Art Kavanagh

Talk about books: a newsletter about things I’ve read

Disappearing ebook

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m rereading John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy. The copy I have is an ebook I bought from Apple (then iBooks) in 2011. At the time, I read it on my first iPad (an iPad 2 which was too heavy to hold comfortably but partly made up for that with beautifully wide bezels).

I’m now reading the book on a 2019 iPad Air. Obviously, I was able to download the ebook onto it at some point in the two years since I bought that device. Last night, when the iPad’s battery ran down, I thought I’d continue reading on the iPhone, only to find that the book wasn’t in my library there. If I wanted to read it on my phone, I’d need to buy a new copy.

It looks as if the edition I had previously bought is no longer available, so if I want to read it on a device which doesn’t already have a downloaded copy I’m out of luck unless I want to buy it again. It’s only €4 but I’m trying to avoid buying new ebooks. I’m not nearly as enthusiastic about that format as I was in 2011.

It’s slightly ironic that one of my main complaints against ebooks is that you can’t get rid of the blasted things when you no longer want them. Unless, I now need to add, the publisher has decided that people should buy a new edition.