Almost three years have passed since I bought my e-book reader. Back then they were not at all popular where I live, and still aren’t to this day (probably because of the poor support these devices have for Hebrew fonts and right-to-left text), but it was perfect for me. As an Internet dweller, fan of literary classics and history, and (kind of) a friend of technology, it was definitely my style. No device actually supported selling books to Israel at the time, but I didn’t really care – I looked for the cheapest device that could read Epub files I’d download from Gutenberg and such, and PDF files from Ben-Yehuda and such (PDF is the one format where Hebrew is supported kind of reasonably). I payed around 1,000 shekels (around 200 Euros or 300$) for a Sony Reader, and in a moment had an entire world of classical literature in my hands.
However, classics aren’t the only thing I read. Something else was happening at that time – The DRM-free world was looking better than ever. Two excellent DRM-free digital music stores opened in Israel, allowing me to fill my music player with legal music; Video games were starting to adopt suspicious DRM methods, but GOG.com was created, offering DRM-free games. I assumed it’s only a matter of time until the DRM-free enlightenment reach the world of literature. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Not only was I wrong, but the other industries broke as well. The music stores closed, and I’m not aware of anywhere selling Hebrew music DRM-free anymore. GOG are still around (and I hope they stay forever, they’re awesome) but Steam has taken control of the gaming industry, and while I love Steam for the low prices they brought to the industry, it became a DRM nightmare. I do not consider my game purchases on Steam as actually buying games – I’m paying for the right to use the game under limited conditions for a limited time, and I’m fine with it because it costs extremely little (I usually buy games on sale for 5$ or less – It’s amazing what games you can get that way).
However, that is not the case for books. Amazon is not Steam, and DRM-locked books don’t seem to cost significantly less than paper books. As much as I liked being the guy that doesn’t need paper anymore, as much as I liked emptying my house of needless objects, I also want to read. And if a book is going to cost me the same 10$-30$ either way, I might as well get it with actual rights for it. Hopefully the DRM-free revolution will still come someday.
 I admit, there was a bit of a Buddhist-style feeling to it, of “rid yourself of material wealth”. I love that.