How Convenient. How Convenient?

One of the arguments that I have often heard in favor of e-books/ e-readers is how convenient they are.  Now I would like to share the following conversation I had with my brother yesterday via text message.

Me: Hey, was that book, Shit My Dad Says, worth picking up?

Brother: I really enjoyed it. Very quick read.

Me: Who wrote it?

Brother: Justin Halpern

Me: Thanks!  I’ll let you know if I get it or just decide to steal yours.

Brother: I got the eBook, so I am not sure if it is lendable.

Me: Ha!  Fine then.  Stupid eBooks…

This conversation did bring up an aspect of e-books to which I hadn’t given much thought.  Can they be lent or borrowed?  I’m really asking.  I’ve seen options on the Chicago Public Library website for the borrowing of e-books, but what about sharing books among friends with e-readers?  Do you have to have the same device or can an e-Book for Kindle work on a Nook or iPad as well?  Is it like purchasing a song from iTunes, where the purchaser’s authorization is required to open the file on a different computer and only x number of times?  What about software and model updates?!  Holy cow, I just wanted to borrow a book.

To my knowledge my brother doesn’t even have an e-reader but he does have a fancy iPhone, which makes e-books slightly less exclusive than I previously thought.  Even so I am still out of the loop, as my phone is the size of a pack of gum with a screen I could blot out with my thumbprint.  The thought of reading a book on my Juke is a joke.  I think I’ll keep things old school; and if you ever want to borrow a book from me we’ll do it in under ten seconds, from my messenger bag to yours.

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One thought on “How Convenient. How Convenient?

  1. This lending issue is one of the biggest drawbacks to eBooks. As far as I am aware, the only device with lending/borrowing capabilities built into it is the Nook. It is well intentioned, but has been neutered by the publishers- only certain books are eligible to be lent and it is the publishers that control this option.
    As far as being able to read Kindle books on Nooks and the like, different eBook stores sell their books in different formats. Unfortunately, the Amazon and B&N stores use different formats, so it is not possible to read a book purchased from one store on the other device. One way around this is to use a device like an iPad or iPhone. Apple now has their own iBook store, but Kindle and Nook apps are available for free download, letting the reader use one device for all of the different formats.
    Sorry for the long-winded response, but I felt the need to drop some geeky tech knowledge. Fare thee well!

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