Tuesday, August 05, 2014

What's on your Kindle?

Ebooks are such a great invention. Even though I love physical books and regularly acquire new ones, books for my Kindle and iPad are just as important to me. The classics in particular are works I'd likely never have on my shelves, but in e-form they are just collections of a few trillion or so electrons. Over half a century ago, Jane Eyre, David Copperfield and The Merchant of Venice were foisted on my immature brain, and I hated them all. Never even finished reading them, actually. In the last couple of years I've read them and others through to the end--oh, wait, I still gagged on David Copperfield halfway through, but that's the great thing: the ebook keeps my place forever, so in a weak moment, perhaps with onset of dementia, I can resume following Master Copperfield's adventures.

Jane Eyre turns out to be a good story, but why assign an anti-semitic play to a poor ninth grader? As it happens, not much penetrated my brain back then, so no harm was done. Other works began to seep into my brain before high school was over, but it's only now that they are making significant impressions. Take The Iliad, for example. So far it's mostly fighting, with spears ripping through skulls--and darkness fell upon him. The brutal fighting gets a little old, but Homer's similes are humdingers:

He rushed across the plain like a winter torrent that has burst its barrier in full flood; no dykes, no walls of fruitful vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with rain from heaven, but in a moment it comes tearing onward, and lays many a field waste that many a strong man hand has reclaimed--even so were the dense phalanxes of the Trojans driven in route by the son of Tydeus, and many though they were, they dared not abide his onslaught.

My ebook collection is heavy on the classics, poetry, and self-published novels. If I'm blessed with a long life, maybe I'll get to read all of them.

So, to paraphrase the Capital One TV commercial, What's on your Kindle?


Christine Verstraete said...

Good post. I have a few classics though some I will never read again (Moby Dick, War and Peace.) I have a lot of horror and zombie books, but other genres also. Mysteries, romance, lots of free books too. More than I will ever read, I fear.

Bob Sanchez said...

Funny you should mention Moby Dick. I forgot that one. About a third of the way through I was bored out of my mind. Damned whale hadn't even shown up yet. A good modern novel is Whiteness of the Whale, on the same topic but IMO far more readable than Melville.