The Museum of Ereaders

2 thoughts on “The Museum of Ereaders”

  1. Amazon is set up so that you can ‘download’ it to their cloud, and activate or deactivate copies on any particular e-reader (I use my PC app and an iPad app.) So if you have it in their cloud, you can deactivate on old technology and reactivate in the new. And considering how many pages have fallen out of my Darkover books, I wish the tech was around 20-30 years ago. :-)


    1. As long as I’m content using an Amazon app or a compatible device, that’s great. But that collection you see in the photo stretches back to the year 2000. How many of those devices will be compatible with an Amazon app? Exactly two; the iPod and the Nook. Going into the future, how many will be? I’m not willing to trust Amazon to keep diligently making sure that going forward, my content will remain retrievable. I’ve been through that before, from the Rocketbook on.

      My point is, Epub was created to be a universal format. But Barnes and Noble, Sony, and others have devised ways to lock it to their specific devices. They give us the illusion of freedom by providing apps that allow us to read content on other devices, and also require us to remain hooked into their respective clouds whenever we are connected to wifi. They also have the power to jerk content from our devices without our consent and Amazon has even done so before. A plain epub document is readable on more of my devices, despite its relative youth (the format became a standard in the middle aughts) than the locked files you can now buy from the major publishers. And if I really want to think long-term, the old ebooks I’ve saved in html, text, or even rich text are readable on most of the devices I have in that photo, plus any computer I’ve ever owned, and I can expect them to remain readable for a whole lot longer than any DRM-hobbled file I might buy now from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

      I have access to the whole public domain Project Gutenberg library on any platform I choose, and will, probably for the rest of my life. Blessings on Michael Hart, he built something amazing before he left us! Now that is content I can put my trust in.

      For that matter, my Darkover novels, fragile though they are, are in a non volatile storage medium that has been trusted for hundreds of years. If I take responsibility for their storage and care, I can keep them till the acid-ridden paper falls apart. If I take the initiative to scan them and save them in the proper formats, future generations could even enjoy access to them. And really, how much does a paper novel cost to replace? And how priceless is the knowledge that I can read it forever, with no one looking over my shoulder, calculating their chances of selling me other books based on how fast I get through the thing?


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