important part of a book is the words.  The physical book is just the box the present comes in.  And also, I would like to point out that eBooks can't get mildewed or basement-y.

However, in thinking about eBooks lately, I have come across two potential problems.  I find these troubling indeed.  We may not be able to stop the wholesale rush to eBook gold, but we should start discussing these problems now before it's too late.

Problem #1: EBook Readers Aren't Free