Project GutenBLARG!

Screen shot 2012-04-02 at 11.20.10 PMEvery now and then I think of spending a whole year reading nothing but books on Project Gutenberg. I’m unsure if this would be a great idea or a terrible one. To this end I will download heaps of books and put them on my kindle. This is what happened yesterday, and while I don’t know if I’ll spend a whole year reading Gutenderp it’s likely a lot more forgettable Victoriana and Alexandre Dumas will enter onto my to be read pile.

The picture is from Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blog. I have dozens of screenshots taken from there. Unfortunately I can’t always remember the artists, so I’m not comfortable posting them. This picture is from this anti-Communist comic. After Comrade Colonel Sanders says this about the old books he burns the Bible.


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9 responses to “Project GutenBLARG!”

  1. Mike monaco says :

    I’ve found a lot of old books on folklore, mythology, and history to be well worth reading just for the anecdotes. But I can only browse ebooks and text files for short periods. If I’m going to sit down with a novel it really needs to be in print, and I use the library for that. Between Internet Archive, Gutenburg, and, there is a lot of good reading. When I had a Kindle for a few months I downloaded tons of pulps and other free ebooks (all of Lang’s fairy books, Burrough’s Mars books, and a bunch of mythology), and might have read more of that but my Kindle died and I set it aside for just long enough to let the warranty lapse. Doh! Very surprised to find that they do not even offer to repair them — if it dies, you just have to buy a new one, even if you can pretty much tell it’s just the battery. They don’t exactly advertise that they consider them disposable. 😦

    • Justin says :

      I agree – and that’s mostly what I downloaded. I’m enjoying Charles Leland right now. And I find as long as one remembers that the research on these subjects has progressed, these materials remain interesting curiosities.

      It’s possible that if I didn’t live overseas, I might not appreciate my kindle as much as I do. Granted I haven’t gone the route of other foreigners in town and done away with print books entirely, but the kindle at least gives me more selection than I have convenient access to. But I’ve also had to go through the headache of getting my kindle replaced, which was not fun at all. So I feel your pain.

  2. R. H. Kanakia says :

    Careful with Project Gutenberg. Lots of the translations aren’t the best. They’re public domain, which means they were often translated during Victorian times and tend to read like they’ve been run through a 19th century filter. However, I found that their translations of Plutarch, Plato and Voltaire were pretty good (and by good, I mean readable)

    • Justin says :

      Yeah, it’s definitely important to keep that filter in mind.

      I hope to use it to fill out the holes in my English lit knowledge and read more classics. Although what I’ll likely end up reading are more curiosities like 1890’s travelogues to Italy and books about the plant folklore of the English midlands.

  3. J. Spinazzola says :

    Dare I recommend to those without easy access to print books a stroll through the free digital collection available from JukePop Serials? They curate serial novels–only accepting the best of the many submissions they receive, which they organize by genre and other criteria including editor picks, reader favorites, and completed serials–so you can browse the collection with confidence you’ll find the right match. The books can be read online or via free JukePop apps.

    I have a few titles on JukePop myself, but The Actuator is kind of interesting in light of this conversation as it, among things, explores the tensions of living in an increasingly digital world while examining whether a preference for physical alternatives should be dismissed as nostalgia or accepted as a kind of reclamation process where each generation finds renewed value in objects/activities mistakingly left behind in the name of progress.

    The Actuator first appeared two years ago (before JukePop) and some of its predictions, improbable at the time, have already come true.

    • Justin says :

      Dare you? Well, good thing you didn’t wait for an answer and just did it anyways! Next time when you advertise here, do you mind dressing up like a leprechaun and dancing a jig?

  4. J. Spinazzola says :

    I’m not advertising. No links. And I don’t work for JukePop. There are over 300 serials there. The odds are very low anyone who decides to google JukePop after reading my post here will to decide to read my novel.

    I’m just a passionate guy sharing my passion. Don’t fear my passion. Might be that one of your readers checks out JukePop and becomes passionate about one of the writers featured there. Or decide to submit themselves.

    • Justin says :

      Right. Not advertising… only mentioning a website 5 times and your own book twice, and having your name link back to your site. But not advertising. Nope.

      Jeff, I have nothing against your passion. I’m just saying your grip’s a bit tight, so step back a little.

  5. J. Spinazzola says :

    Dude, it’s your reply field that asks for a website. And I don’t think two mentions is going to make your readers follow my book like blinking lights.

    They always seem more sophisticated than that. They’ll read it if it interests them. Maybe your grip is a little loose.

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