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...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, September 12, 2005

Project Gutenberg

In helping a friend who wanted tips on what to read from Project Gutenberg, I came across these interesting books, available free to all who wish to have them.

Now I don't know about you, but I am always on the lookout for a freebie. I love swag. I cherish goodie-bags.

I even stand in the queue twice to get more College packs, given out to all gratis at most American Universities the first week back to school.

(This despite that my claiming that I'm a foreign-exchange student the second go-around, complete with dodgy Swedish accent, doesn't really fool anybody. I don't care. I will have those Bic razors and travel-sized Crest toothpastes twice-over, darn it!)

So Project Gutenberg, which houses all the free-of-copyright online books people wish to read, is just up my freeloading alley.

Why pay Barnes & Noble for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, when you can do so online, as free as a eating a piece of go'mint cheese, right?

Well, I admit -- no matter how much of a cheapskate I am, my love of opening a freshly-bought book, and getting of whiff of its peculiar glue-and-musk aroma all books have, or feeling the pages rustle when I turn to a particular paragraph, or even just fingering the spine, marking my page with a bookmark for future reading, will never be superceded by some antiseptic e-text.

Yes, online books could never replace these much loved sensations in booklovers like myself.

But never mind. Just keep hugging to your heart the fact that you've saved U$ 7.95 for a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince.

Save your ducats for Katrina relief! I believe that's the new currency in Louisiana.

These then are the books which caught my eye in Project Gutenberg:

  • Kamasutra by Vatsyayana (2022)

  • On the Decay of the Art of Lying by Mark Twain (796)

  • Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy (446)

  • Hand Shadows to Be Thrown upon the Wall by Henry Bursill (383)

  • Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period by Paul Lacroix (363)

  • The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (3646)

  • Myths That Every Child Should Know by Various (3238) (Note: This is not the Communist Manifesto, though you can be forgiven for thinking it is)

  • Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1970)

  • Film: Set of 4 Atomic Bomb Test Films (1834)

  • Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great — Volume 01 of 14 by Elbert Hubbard (1450)

  • My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (1176)

  • Best Russian Short Stories (1081)

  • An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1025)

  • 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose (58)

  • I reckon that if everyone read a little Gogol, knew how to throw really good hand shadows on walls, knew all about myths and how Zarathrustra spake, tried out the Lotus Leaf Enters Jade position, laughed at Bertie Wooster, whilst decrying the Decay in the Art of Lying, this would be a much more civilised world.

    At least our tongue would know why it's so vulgar and Adam Smith would explain why I'm so cheap.


    • More wonderful information from you! However, when I went to read Kamasutra per your advice, it's only in French!

      By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Mon Sep 12, 02:49:00 pm GMT-4  

    • More wonderful information from you! However, when I went to read Kamasutra per your advice, it's only in French!


      That's delicious, Jose. :)

      Sorry about the Kamasutra being in French, but erm, why not just use the illustrations?

      Or are you one of those (few few) people who read Playboy for the articles? ;)


      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Sep 12, 03:32:00 pm GMT-4  

    • Playboy has articles???

      By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Mon Sep 12, 07:43:00 pm GMT-4  

    • That's okay, I know how it is, Jose.

      I don't read Hola! or Vanidades for the articles either. ;)


      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Sep 12, 09:41:00 pm GMT-4  

    • The Zarathustra link alas, is the Thomas Common translation; better to hear Ute Lemper sing Klingon Opera than to read a King James Nietzsche!

      Walter Kaufmann for American Nietzsche translation; R.J. Hollingdale for British Nietzsche translation, please!

      By Blogger Ron, at Sat Sep 24, 09:33:00 am GMT-4  

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