Sunday, March 06, 2011

More Ebook

I’m still being going for with the Kindle, because there is a real tendency to hear of a book and go buy it– just what Amazon wants, of course! Last night I was exploring some of the free sites, especially Gutenberg, and I downloaded the major novels of Mrs. Gaskell, which I’ve read, but am ready to read again. I think downloading to the computer directly from Gutenberg (and then transfering by wire to the Kindle) may be easier than buying free from Amazon because it’s time consuming to figure out which edition you want on Amazon– some free, some 99 cents, some as much as $12.00.

I finished the final Palliser novel (The Duke’s Children), which was surprisingly cheerful after the heavily dysfunctional relationships of The Prime Minister. The Duke’s heir Silverbridge (“Silver”) grows on you: not overwhelmingly smart, with no real political convictions, making one error in life after another, but lovable and good hearted and once he was in love willing to stick to it! His sister also sticks to her choice in a love, and there’s another of Trollope’s pathetic woman of power, Mabel Glax, tramelled by sexism, the class system, and the disaster of turning great gifts to love alone.

It isn’t that I’m not reading contemporary books: I’m working on a new issue of my newsletter with one unpublished book and a couple from a couple of years ago. But the fact is, the brand new books are expensive and harder to get on the e-readers. Let me rephrase, not harder to get, but harder to get free. I have this feeling I should be able to borrow, as in the library, and there seems to be some of that developing– Amazon has some books you can borrow for two weeks, if the owners allow (I think I’m getting this right) but they can only be borrowed once. There’s something all wrong about this– I’m still having trouble with the ethics of all this and the logistics. The ethics of copyright is fascinating and annoying: I just read somewhere that the entire twentieth century’s output of books– at least after 1920– is going to be dead to e-books unless the publishers and authors get their heads straight and give up the infinite copyrights. Easy for me to say, with how little I make in royalties.

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