On the Kindle

For Christmas this year, my parents got us a Kindle. For those who haven't paid attention for the last several years, this is an incredibly popular ebook reader. It's popularity seems to be for several very good reasons. First, it's screen really looks like paper, and not at all like a screen. It's actually a bit creepy how successful they were with that. Also, it has wireless capability, so you don't need a computer in order to download new books from online. Unless you live in rural Kenya, but we sure are looking forward to utilizing that feature when we're back in the US.

But my primary fascination with the Kindle is the same as my fanhood of Mutopia and NoiseTrade. Namely, that there are tons of things available for free, largely because they were published before 1923, and are therefore public domain. Now, some people couldn't name 3 books prior to 1923 that they would care about reading. After all, this is prior to John Grisham and Barbara Kingsolver. It's even prior to CS Lewis and Graham Greene. But in my opinion, there is still an amazing wealth. Examples:

What I have already read on the Kindle:
-The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie)
-Heretics (GK Chesterton)
-Selected Sermons of Jonathan Edwards
-Pinocchio (by Collodi, the original)
-The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter)
-Parts of the ESV bible
-the free sample of Velvet Elvis (Rob Bell)
-the free sample of God, Medicine, and Suffering (Stanley Hauerwas)
-Currently reading A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle)

Other things I have downloaded, but still looking forward to: Thomas Hardy, Dickens, Bronte, other Sherlock Holmes stories, other Agatha Christie, 3 books by PG Wodehouse, Kipling, Walter Scott, George MacDonald, Baum's Oz stories, The Wind and the Willows and other Grahame stories, Hawthorne's short stories, the Man in the Iron Mask, Secret Garden, Beauty and the Beast, the Idiot, other Chesterton...

In short, something amazing has happened. About 1 1/2 years ago, I had to get rid of my library. I kept a few boxes, which are now graciously stored in my parents' attic, but I got rid of hundreds of books. And now, with the Kindle, I'm getting them back. Not all of them. And I can't exactly loan them out to friends who don't have a Kindle, but still. And it's portable, so I can take it with me.

Thanks much to my parents for this gift, which is being heartily enjoyed.

If you have an ebook reader, and don't know Project Gutenburg, you should.


Anonymous said...

I'll have to get Project Gutenburg, you tend to suggest great reads. Love, Mom