Imagine the scenario. You thought of the environment and so downloaded the e-version of that eagerly awaited book, all ready for your holiday. You downloaded it onto your e-reader as opposed to buying a traditional book to do your bit for the planet and off you trot on hols armed with your summer read.
Suddenly, and without warning, you then find out the store you bought it from has decided to close their service down and all the books you paid for, in some cases many hundreds, are lost and you have no access to them. This nightmare has become a reality for some BH Living readers with the announcement that Microsoft are closing down their eBook Microsoft store as of April 2019.
When you see a global brand name like Microsoft you think of stability and reliability, yet almost without warning they announced the closure of their e-books service. Although they claim all these affected will receive refunds, it has left many with a bitter taste.
Many who’ve used the site and downloaded their books would understandably assume they own the books they’ve paid for, but this doesn’t appear to be the case. According to Microsoft users have only paid for a hosting service to view the book on, so that cherished title you enjoyed and are keeping to re-read again will as of July 2019 disappear. The same goes for free book downloads, these will also disappear at the same time.
As yet Microsoft have not given a reason for the sudden closure but it begs the question: Who could be next? Many online companies have become very powerful and dominate the markets they operate in. But with power comes great responsibility. BH Living believes that companies operating e-book services should be more transparent about who actually owns the book when it is downloaded.
With the power that these online giants have over us, perhaps now is the time to kick back and enjoy the secure ownership, and smell, of a traditional book?
What do you think? Are you a convert to eBooks or do you prefer traditional hardback or paperback books? Email our Bookworms bookclub editor on: email@example.com or comment below.
Brian Case April 2019