"The City and the Stars" by Arthur C. Clarke is one of Science Fiction's great works. I don't know how often I've read it. It bears re-reading.
And I bought it for my Kindle some time ago, from Amazon, in the US. I read it. Archived it. Today I was extolling the virtues of the book. We went to see what it cost on Amazon. Not there.
I thought I remembered buying it, nay buying and reading it, so I checked. Sure enough, there in my Digital Items it was. I clicked on the product information and the cover showed up.
And a note that it was not available to people living in the US. I live in the US. It is, however, available for purchasers from the Amazon UK site.
And there we have it, a concern I have about electronic books. If I want to read a book, but it's not published here in the US, I get a friend or a relative to buy the book on my behalf (a friend of mine did that once for me - but instead of buying one copy of Paul Gallico's "Jennie", titled "The Abandoned" in the US, she bought six! The Lady C was ever thus.)
You can't do that with ebooks. Somehow, I'm not "allowed" own a book not made available in the US.
This is not good.
Both of them are alive to this day. Both of them still capable of displaying the content they contain.
A Sony e-reader followed the Gemstar, later traded in for the next version of Sony's technology. Both versions were the new e-ink displays. The Sony still works, and still displays the over 100 books I own on that platform.
The first Kindle, then a Kindle DX, one iPad with Kindle software and now a color Nook (so I can see e-books I publish for that platform) mean that I am very much part of the e-book/e-reader enthusiast group.
Yet there is a restriction placed on me as a purchaser of books in the digital realm that does not, nay cannot, exist in the world of dead-tree books. In the world of dead-tree books I could phone a book store in another country, order the book I wanted, and have it shipped to me. I could even do so using the online-store of such a book store.
I cannot do that with an e-book - the store won't sell it and thus I cannot get it onto my device for reading.
I've just now tried to download the copy I purchased at some time in the past to my Kindle app. There's an error in synching - so no book.
This is not good.