Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey - What's On Your Book?

I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours ...

A while back Apple Computer used to run some ads asking the question, "What do you have on your MacBook?" The results, posted by various celebrities, always seemed to include something like a draft of their novel/memoir/screenplay along with iMovies of the kids, their latest GarageBand album, complete financial history, etc., ad infinitum.

It occurs to me we could start asking people what they have on their eBook readers, whether they be Amazonian, Sonian, or Barnes & Noblean. I, for one, would be proud to show off the veritable library (well, at least one bookcase thereof) that I have on mine.

This corresponds to the shelf in my physical library of books-I-need-to-read-right-now. I usually delete the ones I've read, keeping copies of some on my desktop computer, so everything on the reader is either in progress or yet to be read. One of the wonderful things about these devices is how easy it is to read multiple books at the same time without being limited by how many you are willing to carry around with you. And it always remembers your place in each one.

This is my in-progress list:

Democracy in America - de Toqueville
Last of the Mohecans - Cooper
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
Cross Creek - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Diary of Samuel Pepys
Stories from L'Morte d'Arthur
Short Stories by Henry James
Winesburg, Ohio - Sherwood Anderson

And here's the wealth of others just waiting their turn:

On the Origin of Species - Darwin
Hard Times - Dickens
The Mutineers - Charles Hawes
3 Victorian novels by Charles John Cutliffe Wright Hyne (see my review about him)
The Water Babies - Kingsley
Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
The Longest Journey - E.M. Forster
The Octopus - Frank Norris
Thus Spake Zarathustra - Nietsche
All Things Considered - G.K. Chesterton
Celt and Saxon - George Meredith
3 Western novels by Zane Gray
A Modern Utopia - H.G. Wells
4 novels by J. Fenimore Cooper, other than Last of the Mohecans
The American Scene and The Bostonians - Henry James
3 novels by Joseph Conrad (and none of them is Heart of Darkness)
Essays - Emerson
Plain Tales From the Hills - Kipling
2 novels by Olaf Stapledon
Maggie, A Girl of the Streets - Stephen Crane
The Virginians - Wm. Thackeray
The Voyage Out and Night and Day - Virginia Woolf
The Magician - Somerset Maugham
Leaves of Grass - Whitman
The Sonnets - Shakespeare
Boswell's Life of Johnson
Can Such Things Be? - Ambrose Bierce
Chrome Yellow - Aldous Huxley
Journal of the Plague Year - Defoe

If this doesn't whet your appetite, then you are not a reader of good books. Just two final comments:

(1) The amount of money I paid for these fine examples of literature is zero, zilch, nada. They are freely available online through Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks. You may have noticed that they all date from the period now comfortably in the public domain.

(2) It's true that I'm probably adding to the list faster than I'm deleting the ones I've read, but hey, I'm making progress. And there's plenty of room left in my reader, so bring them on!

(How about you? What's on your book?)

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