Monday, August 29, 2011

Kindle; Elspeth

I recently got a Kindle, after having snubbed it for a long time.  I love to read but why would I want to stare at a little computer screen for hours, I thought.   But when my sister showed me all the books she could fit onto her little smartphone, I took a closer look at it.  It is the niftiest thing in the world!!  It's not lit from behind, like a computer screen, so you're not staring into a bright light while you read; and they say you can fit 3,500 books on it!! Yes!

So far I've downloaded 162, all but a few of them for free.  Any book which is in the public domain (I believe that would be any published before 1923) can be downloaded for zipperino from Amazon or ProjectGutenburg.  The downside to this is that these free ebooks vary in quality -- some of them seem to have been pretty sloppily put together, and even have some missing text sometimes.  But if I get a poor copy from Amazon I go to Project Gutenburg and download a different copy.

I've got Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, J.M. Barrie's plays, all the Oz books which I LOVED when I was a kid (and I found about 7 or 8 of the Oz books with John R. Neill's illustrations !!  which are a BIG part of the appeal of Oz for me), Edgar Rice Burroughs, G.K.Chesteron, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Conan Doyle.... on and on.

Did you know that Conan Doyle ("Sherlock Holmes") had a brother-in-law who also wrote novels which were very popular as well, but who wrote about a criminal named Raffles --- the antithesis of Sherlock Holmes?  I am learning many interesting bits of useless information in my pursuit of old-fashioned escapist literature. . .

Right now I am reading "The Thirty-Nine Steps" by John Buchan, and it is pretty good.  It is not exactly the same as Hitchcock's movie of the same name, but it feels familiar.  It's a good yarn.

I am really enjoying my Kindle; it is the very best birthday present I've ever had, bar none, not even the real cowboy hat and boots I got for my ninth birthday.  :)   My only concern is that I have to be careful when I start a new book.  I'm the type of reader that can't put a good story down until I finish it.  I get caught and just HAVE to find out what happens in the end, even if I have to stay up til 3 a.m. and walk around like a zombie all the next day.

Here is another page from my sketchbook:  trying to work out a character for another Etsy shop I want to open for whimsical prints.  Which one do you think is the whimsical-ist?

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