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January 6th, 2014

In 2013 I added another platform to the tried-and-true (and, if truth be told, still preferred by me), 650-year-old printed and bound book platform: the missus sold me her Kindle Fire 7" last February, after she'd bought a Kindle Fire HD. I had a brief scare with it in April, when it mysteriously quit working, but the missus was able to dope-slap it back to life.

Since my previous favorite bookstore chain, Borders, bit the dust in September 2011, my acquisition of a Kindle has gradually meant that my new favorite (and I say that guardedly...) "bookstore" is Amazon.com; the other thing that has been driving my eyeballs and wallet (or, to be more precise, electronic access to my bank account) towards Amazon's door is the missus's growing impatience, disgust, and, some days, fury, at my book hoarding library: never much of a reader to begin with, she sees no need in keeping books around after they've been read once (EXCEPTION: those books that she wants to keep around for a possible re-read, such as certain works by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Diane Chamberlain, Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult, Lisa See, or Lilian Jackson Braun); however, now that I have a Kindle, she doesn't have to be troubled by the sight of what is to her merely unsightly, ungodly clutter, or at the thought of the time and effort it will take to pack and move a bunch of what is to her utterly unnecessary dead weight when next we change residences.

In addition to purchasing books for my Kindle (and downloading a few free books that Amazon offered; usually not ones in the public domain, oddly enough), I've been working the crap out of Project Gutenberg's main (U.S.) site to download works that I'm interested in reading that have lapsed into the public domain (including some pulp sci-fi and fantasy from the 1920s - 1950s) under U.S. copyright law. (Project Gutenberg's Australia site has even more works available, owing to Oz's less generous copyright laws; however, I seem to be unable to actually download any of the titles on its site, most likely due to my having an American IP address: if I wish to read something on PG-Oz's site that isn't on their main site, I'll be obliged to read it in HTML, directly on their site, which will mean that my bookmarks may be lost, and I won't be able to highlight or annotate it, at least if I read it on the Kindle.) While I've flirted with reading a Project Gutenberg text on my PC or laptop various times over the years -- in particular, I've made two or three false starts of Edwin Arnold's Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation -- acquiring a Kindle actually spurred me to read a few of their books (as well as a couple of short stories). I've previously blogged about my trial-and-error explorations of exactly how I was finally able to read a Project Gutenberg text on my Kindle, so I won't reiterate them here; suffice to say, neither Amazon nor Project Gutenberg make it blindingly obvious how, or if, this may be done.

I've also borrowed some books from the library for my Kindle, only one of which I didn't finish; as the rental period for e-books in my library network is a mere two weeks (as opposed to the three week period accorded to physical books, with the option to renew the rental up to three times, provided that no other library user has placed a hold on it), I've been obliged to drop any other book I was actively reading at the time in order to get through my e-(book) loan. This has directly resulted in my stalling out in a physical book (along with my growing ambivalence about it), but I've resumed picking my way through it as of 31 December 2013.

Alright, enough preamble; on to the rundown.

Read Dead Redemption?Collapse )

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The supreme space lord who will now DEST
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The Feckless Wonder

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