In my pursuit of finding an answer to our question, "To Kindle or Not to Kindle?" I came across a news article in the LA Times that I had to share.
Amazon apparently had already sold George Orwell's Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four as an e-book download to its Kindle customers, when they realized that the third party from whom they received the files had no rights to sell the e-book in the first place. Amazon promptly refunded the buyers' accounts, and not only deleted the e-books from their catalog, they also remotely deleted the novels from their customers' Kindles. No harm, no foul, right?
High school senior, Justin Garownski, is suing Amazon for deleting his copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four without his permission. Not only did Amazon delete his book, but they also made his notes on the book completely useless for his AP English summer assignment, since they now refer to nothing. In the lawsuit, plaintiffs argued that Amazon never disclosed its ability to view and remove content at will.
Paper and pen are sounding better and better, aren't they?
Here's another fact I'd like to point out. Amazon is only one of the many Internet giants who have access to your information. They know what books you read. They can see your notes. They track your purchases. Even Google sends its users ads based on what someone might write in an e-mail using their GMail account. Technology available in an instant, and taken away just as fast.
Yes, I'm a purist. I like my books. I write my notes in the margins with a pencil (unless I borrowed the book). If you are in the Kindle Camp, the Book Camp, or a little of both, I know one thing. No one, not even Big Brother, is coming to my library and taking away my old and battered copy of 1984.
Then again, it's not doing much good sitting up there on the shelf. I think we should all take out our copies of 1984 and give them another read, don't you?