Monday, 29 April 2013

Life was so much easier before E-books: A Mini Rant

So over the last 6 months or so, I’ve become more accustomed to reading e-books (mostly on my phone). Call it keeping up with the times if you will. Now I’ve always been partial to the printed word, and even now still prefer it to its electronic equivalent. However e-books have many advantages which I’m not going to point out today, since we’ve all read the many posts on books vs. E-readers etc. But despite all the advantages that e-books present us with, I must was so much easier before them (or at least my technologically incompetent self thinks so). Physical books came in one format, paperback...well 2 really if you include hardbacks as well, but let’s not get into semantics. It was simple back in the day, you walk into a store pick up the book you wanted and WaBam! done. 

But nowadays, the skill of reading isn’t enough for you to be able to read a book, you have to posses the coveted skill of technology. My recent experience has given me an eye-opener on how difficult it can be at times with e-books and the frustration that comes along with mucking around and moving files to the many devices you have etc. Recently I downloaded a book, which was in .ascm file (which is apparently to do with copyright and sharing files), so anyway I had to authorise my version of Adobe Digital Editions, which then converted the file into a PDF. It seemed simple at first, but the hard part came... when I wanted to transfer the same file over to my phone.

The transferring part was easy, I mean to say I’m not so incompetent I don’t know how to copy and paste...but then the file wouldn’t import into my Aldiko problem solving went as follows

Step 1: I was advised to try another file locating devise for my phone called ‘Astro’. Downloaded it, still couldn’t open up the file.

Step 2: Ok, so the file is a PDF, how about I just open it with Adobe Reader on my phone. Nope, not going to happen. 

Step 3: Back to the computer, how about I convert this Mother Fucker into an epub, that will solve all my problems. Programme can’t do that, because the file is DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected.

Step 6*:  See if there’s an Aldiko app update for my phone. Why, hello, I’ve been using the wrong Aldiko app this entire time....

Step 7: YAY! Finally got the file on my phone and into the correct Aldiko App, which I also had to DRM authorise in order to open the book. Start reading happily...then, hmm I wonder how I can increase the font size. WRONG, PDF files don’t change text size, but I can zoom in. (Less enthusiastic Yay)

Step 8: Write long ranting blog post about how e-books are utterly confusing. Done!

*(Steps 4 and 5 have been skipped due to their embarrassing nature ie. tearing my hair out and cursing to the heavens)


  • Check I'm using the correct app on my phone and don't assume the reading app that came with the phone is of any use. 
  • Authorizing Adobe Digital Editions with an ID, allows you to transfer files between devices legally. otherwise you can only read them on the device you originally downloaded to. 
  • E-books are an increasing trend, with more and more independent authors publishing their works in e-reader format, but I still prefer the old ways. Call me old school if you must :)

I’m pretty new to E-books, so I’m probably in the minority with this problem, plus I don’t have a ‘proper’ e-reader which makes life more difficult. But has anything frustrating like this happened to you?

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