Hmmm...yes. I do think proprietary anything, with the exception of source code for the soft/firmware that runs one particular manaufacturers reader, is a bad idea. You know, they're essentially forcing you to read from a certain library. That's my metaphor anyway. I'd rather, ideally, *all* digital readers, whoever manufactured them, would allow the consumer to get books from whatever damn source they please.
I can totally appreciate the idea of keeping, you know, two hundred books in one reasonably small gadget because of the space saving. My problem with digital anything is when they go tits up and can't be saved. Now you've got a block of plastic and circuitry that has all those books and you can't access them till you get a new reader and, if you're lucky, get the broken one to download them to the new one. A convential library's biggest threat is usually fire and moths.
Re: advertising downloaded ( wrapped to ) a book. Well, you're right this is good for publishers and you're also right they need the money. Personally, I hope they are able to stay in the game because they bring us great authors. They can develop writing talent the more money they have, which results in us readers being able to discover great stories.
Sure, any writer can self-publish, but you can kind of easily see a lot of amateurish mistakes that can be 'honed' or 'filtered' by the traditional gauntlet of agents and editors. That said, for those of you who do use these, when you go to look for new books to download....gosh, how do I put this?...is there a section or way of knowing an author is self-published vs those are more professionally represented? Like, do you get a list of Pendam books let's say and then maybe a list of self-published authors. For ME, I'd want to know such distinct areas are made versus having to chug through a bunch of titles all crammed together with no rhyme or reason ( I mean at the point of downloading or purchasing ).
I'm very green to this, does it show? LOL
Also, I have had hard bound books that are just flat out antiques and valuable. No way in the world would I part with them even if I bought their digitized version. As intrigued as I am by the idea of things like the Kindle, I still want my own library at home ( though I confess i donate or throw paperbacks right in the trash ).
Anyone think the iPad will try to do it all and include digital books? Sometimes when these manufacturers start trying to deliver every available media form, they wind up with a crappy machine.