An E-Book By Any Other Name…

As I listen to the hum of the dryer, I am reading an article about the significance of e-books.  (Look, I know that right now I am writing a blog post.  Just try to stick with the story arc)  To be honest, I haven’t thought much about e-books.  I dislike reading online.  Let me qualify that, I dislike reading substantive material online.  I can’t grade my students’ papers online.  I don’t read long articles online.  And this article is precisely about why some, academics in large part, refuse to embrace e-books as “real.”  Seems they are summarily dismissed as lesser than their printed counterparts.

The author is just beginning to link the disdain for e-books to a desire to possess knowledge… which can only be materially reconciled by owning books or having access to printed copies.  If books become widely available via electronic sources, then the masses can possess knowledge freely.  Even more importantly, text can disappear . . . since it never materially existed in the first place (it only existed as electronic impulses).


ETA:  Truly, this comes down to a discussion about capitalism.  After I purchase a book, do I really own its content?  Should I be free to lend it to anyone I choose?  What about copying parts of the text?  Copyright laws say that I cannot reproduce the text.  But that wrong will only be redressed, IF I get caught reproducing the text. However, the encryption process that prohibits e-books from being shared and/or copied gives the consumer less control over goods they have purchased, problematizing capitalism.


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