Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Updates: Kindle and Free Books

I wrote two blogposts of the last few weeks which I feel are in need of updating: A Bibliophile's Review of the Kindle DX and Problems With Free Books. (I also recently updated the Blog on the Minoan Octopus Jar.)

Kindle for Cooks
One of the things that I did not mention in my original review is my use of the kindle for cooking. I use it in two ways. One is to download and put recipes on my kindle and stand it up on my counter-top. This only works, obviously if one downloads a cookbook or creates a PDF or MOBI document. I used a particular case, a platform kindle case, that allowed me to stand the kindle upright so that I could read the recipes easily. The other way that I used the kindle was to have it read to me while I was cooking. I downloaded a free version of The History of the Peloponnesian War and had the Kindle read to me while I was cooking so that I did not waste time [1]. It was pretty helpful, except for the pronunciation of the Greek names. For example, Themistocles (the-mist-oo-cleez) was pronounced (the-mis-do-cls). Although the humanoid voices can be kind of annoying, it gets the information across and entertainment can be found by poking fun at it.

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally – Latest Generation

As a random technological sidenote, I have had my phone for 6 years and it is finally beginning to break down (people cannot hear me when I answer the phone and I have to shout, etc). Does anyone have a good recommendation?

A Clarification and More Amazing Free Books
I realized that I never explained the meaning of the title "The Problems of Free Books." The idea is that Google Books provides some downloadable free books as well as providing essentially an enormous, no-membership-required digital library that allows the reader to browse through editions of books online for the purposes of research, as well as for the ability to preview books online. For any other book, there is the difficulty of finding the book in the first place, making sure that it is the correct edition, etc. Speaking of free ebooks, there is another Amazing Site (referred to me by Propertius II) that has a bunch of academic books marked "public" which can be read online.

  1. At the time when I was doing this, I was taking a class on Thucydides: Book 1 in Greek, I was attempting to read the rest of Thucydies' History of the Peloponnesian War for context. Usually I would read the beautiful Landmark Edition, which was a wonderful gift from my parents, but I ended up just trying to breeze through the kindle edition, and look at the Landmark for reference.

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