I have been thinking of getting one of these readers like the Kobo or Kindle.
Sure, I know, they look really cool and everybody has them and you want to get on board the next new thing. But before you do consider this.
With printed books:
- you can buy one with cash, anonymously, and own it.
- you are not required to sign a license agreement that restricts your use of the book.
- the format is known and no proprietary technology is needed to read the book.
- you can give, lend or sell the book to someone else.
- you can physically scan and copy the book, even without infringing on the copyright.
- nobody has the power to destroy your book.
With e-books (using Amazon as an example, but it refers to others as well):
- Amazon requires users to identify themselves to get an e-book.
- in some countries Amazon says that the users doesn't own the e-book.
- Amazon requires the user to sign a restrictive license on use of the e-book.
- the format is secret and only proprietary and user-restricting software can read it.
- lending is only allowed with some e-books and for a limited time and only after identifying the other person to Amazon
- no giving or selling of the e-book is permitted
- it is impossible to copy the book due to Digital 'Rights' Management and the license, which is even more restrictive than copyright law
- Amazon can remotely delete any e-book that you've bought, whenever they deem it necessary.
Until e-book companies stop denying users their freedom you should stay as far away from them as possible.