Around three years ago, my Dad got me a Kindle Touch. I’d been resisting e-readers, in part because of ongoing file format and DRM shenanigans and in part out of a false sense of economy.
Once I slapped a leather cover on, to make it more book-like, I discovered that I did like reading on an e-ink reader. (I’m still less convinced I like reading on LCDs, though text looks gorgeous on my iPad Retina Mini.)
Some months ago, I read George Packer’s New Yorker piece with mixed feelings. I bought some books from non-Amazon sources—particularly from Angry Robot and O’Reilly—but mostly I felt content to work within the Amazon ecosystem. It was smooth, frictionless. They made it just so easy to buy books.
Charlie Stross summarized the impact most ably:
Amazon’s strategy against Hachette is that of a bullying combine the size of WalMart leaning on a much smaller supplier. And the smaller supplier in turn relies on really small suppliers like me. It’s anti-author, and in the long term it will deprive you of the books you want to read.
I find Amazon’s behavior, finally, unconscionable and untenable, and they’ve driven me to seek my e-book fix elsewhere. I’m giving up that beautiful frictionless ecosystem, plunging into the thickets of the DRM and file-format wilderness. I’ve bought myself a new e-reader, a Kobo Aura HD.
Expect a series of blog posts on negotiating this unkindled world.