A Good Book

I love reading. Mostly it’s fiction of the sci-fi or fantasy genre, with perhaps the occasional biography introduced. Thus, when clare bought me my ebook reader (a year past at christmas) this became one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten (along side my 48k spectrum, 360 elite, oh, and Beth).

I’m a very loyal reader, meaning that I like to find an author then consume their entire back catalogue. I’ll then wait with baited breath until their next release. I’ll happily re-read books multiple times without any loss in enjoyment. Only after all this (or on a very strong recommendation) will I dabble with a new author.

With waterstones vouchers left over from christmas I’ve been eagerly awaiting the latest releases by some of my favoured authors (61 Hours – Lee Child, Changes – Jim Butcher), along with some titles from new sources (Just A Geek, Dancing Bearfoot – Wil Wheaton), and I have found myself repeatedly disappointed with the ebook offering currently available.

I Am Geek, Dancing Bearfoot – Wil Wheaton
I could get neither of these as ebooks (from waterstones at any rate) despite them having been published for some time. Of course after placing my order I was then informed that Dancing Bearfoot was out of stock and ended up waiting a fortnight for them to arrive.

61 Hours – Lee child
When the release date for the book came about I was online to get my copy, only to be let down again. Only the hardback was available so i ordered this instead. In the time between ordering the book and the book getting delivered I had managed to find an ebook copy and had finished the novel.

Changes – Jim Butcher
I see that this is now available and look forward to reading it. However, when looking about online I found the following comment

“With the problems at Penguin and their greed in keeping Changes off kindle and nook — good show. Now, everybody, send Jim Butcher some money!”

It would seem that publishing houses are running into the same problems that music labels had during the late 90s, a lack of understanding of digital distribution. How hard can it be to understand that iTunes works for music, Steam & Xbox live works for video games, therefore they should get behind Amazon and pump as many ebook titles online as they can ? I say “Amazon” since they are the de-facto for books, although I would be happier with someone who promoted the epub format that my sony reader favours.

Also, my experience buying and reading 61 Hours highlighted something to me. Having purchased the book physically why cant I be granted the ebook file? After all, I might lose or damage the book, but the chances of losing a file are less likely – and even if lost, a file is easy to replace. Lifehacker recently posted an article along these lines “Do You Pirate Media You Already Own?” which leads me to believe that I’m not the only one wondering why they can’t adopt multiple formats equally. As an aside, the hardback was on special and actually worked out cheaper than the ebook, nuts.


Bob says:
Wil Wheaton tends to fund his own publications so unless your going directly through him it can be hard to track down e-books by him otherwise. In fact it can be a bugger to get any of his books in print over here either as everyone I know that has a copy has had to get amazon or whoever they are getting it from to order in a copy for them.

Mark says:
Let me know if you want to borrow them bob

Clare says:
See, I always get you the best gifts. I got you 3 out of 4 of those :)