Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The public library won't erase the book you borrow after you take it home
Unlike, say, Amazon, which recently reminded people in dramatic fashion that they're not really buying books for their Kindle e-book reader but only licensing them, when Amazon deleted two George Orwell books from Kindles of customers who had downloaded them, over a rights dispute involving the publishers. (Reportedly, some customers had their term paper notes deleted along with the books.) Amazon refunded the purchase price to their customers' accounts, but still . . .
I don't think e-book readers are quite there yet, but I'm sure most of us will be using them someday. Until now, I had been leaning toward the Kindle. But it's going to take a long time for Amazon to regain my trust after that boneheaded stunt.
Licensing a book for a Kindle is like having it on permanent loan. That is, you don't really own it, you're just borrowing it. But if I'm going to borrow a book, I figure why not borrow it from the Madison Public Library (photo from the Sequoya Branch when it had its opening ceremony last December). Besides, their downloads are free.