For all you bookophiles out there, there's some great news! If you haven't heard it by now, Project Gutenberg and the World Book Fair are coming together to put online close to a million books for free. Yes! Absolutely free for downloads. They don't even ask you to get registered like the other 'free' sites do.
These two organizations are non-profit ones and along with the likes of google and yahoo are waging wars against the publishing world, to get expensive and not-so-easily-available books straight to your desktop. So don't let go off the opportunity. The reference sites are here
1. Project Gutenberg - www.gutenberg.org
2. World Book Fair - www.worldbookfair.com
If any of you are the kinds who use PDAs or any other fancy instruments, downloads into these are also supported.
I'm not one to really read books online. Half the magic in reading a book, according to me, is in holding down those pages, smelling them as one flips through them, and going back to lines that suddenly hit you after your well past reading them. That magic cannot be replicated by technology no matter what. Its the same reason why I never watch a movie if I can read the book form of it. Inevitably, in a cause-effect relation, books would be the cause and movies the effect, with rare exceptions. The only 3 books converted to movies, that I have watched and liked are
1. Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson did a job that would put most of our imaginations to shame, and the locales!!!)
2. One flew over the Cuckoo's nest (Sheer brilliance of Jack Nicholson)
I have vowed to never watch the movie 'Hitchhiker's guide..' after a friend who watched me told me that Zaphod Beeblebrox has just one head in the movie. Sigh!
Two cribs about the two sites mentioned above.
First - bad interface. The search boxes aren't right up front and neither is the keyword 'search' used on gutenberg. Though catalog is the word book-lovers would more associate with, when you put them online, you got to act like you're online too. What was that about being in Rome and acting like one.
Second - Some of the all time greats are not available. I haven't checked the world book fair site though, since it wasn't up at the point of posting this blog. But Gutenberg did not have any Garcia on it. That considering that his 'One hundred years of solitude' was listed in the top 10 of most 'Top 100' lists at the end of the last century.
Happy reading folks!