A Pressing Issue…

Alternative title: Why I am Furious with (some) Book Publishers

For my birthday back in November, I received a Barnes and Noble nook from my husband.  I had always been a lover of books – the smell of them, the feel of the pages in my hands, the weight of them, the covers.  Simply put, I love books, and I love to read.  However, after one too many vacations in which half of the weight of my suitcase was due to books, I knew something had to give.  Enter technology.  I went over to the dark side and got an e-reader.  There is lots that I love about my nook – the immediacy of downloading novels, the compactness of it, the fun covers, the ability to take an entire library of books with me wherever I go.  However, one feature that I especially loved was the lending feature.  I realized that not all books were lend-able.  One look, though, at the books that were like Anna and the French Kiss and Matched, I was sold.

Here’s the thing.  One of the things that I love, LOVE about reading is talking about books with other people.  I have a book blog for goodness sake.  I am a READING TEACHER.  I talk about books ALL DAY!  And when I talk about books, I like to get people excited about them, so much so that they want to read the books we are talking about.  Then, I loan them my copy, and I am happy.

Well, before Christmas I talked up Matched by Ally Condie the other day with my junior high writing group.  Some of the students had just read The Giver, and I suggested it as an awesome companion novel.  After Christmas, I had a student excitedly return from break telling me about her new nook.  She asked if I could loan her Matched.  I was happy to do so!

However, when I attempted to loan it to her, I got an error message.  Odd.  On my nook it said it was lend-able.  Then, I tried again.  Still, I got an error message so I did some digging; to say that I was not happy with what I found out would be a gross understatement.  I discovered that many major publishers are no longer allowing their books to be loaned – even when at one time they were loan-able. Let’s take a quick look at the list of books I have purchased thinking that they were able to be loaned that are no longer loan-able:  Matched, Anna and the French Kiss and The Jumbee.

This may not seem like a big deal to you – however, when I purchased these books, I was under the impression that I was going to be able to share them with my friends.  To take this away, without even so much as an announcement from any party, is wrong.

I understand that people need to make money, believe me.  And I help those publishers make that money – I have over 1,250 books in my classroom library, all purchased by me.   I have my own personal library as well. I support reading; I support books.  I just can’t fathom why certain major publishers would take away the lend-me feature on their books, the ability to share a book with others.  Sharing an e-book is so similar to sharing an actual hardcover or paperback, except that I can loan the same hardcover or paperback out to a lot more people in the time that I can loan one e-book out.  This move just doesn’t make sense to me.

What are your thoughts on this?  Nook users, were you aware of this? I am just really sad that certain publishers have taken away my ability to share books with others.  I won’t stop buying books or loving books; however, it is sure going to make me look at certain companies in a different way.

**Soon, I will be posting my review of the fabulous Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan!  And I promise I will be back to my happy self.**

About Jen

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. I have always viewed words as having a magical quality-able to transport, illuminate and inspire. I was able to parlay this love of reading into a career as a language arts teacher and am able to encourage students every day to find books that "speak" to them. I decided to blog about the books I read because books are meant to be shared and discussed. :)
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4 Responses to A Pressing Issue…

  1. This seems really odd, considering that you can only loan a Nook book once (right?) and that you can’t read the book while it’s loaned out (which makes it essentially the same as a paper copy). Maybe the publishers are afraid people will strip the DRM and distribute copies to their friends. (If that’s the case, I think they’re overestimating the technical skills of a lot of e-reader owners. In most cases, we just want to read… not hack!)

    • Jen says:

      Interesting points you bring up. I had never heard of anyone being about to strip the DRM but I suppose it could be done. As you point out, I do think that they are overestimating the tech skills of e-readers. I would never be able to even begin to know how to do that, nor want to.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Interesting. I need to try the loan feature on my Kindle.

    • Jen says:

      Yeah…I am not really sure how it works with Kindle. And I know now that Kindle is having issues with Net Galley books. It just seems like these companies need to come to some kind of consensus on how they are going to handle borrowing books!