"Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess." Rene Descartes, from Discourse On The Method, published 1637.
Peeps, if you're luck enough to have an iPhone, you need to download Stanza. It's a free app, and you pay for the ebooks you download. (It's similar to the Amazon Kindle, but it's missing a few features like a built-in dictionary.) Since most of the geek stuff I read is old and in the public domain, it's free. Yay Nerd Lit!
With Stanza, you get access to a huge catalog. Once you've downloaded your books, you can flip through the covers like you can flip through cd covers on iTunes. The downloads seem to be really fast. I downloaded both the Stanza app and Northanger Abbey while riding the bus down Hillsborough Street. (I had to restrain myself from the "YES!" and fist pumping outburst when I finished that download.) In fact, I've been downloading stuff as I've been typing. I've downloaded more that I could carry out of the used bookstore.
I am thrilled to see I can download books in other languages as well. To find books, I can search by author, subject, or even by book lists. I just found a list called "Banned Books" that begins with Sons and Lovers. If you're so inclined, you can even download magazines and newspapers.
Y'all remember I was a lit major, right?
I can't describe to you how impressed I am with this application. In the span of 30 minutes, I've been able to download 16 books. Tomorrow morning on my way to work, I will be able to choose from a number of fantastic books. I will never be bored again! Oh and next time I run into Dancing Queen and her sycophant friend, I can bust out the Stanza and go, "No, really. It's Kafka. See? Here it is!"
Because I know y'all are on the edge of your seats waiting to hear what I downloaded....
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Vanity Fair by Thackery
Discourse On The Method by Descartes (seriously? I get to read this on my iPhone? sweet!)
The Time Machine by HG Wells (they start you with that one
Les Trois Mousquetaires by Dumas (my favorite writer, and this one is in French!)
On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James
Washington Square by Henry James
Candide by Voltaire
A Room With A View by EM Forester
Dead Souls by Gogol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (I said he was my favorite. and I lost my copy)
The Divine Comedy by Dante (no, really, I did.)
sound of crickets chirping
Guys? Anyone still there? Hey! Where'd ya go?