This Christmas, my dear wife purchased me an e-reader. It started out as a Barnes and Noble Nook, but after some research (especially into how many academic-type books there are on each) I decided a Kindle was more useful to me. So I ordered one.
Its delivery was delayed, one got lost in the mail, and mine finally arrived on the day after Apple made its big iPad announcement.
Thus the dilemma: do I keep the Kindle, or send it back in anticipation of getting a cool new Apple product?
I decided to keep the Kindle. The reasons had mostly to do with the fact that I don’t need another computer-like device: I have a MacBook, I’ll probably have an iPhone in a couple months, I have a smart phone now. I don’t need another e-mail machine, etc.
There was also the concern that with as much as it does, the iPad won’t do as well the one thing that the Kindle does: allow me to read books.
The Kindle has an easy-to-read screen and an extraordinarily long battery life (40ish hours). The max “10 hours” of the iPad didn’t sound all that attractive in comparison, and the screen would be much harder on the eyes.
So I opened my Kindle, but still not entirely sure what I’d do with it. Do I purchase professional books in a format that might become obsolete? Do I buy fiction books that I might read once or twice–but could have checked out of the library?
Then I found my way.
My Kindle exists primarily to provide me with countless hours of reading in classic literature that I can download for free from the internet. So, in honor of this lovely device and its newfound home in my heart, I offer you the first sentences of some of the books I uploaded in my first Kindle “book run”:
“The artist is the creator of beautiful things.”
“Κατ͗ αρχάς παρουσιάζονται προ των βωμών που ήσαν εμπρός από το ανάκτορον του Οιδίποδος γέροντες και νέοι Θηβαίοι στεφανωμένοι με ικετηρίους κλάδους.” (diacritical marks kept as they are in the eb00k)
“The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest.”
“A cloud was on the mind of men, and wailing went the weather,Yeah, a sick cloud upon the soul when we were boys together.”
“A wolf, finding that the sheep were so afraid of him that he could not get near them, disguised himself in the dress of a shepherd, and thus attired approached the flock.”
“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”
“My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip.”
“At night, in winter, when the snow-flakes fall slowly from heaven like great white tears, I raise my voice; its resonance thrills the cypress trees and makes them bud anew.”
“In the war of Troy, the Greeks having sacked some of the neighbouring towns, and taken from thence two beautiful captives, Chryseis and Briseis, allotted the first to Agamemnon and the last to Achilles.”
“Those who undertake to write histories, do not, I perceive, take that trouble on one and the same account, but ofr many reasons, and those such as are very different one from another.”
“Call me Ishmael.”
“Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.”
That’s the first line of about 1/5 of the free books I uploaded to my reader in about 45 seconds. I’m not trying to sell these things, but mine now has a purpose. And I have a mission: read everything.