Ilse's weblog of random thoughts


Is an e-reader something for you?

I guess my studies have something to do with it, but it took Mark half a year to convince me to give e-books a go. Before I got my Sony e-reader, I was rather hesitant about the idea. Wouldn’t my eyes hurt from reading from a screen all the time? Wouldn’t I miss the scent and feeling of a brand new book in my hands? Would the lay-out be OK? And what about all these fantasy books with maps in it, would these graphics still be visible? Continue reading this entry »

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Kindle’s memory hole

Last weekend, NYT reported that e-book readers who had bought ‘1984’ and/or ‘Animal Farm’ for Amazon’s e-book reader Kindle, woke up, noticing that these books had disappeared from their reader. It seems the publisher changed its mind about offering these two publications in electronic form, and Amazon decided to not only remove the e-books from the Kindle Store, but also delete it from the e-book readers. Sure, they refunded the customers, but still, it feels like someone sneaking into your house and stealing a book from your bedside table.

I’m so glad we decided to buy a Sony e-reader, which does not work through wifi like Kindle, so this can never happen to any of our e-books. I would be very upset if a book I’m reading would suddenly disappear from my reader, and I can certainly understand the fierce reactions of some Kindle owners.

The irony of all this is that it happened with books from George Orwell. It seems the ‘memory hole’, the incineration chute to get rid of all literature that could bother Big Brother in ‘1984’, is now used by Amazon to electronically ‘burn’ these copies of both famous books. It seems that, even in e-book land, some are more equal than others.