General · reading

27 Loans Kills Library’s HarperCollins eBooks

A month back, HarperCollin released this letter.

It basically states that as far as ebooks and libraries go, HarperCollins will only allow 26 loans. They have some absurd idea that physical books only last for 26 loans and after that, they are so damaged the library is forced to buy a new copy. Not true!

Mass market paperback, the cheapest binding possible, do not die at the 27th loan.  Hardcovers surely don’t either!

If they did, my childhood mss would have fallen apart a long time ago. The pages are yellowed and there is the odd stain, but the pages have not fallen out. You may be sure I read and reread my favorites far more than 26 times!

Even if physical books were prone to such damage, so what? The near perpetual lifetime of ebooks is one of their attractions.

I could understand their canceling the library’s license to a book after 500 loans (or five years, whichever comes first) but 26? That just makes no sense.

I don’t know. Maybe they are trying to make the library to buy their physical books and avoid their ebooks. But that seems a little out there.

Why are they doing this?