Home » Ebooks » The Pitfalls of E-Book Buying

The Pitfalls of E-Book Buying

14 February 2011

A summary of technology issues with ebooks and e-readers from PC World magazine.

Excerpts:

In the days of physical bookshelves filled with physical books, most people tended to organize their libraries haphazardly–perhaps by subject, perhaps alphabetically, perhaps by what size of books a particular shelf could accommodate. But with a little effort you could (probably) quickly scan your collection and walk away with the title you wished to read in short order.

Unfortunately, the lack of a universal bookshelf is a huge issue in the e-book world. Buy a book, and if you want to read it again three years down the line, you’ll have to remember where and how you bought it.

. . . .

The digital rights management issue remains a point of distinction between Amazon and its competitors. Sony and Kobo, which sell e-book readers as well as e-books, are quick to point out that they, unlike Amazon, use the industry standard ePub format; Apple does, too.

But ePub support alone isn’t synonymous with cross-platform support. Applying DRM to an ePub file can make the ePub book incompatible with other e-readers (be they software or hardware). For example, Adobe Digital Editions ePubs that carry DRM can be read by other software or devices (like Sony’s Digital Reader series of e-readers) that support Adobe Digital Editions. But if you use Adobe’s PC-based library manager, you’ll have to jump through the hoop of entering an Adobe ID.

Barnes & Noble’s e-book shopping experience can be even more confusing: The company has voiced support for ePub, and it offers ePub-formatted books; but when you buy a book, you have no way of knowing whether it has DRM protected. If it is, it’s locked to Barnes & Noble’s system. Furthermore, if you want to redownload an e-book you bought from Barnes & Noble, you’ll have to provide the credit card number that you used to buy it originally.

Link to the rest at The Pitfalls of E-Book Buying: What to Look Out for Before You Purchase

Ebooks