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Old 01-05-2018, 07:37 PM   #1
4691mls
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Google Play books disappear

See post #24 for update

The Sony Reader for PC software has always been slow, but a while back mine started running even slower than usual. After doing some googling I found out that a likely cause was a bad book or books.

I started opening some books and discovered that several I had bought from Google Play in the last 6-12 months had disappeared - the covers were still showing in the Reader for PC software but if I clicked on one of these books, it said that the book had been removed. I had NOT deleted any of these books, either on the PC or on my Sony reader.

I redownloaded the books from Google Play and the Sony software worked faster for a while, but then the same problem happened again with the same books. I have gone through this redownload process a few times now with the same books. I'm not sure how long it took in between times.

I've tried randomly opening other books bought from Google Play and other stores and haven't run across any other problem books (though admittedly I haven't tried to open every single book that I own.)

Has anyone else had books from Google Play disappear?

Last edited by 4691mls; 03-17-2018 at 08:49 PM. Reason: update
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:42 PM   #2
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I download all my books and put them in Calibre and strip any DRM. They won't disapper from there. I would do that with these books so you have a copy of them and they won't go away.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:47 PM   #3
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I use the Sony software because the majority of the books I read are Overdrive epubs and I browse and download on the PC, then sync to the reader.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:20 PM   #4
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I download all my books and put them in Calibre and strip any DRM. They won't disapper from there. I would do that with these books so you have a copy of them and they won't go away.
Same here. I download all my books the instant I buy them and back them up multiple times. No idea if any of them has disappeared from the store, I've never checked. Why even risk it, unless you have already read them and never re-read? Several stores I've bought books from don't exist at all anymore (BooksOnBoard, Diesel, Fictionwise, Omnilit, the list goes on...), so there isn't even a place left to check.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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Has anyone else had books from Google Play disappear?
No, but I may have bought one (or possibly) two books from Google Play. This definitely isn't a very good recommendation for possible future purchases. I would do as the others mentioned, use Calibre to back up your books.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:30 PM   #6
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I use the Sony software because the majority of the books I read are Overdrive epubs and I browse and download on the PC, then sync to the reader.
I would definitely agree with adding the step of importing them into calibre and removing DRM before sending to your reader as part of your workflow. You can backup your library without worrying about someone else deciding to remove a book or three from your library at any time. Once calibre is setup and the plugins you need installed, you can also edit the metadata, covers, series info., etc.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info about Calibre, but my real question was whether anyone else ever had Google play books disappear. None of the books this happened with was terribly expensive or anything that I would be brokenhearted if I lost the ability to redownload them from Google. I just thought it was strange and wanted to find out if the same thing had happened to anyone else.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:41 PM   #8
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I've never really used the Sony Reader for PC software for reading, only for buying (and my library was transferred to Kobo years ago). It sounds like you are buying the ebooks from Google Play, downloading them and adding them to the Sony Reader's library? Does it leave the epub files in the original download location, or copy it to a Sony Reader file location?
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 4691mls View Post
Thanks for the info about Calibre, but my real question was whether anyone else ever had Google play books disappear. None of the books this happened with was terribly expensive or anything that I would be brokenhearted if I lost the ability to redownload them from Google. I just thought it was strange and wanted to find out if the same thing had happened to anyone else.
OK, I checked. Of the 115 books I've purchased from Google Play none has disappeared. From Google Play itself, I mean, I don't use the Sony Reader. I didn't try to download them, that would have taken too much time.

But there's no guarantee the books will stay there indefinitely. Google might get out of the ebook business. Your Google account might get hacked. Adobe might get out of the DRM business. If you would be heartbroken after having lost your books, then all the more reason to make your own back-ups. Don't place your trust in Google.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:01 PM   #10
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I've never really used the Sony Reader for PC software for reading, only for buying (and my library was transferred to Kobo years ago). It sounds like you are buying the ebooks from Google Play, downloading them and adding them to the Sony Reader's library? Does it leave the epub files in the original download location, or copy it to a Sony Reader file location?
My Sony store books were also transferred to Kobo years ago.

I don't use the PC software for reading either (I don't want to read on a monitor) but I do use it to sync purchased or Overdrive library books onto the ereader. The only reason I tried opening any of the books in the PC software was to find out which books weren't working.

As far as I can tell, the epubs are stored under MyDocuments\MyBooks\Reader
(this is on a Windows 7 PC)
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:18 PM   #11
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OK, I checked. Of the 115 books I've purchased from Google Play none has disappeared. From Google Play itself, I mean, I don't use the Sony Reader. I didn't try to download them, that would have taken too much time.

But there's no guarantee the books will stay there indefinitely. Google might get out of the ebook business. Your Google account might get hacked. Adobe might get out of the DRM business. If you would be heartbroken after having lost your books, then all the more reason to make your own back-ups. Don't place your trust in Google.
The books have not disappeared from my online Google Play account. However, when this problem happens, if I try to open one of the books on my PC I get a message that it has been removed from my computer, though I have not deleted anything. It seems unlikely it would be caused by the Sony software because if it were, it would be happening to all my books and not just the same few books repeatedly.

I am not one of those people who's all worked up about making sure I never lose any books. I don't buy nearly as many books a lot of people on Mobileread and if there was a particular book I really care about that much I would buy a paper copy as a backup.

I really just wanted to know if anybody else had experienced disappearing books or if it was just me, and apparently it is just me.

I'm going to try a chat with Google and see if they can help.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:42 PM   #12
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I really just wanted to know if anybody else had experienced disappearing books or if it was just me, and apparently it is just me.

I'm going to try a chat with Google and see if they can help.
I suspect there aren't all that many people here on MR who still use the Sony Reader for PC. It was my understanding the books disappeared from there.

The majority probably use either Calibre or Adobe Digital Editions, or both.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:45 PM   #13
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I know not may people here use the Sony program. I just wondered if anybody using ANY program had had any issues like this with Google Play books. Apparently not. Since four of the five problem books are the same author/series/publisher, I wonder if something is wrong with those specific books. I have started a chat with Google and if I get any worthwhile response I will report back here.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:04 PM   #14
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At first the Google Play person I was chatting with just said I should contact Sony. I told them most of my Google Play books work just fine with the Sony software, and I provided a list of the problem books. The person referred my list to a "specialist team" and eventually came back and told me to delete and redownload the books. Since it typically has taken weeks for the problem to recur, I probably won't know for a while if it actually got fixed.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:57 PM   #15
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I suspect there aren't all that many people here on MR who still use the Sony Reader for PC. It was my understanding the books disappeared from there.

The majority probably use either Calibre or Adobe Digital Editions, or both.
I use my Sony Reader for PC every day. I do the majority of my reading on my pc. While ADE is on my pc, I never use it.

All books get downloaded to a download file I use for all downloads from the web, then the books are copied into Calibre, for disinfection if necessary, and reconversion into how I like my epubs to look.

I then send my Calibre copy over to a file just for my epubs. Then I open my Sony Reader for PC and upload that copy into it.

I utilize Sony Reader for PC for the organization of my books, which is simply by author, since I mostly read series.

I know that it sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't since the computer does all of the work. I just have to click on the mouse.
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