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Library books

Our local library system has started doing something of which I very much approve: "checking out" e-books and audiobooks through its website.

It's a truly satisfying use for DRM. As a general rule, it annoys me to buy anything which is DRM-limited. Free things, however, are a different kettle of fish. I'm willing to accept some limitations for free. I'm willing to have a "library book" auto-delete after 21 days, especially if I can then "check it out" again later.

Today, I returned all the library books I had out. I wasn't done with all of them, but since I'm not likely to have time for them for a month or two, it seemed safer to just hand them all back for now.

While at the library, I saw posters. "E-books are free!", they said. ("Often, not.", thought I.) "No overdue penalties!"

Back at home, I checked. Yes, they really have. It's a nascent program, not more than around 200 e-books between all categories of fiction and non-fiction, but there are some intriguing options, such as the Rough Guide to Paris. Not that I'm planning on being in Paris anytime soon, but I like knowing I could check out, on a temporary basis, a current guidebook to it and have it take up so little luggage space.

(Whether or not my current e-book software can handle DRM-limited files is a different matter.)



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
What's your ebook reader? Or are you just using a computer?
Aug. 10th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
I have a Sony e-Reader.

I hit a critical mass of free e-book downloads and couldn't bear to read them on my screen. I have yet to actually pay for an e-book.
Aug. 10th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Do you happen to know who the provider is for the DRM'd books? I'm thinking about writing something up about eBooks in the next year or so and so this post made me sit up and take notice.
Aug. 10th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
It's a company called OverDrive.

Here's the program page from their end:

Aug. 11th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
My library does DRM'd audio books, and I love it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )