Re: eBooks still have to make much progress before I prefer them
Without wanting to start sounding like a broken record... (blush):
Yes. If you buy an e-book from, say, Amazon you buy a licence to read that book. But if you bought, for example only, one of my books direct from one of my e-publishers, that's not what you get. What you get is a file. Or, in the case of the publisher I'm thinking of, a number of files. You get, for the one title, at the one _low_ small-publisher price:
A (title).prc file - in case you have a Kindle
A (title).epub file - in case you have some other e-reader
A (title).pdf file - in case you like PDFs
A (title).html file - so you can read it in a browser
And you get all of those files - as files - to keep, to give away - to do what you like with. No DRM, no access control - just the files.
Can this be abused? Can the files be copied, given away and kept at the same time, shared on streaming sites? Sure they can. Do I, or indeed my publishers want you to do those Bad Things(tm)? Nope. Not at all. But hell. We can't actually stop you anyway. Not if you want to badly enough. But we (my publishers and I) would quite like you to read them though. Well, my publishers want you to read all the other books they do by all the other writers as well. And, perhaps surprisingly, so do I :-).
So I have to question your assertion that 'e-books' only allow (1) and (2). To be honest - some do. Some don't. The choice, as they say on all the game-shows - is yours :-)).