Buying an ebook

deaththinairI don’t have a kindle, nook, ipad, or any other device in which to download books, unless you count my brand new used 4 iphone. Which I don’t. Reading a book on that would be like deciphering the written word from a dollhouse library. And yet, I was almost willing to try. Almost. Who is in control of e-book production? My guess would be individual publishers, but my guess is only that. I came across a title that I’ve only seen in a catalog as a first edition for hundreds of dollars. It’s that rare. I was ecstatic, for exactly as long as it took me to realize that I couldn’t read it. It’s digital.  The title in question is a very old obscure mystery written under a pen name by the same gentleman who wrote the Great Merlini stories. He wrote so few of those, that they are collector items in first editions, but at least you can find beat up reading copies and used paperbacks. The Stuart Towne mysteries have no such past printing history, and therefore are of tremendous value. I’ve never run across reading copies either. The print run must have been quite small. All this is irrelevant to the fact that a publisher has released the two Towne novels, but declined to physically print them, assuming I suppose, that they would not be big money makers. Ok, I can understand that reasoning. But how can someone who doesn’t have the specific devices sited, get access to the book? Well, since I do have the iphone, I can get an app from, yep, Amazon, for a kindle thingamabob, or B&N for a nook thingamajig. And lo and behold, I am informed these apps are free! AND, now that I uncover more info,  I don’t need to squint to read them on a phone–I can download right onto my mac. I course, you pay for the book, as well one should. The thing that bugs me, I have to have a specific app for my downloads. Why can’t I buy a digital book without the need for a specific app? Meaning, why can’t it be downloaded it, period? I don’t need a google app  or a kindle or a nook app to be able to get the book and read it easily on my computer. Why do these big corporations demand that the vehicle in which you download a book you pay for, be of their design? I’ve not attempted to buy and download anything yet, but here’s my question. If I do buy a book, and get a free app–what does that mean? Am I then able to print the book out if I want to spend money on a stack of paper stock and tons of ink jet cartridges ? Or are there things within the apps that prevent me from printing, copying and sending my bought book off to my rare book buddy? And if so, why the hell not? I bought the book, just like you would a paperback, when finished, I should be able to lend it to anyone I damn please. That’s how the written word works. The paperback doesn’t spontaneously combust to prevent me from sharing.  Maybe I’m assuming things not in evidence, perhaps once you purchase the e-book, it’s yours to do whatever with. I hope so. I guess the only way to find out is to take the plunge, ugh, and buy one of the Towne books. I can’t imagine sitting at my computer screen reading for hours, but then again, I visit facebook and waste my eyes and time staring at inane kitten videos and political crap, so maybe a 300 page book would be an improvement. I’ll let you know.