Sharing quotes in most ebooks is impossible

Ironic: I constantly ignore (or roll my eyes at) the ubiquitous option to “share” practically everything I do on a computer, tablet, or smart phone, and yet I cannot share what I actually want to share — short quotes and excerpts from ebooks (from both Apple and Amazon, anyway). I can’t even copy and paste selections! And this in spite of the fact that it would clearly constitute free publicity for the book, an obvious win for everyone involved. I win, the people I share with win, the author wins, the publisher wins, the distributor wins … but it remains impossible due to what exactly? Fear of piracy? Seriously? From enabling the ability to copy and paste quotes?

This reminds me (slightly odd, but there’s some kind of connection) of that great scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when Jonah Hill cannot buy shoes from Catherine Keener. “I’d just rather buy them from you,” he says, holding up silver boots with goldfish in the water-filled heels. “I wish it could be that easy,” she replies. “I wish too, but you’re making it extremely difficult for me. I’m just trying to get these shoes back to my house, so I can wear them.”