Saturday, August 01, 2009


Don't buy a Kindle... unless you're comfortable with someone from Amazon coming into your house and taking anything you have ever"purchased" from them. I should pause here to say that if you've never heard of a Kindle, you probably don't need to worry. The Kindle is an electronic book the size of a paperback novel. You load it with books like the iPod is loaded with music. And you can read the books over and over and even make notes. What is even less known about the Kindle is that what Amazon giveth, Amazon can taketh away. You don't really buy books for the Kindle, you lease them.

It is delightfully ironic that the object in question in a lawsuit recently filed against Amazon is the book "1984". High school student Justin Gawronski thought he owned the copy of "1984" that resided on his Kindle, enough so to actually keep notes son the Kindle as well. Then one day "POOF" goes the book. I suppose that anyone who wants one of my books can bust down the front door and, at gunpoint, have anything they want. But somehow taking something from me through the Internet seems downright creepy. Can you imagine Justin telling his teacher, "Amazon ate my homework.

Of course, if Amazon can delete a book they can amend it just as well. What is to stop a government from "cleaning up" a book it finds offensive or getting too close to the truth? No, I think it is much safer to buy a real book and put it on a real shelf.

1 comment:

  1. I'm confused by the news article's comment that the copies were unauthorized. By whom? Did they not have copyright permission to make the book available digitally? If those had been print books who would have paid what penalty? Incidentally, I don't see how you can have the full power to download books instantaneously without the risk of having them removed. (Unless, you add a seperate drive to a kindle that is not always connected online. Hotwiring something like that is probably possible, but I don't have those skills.)