If you’re a voracious reader, you know that keeping up with your habit can get expensive, whether you’re buying physical books or e-books. The public library makes for a good alternative, but sometimes there’s a waiting list for a title. And if you’re looking for a digital version to borrow, your options are limited. But what if you could instantly access an unlimited number of books right on your smartphone or tablet every month, for about the price of a paperback?
That’s the sales pitch for two new e-book subscription services I’ve been testing, called Oyster and Scribd. Frequently described as a “Netflix for e-books,” these services allow you to read as many books as you want for a monthly fee. Oyster costs $9.95 per month, and Scribd is $8.99 per month.
More at allthingsd
This is not one of those rants about missing the texture, touch, colors, whatever of paper contrasted with the sterility of reading on a tablet. No, the real abomination of ebooks is often overlooked: Some are so ingrained in the product itself that they are hiding in plain sight, while others are well concealed beneath layers of commerce and government.
The real problem with ebooks is that they’re more “e” than book, so an entirely different set of rules govern what someone — from an individual to a library — can and can’t do with them compared to physical books, especially when it comes to pricing.
The collusion of large ebook distributors in pricing has been a public issue for a while, but we need to talk more about how they are priced differently to consumers and to libraries. That’s how ebooks contribute to the ever-growing divide between the literary haves and have-nots.
More at wired.com