Saturday, February 18, 2012
For Christmas I was given a Kindle eReader and I have to admit that it has changed the way I read and what I read. I always have a huge stack of books around the house waiting to be read and the Kindle has sharply increased both my actual stack and my possible stack of books to eventually devour. Since one of my fascinations is early 20th century pulp fiction the first thing I did was seek out Kindle versions of those types of books and I was shocked to learn just how much was available for free. Free! And then just how many more were available for incredibly small prices. I’ll give you an example.
When I was a young lad I started reading the classic Tarzan novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I came to them by way of ERB’s John Carter stories but I quickly fell in love with the character and setting. I've written about my love of theses books before so its no secret that I loved the stories with their more formal style of writing. The spell of ERB's fiction grabs me every time I crack open the covers. As a kid I only read the first seven Tarzan books. After that my attention was grabbed by other things or I couldn’t lay my hands on number eight or something. I can never be sure. A few years ago I decided I would pick up the rest of the original Tarzan tales and slowly finish all 24 written by Burroughs. My plan was to read one of them a year and since I was starting out with number 8 I figured in 16 years I’d have the entire series under my belt and could then read some of the tales written or finished by other writers. I know, I know. It’s a silly long range plan but that was the way I wanted to go. Cut to today when I haven’t read one in over two years because I reached the 13th in the run and haven’t yet picked up a copy of the next one. It’s not hard to find the Tarzan novels- they are always in print- but I haven’t felt the allure of the Jungle Lord in a long time and there is that huge unread stack staring at me from the shelves, so.....
Then comes the Kindle. I’m casting about for eBooks to grab and I think why not get the next Tarzan book and put it in the ‘on deck’ circle, so to speak. I do a quick search on Amazon and Holy Crap! I find multiple listings for the series with the most astonishing one being an eBook version of all 24 of the original books for $2.99. That’s not one book for $2.99- that is every single Tarzan novel for less than three freakin’ dollars! I won’t have to hunt for the rest of the series any more. I have them all in one convenient place- my Kindle. Wow! The possibility of older fiction ending up in my (or anyone else’s) 'to read' stack just got more likely. I can see the true beauty of this eBook thing.
So, I might be finishing the Tarzan series in less time than I thought. Or I might read another Bulldog Drummond book. Or Doc Savage. And I'm loving the Ed McBain crime novels from the 1950s too. That stack is pretty high.