spookyevilone: (Default)
Some of my favourite links.

Project Gutenberg - books whose copyright has expired, scanned and uploaded online. I love this idea. "Out of print" makes me cry.

Baen Free Library - Baen authors who've generously donated their books to be uploaded and read for free.

The Online Books Page - A collection of links to online books - huge and comprehensive list.

Aesop - Free Online Library - contains both periodical links and books.

I own dozens of pre-1900 children's books. I try to get first editions when I can, not because of their brag value, but because I like reading the original story with the original slang and language. Later copies tend to update or change things that sometimes breaks the story.

One of my favourite series is Margaret Sidney's 'Five Little Peppers' books. I've loved those Pepper children since I first read a Penguin re-publish of the first book, 'Five Little Peppers and How They Grew' in 1985. One thing had always stumped me - in the book, Phronsie goes to the King residence. She called Jasper by his name instead of Jappy and his cousins made much of it. It was an odd thing for them to do, considering they also called him Jasper. This week, I received the first six Pepper books and had the chance to read a first edition, first printing copy of the first book and now all is made clear - Phronsie calls him Japser throughout, not Jasper, and the cousins are making much of her mistake. She's four. It's an endearing childish faux-pas that some overzealous print editor "fixed" in later printings. Even the Gutenberg copy has that 'fix' in it.

Now I know, and am happy. That confusing "correction" has bothered me for 23 years.
spookyevilone: (Default)
I read.
I read a lot.

My library currently has something along the lines of 3000 books, mostly paperback. In a three bedroom house with a basement, one and a half bedrooms are dedicated to bookshelves. I'm thinking about opening the basement to my friends as a bookswap/project area to potentially get rid of some of the second and third copies of books I own.

I'm an addict. I freely admit it. I loathe it when I'm overcome with the desire to read Random Book A at 2am and do not own it. My state no longer has 24 hour bookstores and if I ordered online, I wouldn't have it immediately. So I never get rid of books, because I might, someday, want to read the book again and woe betide me if I can't get my grubby little hands on it right then. Conniptions are not unheard of. Foaming at the mouth. Incoherencies. Twitching.

The exception to the rule are books that are so horrible or badly written that I'm afraid they might somehow infect the other books on my shelves and contagion the other authors with suck by some sort of primordial literary osmosis. Anne Rice, Anne Bishop and Stephen R. Donaldson have been banished as authors from my library. Don't get me started on Stephen King's later novels. Just don't. We'll be here all day. They've been relegated to airport Bookstores of the Damned, and that's right where they belong. Michael Crichton is getting close - several books have been banished because really, dude needs to get over his human/ape hybrid fetish, but Jurassic Park, Lost World and The Great Train Robbery were decent. Mercedes Lackey is also getting close because as much as I love her early series, her later series are nothing worth reading. She has good characters, but the stories.. what stories? Person meets person. Person spends 300 pages angsting about their feelings for person. Person and person hook up. Oh yah, and something bad happens but everything is hunkydory at the end and all go home for tea, snuggles and scones yay. Blech. It's called 'conflict' and I like some of it with my heaving bosoms and glowing looks, thanks.

mmm.. heaving bosoms. (Otto Chriek: "Zer heaving of zer bosoms.." Thank you, Mr. Pratchett)

Sorry, where was I again? Books. Right. Many of them. When does it cross the line from whimsical collection to hoarding? Should I worry? Will I eventually become the little old lady whose house is stacked to the rafters with haphazardly piled books, only a small path threading through them leading from room to room?

The bigger question is..Does this bother me?
Answer: Not really, no.

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spookyevilone

February 2014

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