The promise of ebooks is their inexpensiveness. Their portability. Their ability to make perfect copies of themselves so, you and your friends can read and enjoy the same text simultaneously. If ebook retailers wanted to develop a technology based on the social aspect of books – they’d make it easy to share the text I’m currently reading with my favorite book club, with all our collective annotations and highlights.
Developing a technology that treats bit like atoms (i.e. can only occupy 1 place at 1 time) is worse than ridiculous – it’s disingenuous and asocial. Assuming an individual has the wherewithall to purchase a Kindle – or other ebook reading gadget (laptop, etc), they can find a couple bucks to purchase their own version, digital or not.