reading used ebooks

This is the story: I love used books. The smell, the bookstore, the dog ears left by others (well maybe I shouldn’t go that far). In fact, like most people I know, I love used books so much that the thought of reading an ebook at first was borderline ridiculous. Now, I swear by them, those ebooks. What happened ?

I bought my first Amazon Kindle in January 2012, and though I have changed since then to the iPad, kudos to Amazon for a great product. EInk is very easy to read. My first purchase was The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, and it just read so well. I could take this five hundred page volume anywhere, along with my growing library.

I was still reluctant, as it is one thing to read biographies or work-related subject matter, and another to read literature. But I wanted to read a particular book, Caribou Island, and I didn’t want to wait for the book to arrive by mail. I wanted it now. Click. Here it is. I felt way too privileged at that point.

And the real killer was when, while vacationing on the beach one fine windy day, I could read very comfortably my novel while sand blowed all around, drops of ocean sprinkled my Kindle… you get the picture. The sweet smell of an old musty used book was a long ago fairy tale. The ebook proved its worth.

So after all, I feel it’s only natural that I love used ebooks. Though of course, the meaning has changed. Ebooks are all about being used, and reused, in a real world context. I send everything to my Kindle, or iBook, or instapaper. I love highlighting with my finger, and sharing with one touch. And hence, this blog. I love ebooks, so I want to write about how I use them.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some web ebooks already reviewed or waiting to be reflected upon. In spite of their age, they are still prevalent. New and used ebooks will be added as they come:

Here’s the very short list of (e)books outside of the web that I recommend to anyone:

Classic literature / poetry

  • Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
  • Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  • Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
  • Fleurs de Mal, Charles Beaudelaire
  • Everything Socrates said (through Plato)

Modern and Contemporary literature / poetry

  • Caribou Island, David Vann
  • The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  • The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon
  • Joker, Joker, Deuce, Paul Beatty