So, the university program I teach with is doing Jo Nesbo's book The Snowman for the group reading at the residency coming up in January. I've been asked to lead one of the discussion groups. Today I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and get a copy of the book.
The university does not pay for my copy, by the way. I was already doing some browsing on Amazon, so I looked it up and was dismayed to find that the mass market is not available yet. Hard covers are a pain in my ass. They take up a ton of room, they're heavy, and they hurt when I fall asleep reading and drop them on my face.
Okay, so, fine. For a book I'm going to be analyzing, I'd prefer a hard copy that I can mark up, but, I can mark up an ebook too, and its better than hauling around a hard cover. But I don't want an Amazon one because I don't like Amazon's attempts to constantly herd me into only buying stuff from them that I can only read on their devices and applications. Also, I read my ebooks on my iPhone and their reading application is far inferior to my fave, Stanza. I read at night. I need a night view. I like to be able to adjust the font face, and the background, and the text colors, and the line spacing so that it's comfortable for me. Fine, I'm picky, but so what?
So I hie over to my favorite ebook reseller, All Romance eBooks/Omnilit. They have the ebook. It's $12.99! For an ebook! Jeez! Well, fine, I suck it up and I buy the book. But its not available in epub. Just secure epub. Rrrr. Fine. I buy it anyway.
That turns out to be a big mistake because once the file is downloaded, it turns out to be a bunch of gobbledy gook that wont open in Stanza or any of my other applications. I just spent thirteen bucks for nothing. And the first thing I did was not to file a help ticket with ARe/Omnilit (though I have now) but to go to Google and search for a free download.
The only thing holding me back from going through with that is that the only site I could find wants me to install a .exe file that may just eat my hard drive or something. So, I go back to ARe/Omnilit, read thier faq, follow the link to the application they recommend for reading secure epub files and... that website informs me that my system is not up to date enough to download their software, despite the fact that I'm running lion on a MacBook Air I bought a month and a half ago.
For the love of god, people! I just want to read the fucking book on my phone, with a black background, Cochin font in grey, with the lines spaced at 1.25. What's the big fucking deal?
At this point, I'm at the mercy of ARe's tech support that I didn't just throw 13 bucks down the drain, and I'm reasonalby confident that they'll do right by me in the end. I'd just as soon get a refund now, if I can't read the damn thing on Stanza. And you know what I'll do then? Go to the library.