You don’t know this about me, but I have been waffling about purchasing the Belkap Press (Harvard University Press imprint) edition of Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project for decades. Literally decades. I used to pick it up and lust after it every time I was in a brick and mortar bookshop, where it was usually in the Philosophy section. But every time, I didn’t end up with it. Yeah. Did I mention it’s been decades?
Nowadays, I rarely head to bookshops anymore, let alone mainstream normie ones, to be honest. The Arcades Project is one of the titles on my list that I occasionally work through and look to see if there’s finally an ebook version available. Every once in a while I browse through a list of books I want to have as an ebook hoping the publishers have finally done them, and … Welp. There finally is one for this book now, but it is an heinous abomination.
A defective pirated ebook of Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project in on Amazon, as of this month. Just look at this travesty!
Each “page” is an upside down two-page scan from a library copy. This is an insult to Walter Benjamin. This is an injury Belknap Press and us all. This is an illegal act of pure book piracy.
But, I was suckered by my long standing desire for it, and grabbed it without checking “inside” first. If I had, I would have seen this trash fire obviously displayed in the preview. Not only is the trash fire preview showing for the ebook version, but has spread its vile contagion to become the preview for the other, real editions too.
I mean, there’s the library stamp, right (upside down) there!
Also, it clearly has half as many “pages” as the real print version, since, you know, it’s just images of two-page scans …
Compare this to the actual book …
Maybe some day my sweet ebook will come … but that day is sadly not today.