Every Summer for the last three years I have gone away for an amount of time to work in the UK. People in France tend to go away for up to a month and it is either the month of July or August so there is little work for me here. People from all over Europe, and further afield, send their children to schools in the UK to improve their English and this means there is a demand for people who can teach the little darlings English. Each time I have worked I buy myself something from the money I earn. Usually it is something quite expensive that I would otherwise not have the money to afford. The first time it was a new came ra like the one pictured, except being a child of the 80’s it was black.
Last year I bought a Sony Reader. I didn’t do so because I prefer it to books. I don’t think the various form of eBook readers mean the end of the printed page. Why is it that there is a bipolar choice, books or Reader? To read some like Norm, or David Hepworth or Andrew Collins in The Word making great pronouncements that it is the book for them not the Kindle. Hey, I too love getting and reading new books. Form the time of ordering to the time Mr Amazon arrives at the door with my new delivery is a time of excitment and expectation for me. I wrote about my recent visit to Bristol and how a visit to a book shop for a particular book resulted in me leaving with about five extra books I hadn’t intended and I came a way with two more from a record shop. So you don’t have to convince me I love books.
So why buy a book reader? Over the last few years I have travelled up to ten times each year. I like to read when travelling and the extra weght of the pile of books can make quite a difference, especially if going for up to eight weeks as I do when I work in the UK. It is much better to get some eBooks and read them. If it is a book by an author I like and expect I will want to keep I usually try to get a hardback version of the book and read it at home. If I do not know, or if previously I would have bought a paperback version of the book then I might as well get an eBook and read it whilst travelling. If I decide I like it and want to keep it I can then get the hardback copy. So for over a year that is what I’ve done.
I have previously bought books from both shops online. On 15th September I received the following email from WH Smith:
Thank you for your custom at WHSmith’s eBook Store. Today WHSmith eBooks has moved – we’re now at WHSmith.co.uk/eBooks
At WHSmith.co.uk/eBooks you’ll find:
|Within one week we will move your account and Bookshelf to WHSmith.co.uk. If you already have an account with WHSmith.co.uk we will associate your eBook Bookshelf with that account; we’ll match them up using your email address.|
|In the meantime you can continue to access your Bookshelf at eBooks.WHSmith.co.uk. If you have queries about your WHSmith Bookshelf please contact our customer service team.|
|We assume you would like to hear about WHSmith offers by email. If you would prefer not to, please click here.|
|Thanks again for your custom. We look forward to serving you at WHSmith.co.uk/eBooks.|
As you can see from the text in red I am not able to buy books from WH Smith because I live outside the UK. OK then I’ll have to do with Waterstones. You’re ahead of me here aren’t you. On Tuesday I received the following email from Waterstone’s”
We see from our records that you have previously purchased an eBook from Waterstones.com whilst having a registered address outside of the UK and Ireland.
We regret that with immediate effect, we are no longer able to sell eBooks to customers placing an order from anywhere outside of the UK and Ireland. We have had to take this action to comply with the legal demands of publishers regarding the territories into which we can sell eBooks.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.
Please note: Your previously purchased eBooks are not affected by this and will still be available in your ‘Digital order history’ in your online account.
Waterstones.com Customer Service”
So the publishers have threatened legal action against eBook sellers who sell eBooks from UK based shops to people who do not live in the UK. Whatever happened to globalisation? Particularly for something like an eBook which is designed for being bought over the internet. This is crazy. I can buy physical books from Amazon from the US, Australia. New Zealand or the UK. Because I have bought something other than a Kindle I cannot buy eBooks from them and the shops I can buy from say they have now been threatened by the publishers and can’t sell them to me. OK there are plenty of free eBooks available from the following sites and I’ll get my reading there. Publishers Association, I hope your writers are happy as they’ll lose the income they would have had if I’d carried on buying my books from WH Shith and Waterstones. Well done.