[LMB] OT: can't skip to the end of an ebook?

alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca
Wed May 26 18:44:38 BST 2021

So I was reading a recently-published book, _The Invisible Life of Addie 
LaRue_ by V.E. Schwab. I'd really really enjoyed her Shades of Magic 
series and liked her book _The Near Witch_, so I was looking forward to 
this one.

I was reading it in Overdrive Read (on a web page) from my local library.

I read 27 chapters in Part 1 and was into Chapter 3 of Part 2, when I 
finally said the Eight Deadly Words. The heroine (Addie) is essentially 
stuck in a hopeless situation: homeless, friendless, freezing cold, no 
money or food but what she can steal or whore for, and in a situation much 
like the Wandering Jew, though for different reasons (not wanting to be 
forced into marriage).

It was like 30 chapters of depressing and I decided that right now I 
wasn't into this.

So I figured I'd skip ahead and see if anything got better later.

That's when I noticed that all the chapter titles were greyed out and had 
little lock icons beside them. I couldn't move to a specific chapter. I 
could only read consecutively from the beginning or go forward/backwards 
one page at a time. (I could get to the list of other books by the author 
& the TOR newsletter sign-up at the end so this was obviously deliberate.)

Has anyone else encountered this in an ebook?

It seems to me that it's removing basic rights of readers to choose how 
they read a book. I rarely skip to the end of a novel for spoilers, but 
there are a few times like this when I want to, and sometimes I just want 
to check the author bio or end-notes partway through. And, of course, for 
non-fiction it's quite reasonable to only read portions of a book.

I wonder if this was imposed by Overdrive, or my library, or by the 

What do others think?


On a side note, all the chapters were numbered in Roman numerals. I'd 
heard that these weren't taught any more in schools - is there an 
assumption still that everyone will pick them up?


Alayne McGregor
alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca

What we need is a tough new kind of feminism with no illusions. ... We
need a kind of feminism that aims not just to assimilate into the
institutions that men have created over the centuries, but to infiltrate
and subvert them. -- Barbara Ehrenreich

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