Brought to book

Every Summer for the last three years I have gone away for an amount of time to work in the UK.  People in France tend to go away for up to a month and it is either the month of July or August so there is little work for me here.  People from all over Europe, and further afield, send their children to schools in the UK to improve their English and this means there is a demand for people who can teach the little darlings English.  Each time I have worked I buy myself something from the money I earn.  Usually it is something quite expensive that I would otherwise not have the money to afford.  The first time it was a new came Large book storage ra like the one pictured, except being a child of the 80’s it was black.

Last year I bought a Sony Reader.  I didn’t do so because I prefer it to books.  I don’t think the various form of eBook readers mean the end of the printed page.  Why is it that there is a bipolar choice, books or Reader?  To read some like Norm, or David Hepworth or Andrew Collins in The Word making great pronouncements that it is the book for them not the Kindle.  Hey, I too love getting and reading new books.  Form the time of ordering to the time Mr Amazon arrives at the door with my new delivery is a time of excitment and expectation for me.  I wrote about my recent visit to Bristol and how a visit to a book shop for a particular book resulted in me leaving with about five extra books I hadn’t intended and I came a way with two more from a record shop.  So you don’t have to convince me I love books.

So why buy a book reader?  Over the last few years I have travelled up to ten times each year.  I like to read when travelling and the extra weght of the pile of books can make quite a difference, especially if going for up to eight weeks as I do when I work in the UK.  It is much better to get some eBooks and read them.  If it is a book by an author I like and expect I will want to keep I usually try to get a hardback version of the book and read it at home.  If I do not know, or if previously I would have bought a paperback version of the book then I might as well get an eBook and read it whilst travelling.  If I decide I like it and want to keep it I can then get the hardback copy.  So for over a year that is what I’ve done.

Not any longer.  The two partner stores on the Sony Reader site where you can buy your eBooks are WH Smith and Waterstones.

I have previously bought books from both shops online.  On 15th September I received the following email from WH Smith:

Dear Customer 

Thank you for your custom at WHSmith’s eBook Store. Today WHSmith eBooks has moved – we’re now at

At you’ll find:

  • Thousands of eBooks in ePub and PDF formats and eAudiobooks
  • More great eBook offers
  • The Richard & Judy Book Club exclusive to WHSmith
  • As well as millions of Books, Stationery products, Magazines and Gifts.
Within one week we will move your account and Bookshelf to If you already have an account with we will associate your eBook Bookshelf with that account; we’ll match them up using your email address.
In the meantime you can continue to access your Bookshelf at If you have queries about your WHSmith Bookshelf please contact our customer service team.
Please Note: 

  • If you have Mobipocket or Microsoft Reader eBooks in your Bookshelf please download these by 22nd September as from then on they will no longer be available to access.
  • If your credit card billing address(es) is outside the UK we’re afraid we will not be able to sell you eBooks from This is due to taxation and contractual issues. We hope to serve you again in the future.
We assume you would like to hear about WHSmith offers by email. If you would prefer not to, please click here.
Thanks again for your custom. We look forward to serving you at
Yours faithfully

As you can see from the text in red I am not able to buy books from WH Smith because I live outside the UK.  OK then I’ll have to do with Waterstones.  You’re ahead of me here aren’t you.  On Tuesday I received the following email from Waterstone’s”

“Dear Customer,

We see from our records that you have previously purchased an eBook from whilst having a registered address outside of the UK and Ireland.

We regret that  with immediate effect, we are no longer able to sell  eBooks to customers placing an order from anywhere outside of the UK and Ireland.  We have had to take this action to comply with the legal demands of publishers regarding the territories  into which we can sell eBooks.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience  that  this may cause.

Please note: Your previously purchased eBooks are not affected by this and will still be available in your ‘Digital order history’ in your online account.

Kind regards, Customer Service”

So the publishers have threatened legal action against eBook sellers who sell eBooks from UK based shops to people who do not live in the UK.  Whatever happened to globalisation?  Particularly for something like an eBook which is designed for being bought over the internet.  This is crazy.  I can buy physical books from Amazon from the US, Australia. New Zealand or the UK.  Because I have bought something other than a Kindle I cannot buy eBooks from them and the shops I can buy from say they have now been threatened by the publishers and can’t sell them to me.  OK there are plenty of free eBooks available from the following sites and I’ll get my reading there.  Publishers Association, I hope your writers are happy as they’ll lose the income they would have had if I’d carried on buying my books from WH Shith and Waterstones.  Well done.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Brought to book”

  1. eBooks – The digital Uptake; An International Perspective « The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] – The digital Uptake; An International Perspective By theflashingblade On Sunday I wrote about WH Smith and Waterstones refusal to sell me an eBook because my billing address is outside […]

  2. The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] on The Flashing  Blade, I wrote twice (here and here) about the decision by WH Smith and Waterstones to stop selling eBooks to people not […]

  3. Hanging on the……. « The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] Hanging on the……. By theflashingblade Regular readers will know that I’ve been taking up with various people the removal by Waterstones and WH Smith of my opportunity to buy eBooks because I live in France.(here, here amd here.) […]

  4. The Social Network « The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] to sell me a digital eBook when they will send me a physical book.  (See here,here, here and here)  You can see the question […]

  5. You can’t always get what you want « The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] stopping me from buying eBooks. (For the uninitiated who have a life-time to waste start here then here, here, here and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: