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Old 01-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
garygibsonsf
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Sony Reader and DRM'ed books - confused

Ok, I've surfed around trying to get my head around all these different formats and my head hurts. I'm thinking of getting a Sony Reader. But now when I look at the ebook sites, the selection becomes extremely limited once you realise you can only buy multiformat titles, because everything else will. not. read on the sony reader. So does that mean I can only buy or download Sony Reader books format (not that I CAN, because I'm outside the UK), or public domain stuff? What if I want to buy a 'secure' format book from some one on fictionwise? Or am I screwed?

I should point out if anyone recommends software to get around this, that I only use apple macs.
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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Another thought

In fact, the more I browse the net looking at ebook sites, the more I realise that was my mistake during all my time browsing for information about the readers themselves; I didn't take a look to see what was actually available for purchase. There's a remarkable lack of content outside of public domain and recent bestsellers. I've searched for several of my favourite authors (I mostly read sf) and find myself horrendously disappointed by the results. Authors like Kage Baker and Lucius Shepard, outside of a few short stories here and there, are simply absent. If you want to read Douglas Adams and Star Trek novels (certainly not me) your choice appears ample, but if you want to delve into anything else - and I speak as someone with walls lined with paper books - the ereaders all of a sudden look like far less of a good idea. I find this particularly depressing.

Mind you, suddenly the Kindle for all its faults is suddenly beginning to look better, given that it's sold by what I believe is the biggest bookseller on the planet in a position to turn the majority of what it sells into ebooks. Except, of course, the Kindle is rarer than gold dust right now.

Oh dear. And it all looked like such a good way to be able to get the books I want while I was in the Far East. Perhaps I should stick to paper for now. Damn.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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Baen is a good source for unexpensive AND DRM-free SF ebooks.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:21 PM   #4
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Which is true, except that Baen are about as far from my personal tastes as you can get. Their ebook model is superb ... but the stuff they publish is frankly not for me. Unfortunately ... they're about it. There are some good books out there by people like Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross and others freely available as downloads, but - I already have them, in paper format. My complaint is that outside of Baen and these aforementioned formats - that's it. I want good, literate writing by authors who aren't writing bestsellers but who do have long writing careers, many books out and a habit of writing thoughtful fiction. I'll be damned if I can find any of them as ebooks, yet they sit in paperback format a few feet away, and all from major publishers. The ebook market appears to be absolutely tiny, unless you're a midwestern American with a taste for rightwing narratives about alternative Civil Wars, which pretty much sums up a great deal of Baen's appeal.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garygibsonsf View Post
In fact, the more I browse the net looking at ebook sites, the more I realise that was my mistake during all my time browsing for information about the readers themselves; I didn't take a look to see what was actually available for purchase. There's a remarkable lack of content outside of public domain and recent bestsellers. I've searched for several of my favourite authors (I mostly read sf) and find myself horrendously disappointed by the results. Authors like Kage Baker and Lucius Shepard, outside of a few short stories here and there, are simply absent. If you want to read Douglas Adams and Star Trek novels (certainly not me) your choice appears ample, but if you want to delve into anything else - and I speak as someone with walls lined with paper books - the ereaders all of a sudden look like far less of a good idea. I find this particularly depressing.

Mind you, suddenly the Kindle for all its faults is suddenly beginning to look better, given that it's sold by what I believe is the biggest bookseller on the planet in a position to turn the majority of what it sells into ebooks. Except, of course, the Kindle is rarer than gold dust right now.

Oh dear. And it all looked like such a good way to be able to get the books I want while I was in the Far East. Perhaps I should stick to paper for now. Damn.
I felt the same as you very strongly, now my position is moving towards thinking about the ebook reader as a "partial" solution (others on this forum suggested it to me). I am building up a library of PDF, JPG and TXT files from public domain and websites that say you can use their content (copy and paste text - mostly sites about ancient history). So far I have about 150 (in only 2 days!).

Add in Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and things are looking more promising still.

I hate DRM and will not buy any with it. Fictionwise I have read (from HarryT I think) has some non-drm, add that and it improves more. I will still buy the lastest and best as a paperback but the option of having an ebook reader is looking better than I thought - I will plug on building my library and see what I think.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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Gary, if you do not mind installing Windows or Parallels (don't use this for firmware updates) you can then download ConvertLIT and use that with an activated MS Reader to download MS Reader (LIT) ebooks from various ebook shops. You can remove the DRM and use lit2lrf (part of Libprs500) to convert to LRF (without DRM) and that way you have access to even more ebooks then just the Sony shop.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:37 PM   #7
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JS, that's not a bad idea ... except that my macs are both PPC rather than Intel. However --- I'll be staying with a friend who has a pc laptop. Who I now might have to explain (once I'm abroad) to just why I'm using her computer, and not the two macs I'm bringing with me, to do this.

Of course it's not the fault of the machines, it's the DRM, by which I am beginning to feel appallingly hard done by. I'd be thinking of the Cybook if it wasn't so damn expensive. I can just about justify the cost of a sony reader, but that's about it. But I guess where there's a will, there's a way.
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