KINDLE FREAKS: A SELECTION OF GOOD READING FOR FREE

Last post of 2013!!

Other bloggers use the label ‘Kindle freak’ meaning someone in love with their e-book readers, as sold by Amazon. This is not quite how I use the label here, as, although I like my Kindle Touch e-book reader fine I am not much in love with Amazon’s attempts to control me and my reading habits. Once, as I loaded up new texts onto my Kindle I got a message from Amazon saying I should purchase ‘legally’ a classic I had downloaded very legally from Project Gutenberg. This is why my Kindle has always been off-line since then and why I use it basically to read texts I can access for free. I have not yet purchased any e-book nor intend to do so for the time being.

So: the label ‘Kindle freak’ means to me the kind of heavily addicted reader that is willing to upload any odd text onto their Kindle (or e-book) reader just for the sake of giving it a try, or ticking off an item from their own endless reading list. Since copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author according to US and UK law, this means that I’m reading plenty written by authors who died before 1943; also texts that for whatever reasons authors have simply made available. I assume that what is on offer from Project Gutenberg or Many Books fulfills these requirements. I’ll leave for the time being aside the thorny matter of piracy.

My transformation into a Kindle freak, I must explain, is also a result of the current economic crisis in Spain. Suddenly, it makes no sense to spend 100-150 euros on books every two months just to feed my reading habit as I used to do. So, I’m just buying what I must buy necessarily while I use the e-book reader’s possibilities to curb down reading expenses. Blame dear Artur Mas for that, as he’s been taking off my salary about 250 euros (after taxes) per month for the last six months or more. The downside for the book industry of my Kindle freakishness, of course, is that I’m less and less willing to spend much on paper books, and even less willing to spend much money on e-books. I thought nothing of paying 25 to 35 euros for a book a few years ago–now I’m beginning to call myself Ms. Scrooge.

My Christmas present for you is a selection of texts (in no particular order) which I have read for free and that might interest you. There’s a little bit of everything, so hopefully you’ll feel curious about at least one or two. Do use Wikipedia for extra information, it’s much more interesting than my providing comments… And enjoy!!

Four Stars Reading out of Four:
Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil’s Dictionary (1911), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/972.
Defoe, Daniel. Journal of the Plague Year (1722), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/376.
Engels, Friedrich. The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 (1845). Trans Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky, https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17306.
London, Jack. The People of the Abyss (1903), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1688.

Odd Classics:
Dickens, Charles. Sketches by Boz, Illustrative of Everyday Life and Every-day People (1836), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/882.
Stevenson, R.L. Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/535

On Women and Feminism:
Gillman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland (1915), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House (1879), trans. not specified, https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2542.
Sanger, Margaret. Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography (1938), https://archive.org/details/margaretsangerau1938sang
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. Eighty Years & More: Reminiscences 1815–1897 (1898), https://manybooks.net/titles/stantone1198211982-8.html

Solid Fantasy of the Old Kind:
Dunsany, Lord. Tales of Wonder (1916), https://manybooks.net/titles/dunsany13821382113821-8.html.
Hodgson, William Hope. The House on the Borderland (1908), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10002.
MacDonald, George. The Princess and the Goblin (1872), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/708.
Sarban (John William Wall). The Sound of his Horn (1952), https://www.munseys.com/book/21900/Sound_of_His_Horn,_The.

SF Old and New:
Bates, Harry. “Farewell to the Master” (1940), https://manybooks.net/titles/batesharryother09farewell_to_the_master.html
Bloch, Robert. This Crowded Earth (1958), https://manybooks.net/titles/blochr2577625776.html
Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother (2008), https://manybooks.net/titles/doctorowother08Little_Brother.html
Forster, EM. “The Machine Stops” (1909), https://manybooks.net/titles/forstereother07machine_stops.html
Lovecraft, H.P. “The Color Out of Space” (1927), https://manybooks.net/titles/lovecrafthother10Color_out_of_space.html
Norton, Andre. Star Born (1957), https://manybooks.net/titles/nortonaother05star_born.html
Stross, Charles. Scratch Monkey (1993), https://manybooks.net/titles/strosscother08Scratch_Monkey.html

On Theatre:
Irving, Henry. The Drama (1892), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13483
Terry, Ellen. The Story of My Life (1908), https://manybooks.net/titles/terrye1232612326-8.html

American Novels:
Cather, Willa. O Pioneers! (1913), https://manybooks.net/titles/catherwietext92opion13.html,
Lewis, Sinclair. Babbitt (1922), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1156

Non-fiction on Slavery:
Jacobs, Harriet Ann. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11030
Washington, Booker T. Up from Slavery: An Autobiography (1901), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2376.

British Novels:
Barrie, J.M. The Admirable Crichton (1902), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3490.
Corelli, Marie. The Sorrows of Satan (1895), https://archive.org/details/sorrowsofsatanor00coreuoft.
Hilton, James. Goodbye, Mr Chips (1934), https://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks05/0500111h.html.
Hilton, James. Lost Horizon (1933), https://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks05/0500141h.html.
Jerome, Jerome K. Three Men in a Boat (1889), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/308.
Lowndes, Marie Belloc. The Lodger (1913), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2014
Rohmer, Sax. The Insidious Fu Manchu (UK title The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu (1913)), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/173

WWI- British:
Raymond, Ernest. Tell England: A Study in a Generation (1922), https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/15033.
Ewart, Wilfrid. The Way of Revelation (1921), https://www.archive.org/stream/wayofrevelationn00ewaruoft/wayofrevelationn00ewaruoft_djvu.txt
WWI – Other languages:
Latzko, Andreas. Men in War (1917). Trans unspecified, https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8440 (Hungarian writer, novel in German)

I assume everyone knows about Calibre, the programme to transform files to the format your e-book reader accepts, but just in case check: https://calibre-ebook.com

Happy New Year 2014!!! May you read and enjoy much Literature.

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