It occurred to me recently that, since my Kindle lists books in the order of how recently I’ve had them open, the first few pages of its index are a useful reverse-chronological order record of what I’ve recently read (at least, once I discard the entries for books that I’ve not yet finished).
Years ago, I used to keep a record of what books I’d read; I’m not sure why I stopped doing it, but I kind of regret it. Now that I have a record of my more recent reads, I thought it might be interesting to say a few words about each book. So here’s what I’ve read since I bought my new Kindle on 28 August (having had my old one stepped on).
I read this recent piece on how Harper Lee has finally allowed an e-book edition of her classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, to be produced. Of course, in the absence of an authorised e-book that readers can pay for, there are plenty of unauthorised ones — it’s trivial to find on any torrent site. My eye was caught by a comment on the article, discussing the existence of these pirate e-books:
This is sad, but doesn’t surprise me. Its the reality of the world we live in today. I suspect the biggest purchasers of this e-book will be over the age of 40 – those under don’t tend to realise the purpose or value of copyright.
That is exactly wrong.
This is from T. H. White’s absolutely brilliant book The Once and Future King — Book III (The Ill-made Knight), chapter XII (page 374 in my edition):
There is a thing called knowledge of the world, which people do not have until they are middle-aged. It is something which cannot be taught to younger people, because it is not logical and does not obey laws which are constant. It has no rules. Only, in the long years which bring women to the middle of life, a sense of balance develops. You can’t teach a baby to walk by explaining the matter to her logically — she has to learn the strange poise of walking by experience. In some way like that, you cannot teach a young woman to have knowledge of the world. She has to be left to the experience of the years. Continue reading
It came through the door this morning!
My book The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who has been available in electronic form for more than a week now [amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, others]
Now it’s also available in paperback! (At present, it’s only available direct from Lulu, where it’s printed. In six to eight weeks it should also appear on the various Amazon stores.)
The paperback edition of The Eleventh Doctor is now ready to go, after a lot of heavy-duty LibreOffice-wrangling (which I might write about some time) and some great work on the cover by Anna Nordling.
At this point, the only thing that’s holding me up from hitting the Publish button is that I wanted to include a couple of quotes on the back cover. You know the kind of thing: “Once I had put it down, I couldn’t pick it up again”, “Taylor exhibits exactly the level of cultural insight you’d expect from a professional programmer”, “At least the fonts are nice”.