Daniel Gross is one of my favorite financial journalists. When he came out with the book Dumb Money, I wanted to get a copy ASAP, so I bought it as an “eBook.” Now that I’ve finally gotten some time to read it, I can’t believe what a stupid purchase this was.
I’m not criticizing the content. Gross is lively and engaging. But the eBook has astonishing restraints on my use of it. I don’t appear to be able to print even a single page of it. I tried to blog about part of the book, but when I tried to copy two sentences to the post, I got the message “Permissions set by the publisher of this item restrict copying.” I was warned of none of these restrictions on the S&S website when I bought the book. I suppose, as someone who teaches intellectual property, I could have assumed the worst. But it just seems obvious to me that I should get one printout of the thing once I’ve bought it.
So I must congratulate Simon & Schuster. Rather than getting a satisfied customer commenting on Gross’s book today, I’m telling readers of this blog to forget about it. Spend your money on Posner’s book, or a subscription to the American Prospect, or Dissent. Just don’t buy an eBook from Simon & Schuster.