Friday, 29 April 2011

Kindling the imagination

I liked The Invisible Man. It would be fair to say I also liked the price-tag. Thanks to owning a Kindle, I was able to get hold of the H.G. Wells classic in a 20-novel collection for 71p, which works out at under 4p per novel. Don't mind if I do.

I doubt that many people would turn their nose up at the chance to read the likes of The Invisible Man, War of the Worlds, The Lost World, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days for that kind of price. And that's just one thing that makes owning a Kindle worth it. I've also been able to download the complete works of William Shakespeare for 70p. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is another book I've enjoyed that came for a minuscule price tag; or, as most people call it, free.

There are quite a few books out in the public domain these days. In theory, they're all available for free, with the copyright having expired. And in general it is possible to get hold of these works for free (generally, you're paying for the work people have put in compiling them all into one electronic volume, creating the links and the bookmarks and the contents pages and what have you). And, what's more, it's worth it.

Reading Frankenstein over the weekend was highly enjoyable. For all its faults - as a modern reader would see it - such as stilted, unrealistic dialogue and occasional overwritten passages, it was a good old-fashioned story, a ripping yarn as some of us more rustic folk would say. And all after one click of a button. The same goes for The Invisible Man, which I shot through in just under 24 hours.

So what else is out there? For the more romantically inclined (in other words, not me), there's Pride and Prejudice to get stuck into. (My own personal opinion is that it's grossly overrated, but those thoughts are for another blog). Horror fans who haven't yet read Dracula can do so without spending over the odds for a Penguin Classic edition complete with a redundant introduction from a contemporary writer. And racists among us can enjoy Heart of Darkness free of charge (again, that's an argument to be made for another blog).

So there's loads of free reading material out there to get stuck into, if you have a Kindle. So what if you're not thumbing through a book itself; chances are many of these classics generally wouldn't cross your path and here's a great chance to try something new (or old, as the case actually is).

Next up for me and my Kindle is The Island of Doctor Moreau. I'm looking forward to it. Expect more posts about my Kindle fairly soon...

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