Books, and how I read them

Current DRM practices for digital books is really stupid, making it difficult for people to share books the way they have for hundreds of years, while refusing to leverage the cool things about digital items.

A friend asked me how I preferred books that are bought for me. My reply was:

DRM-free ePub. Paper book. I can also read PDF, but it isn’t that great. Oh, I guess I should mention HTML, just in case. ^_^

Yeah, I put use that smiley everywhere.

Eir reply was simple enough, “how does one find a DRM-free ePub?”

That is an excellent question! If you haven’t read it, Mako posted about how publishers show the DRM status of an ebook, which is to say, they don’t. And while there are publishers like Smashwords that do not use DRM, they are mostly an indie publisher, so one wouldn’t expect to pick up the digital version of a recent bestseller there.

The short answer is, I don’t know. At this point, the digital book scene is obscure on the few points that we would all agree are easy features, like informing a person if their purchase is going to be locked. It is ironic that one of the ubiquitous practices of avid readers is sharing books, which is easy with physical items, but now require additional information from the receiver, such as their platform, devices and/or principals. Way to encourage buying digital books as gifts, mainstream publishers.

Of course, we always have the fallback of The Pirate Bay.

1 thought on “Books, and how I read them”

  1. Eir first reply was simple enough, “how does one find a DRM-free ePub?”

    Eir second reply was silent. “That seems like way too much work.”

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