Some reflections on reading a subscription based, “scholarly” ebook just now…
First, I can read the book online, or download it.
If I download it I need to get myself a special pair of spectacles to the read magic ink it’s written it.
I also need to say how long I want to the “loan period” to be. (I don’t know if this is metered according to multiples of 24 hours, or end the of the calendar based return day.) At the end of the loan period, I think I can keep the book but suspect that a library rep will come round to my house and either lock the book in a box to which only they have the key, or run the pages through a shredder (I’m not sure which).
Looking at the online copy of the book, there are various quotas associated with how I can use it.
A tool bar provides me with various options: the Image view is a crappy resolution view, albeit one that provides and infinite scroll through the book.
The PDF view lets me view a PDF version of the current page, though I can’t copy from it. (I do seem to be able to download it though, using the embedded PDF reader, without affecting any quotas?)
If I select the Copy option, it takes me into the PDF view and does let me highlight and copy text from that page. However, if I try to copy from too many pages, that “privilege” is removed…
As far as user experience goes, pretty rubbish on first use, and many of the benefits of having the electronic version, as compared to a print version, have been defensively (aggressively?!) coded against. This doesn’t achieve anything other than introduce inconvenience. So for example, having run out of my copy quota, I manually typed a copy of the sentence I wasn’t allowed to highlight and cmd/ctrl-C.