When it comes to e-book version of the classics, libraries mostly seem to have cheaped out and gone for very inexpensive versions that’re usually based on Project Gutenberg texts. This means that the translations are often old and the quality is bad. Which means until now I’ve largely, particularly for English language classics, relied on directly downloading the texts from the Gutenberg website.
Recently though I came to the conclusion that my reading would benefit from more annotation and background, so I’ve started to put down money to buy the Penguin Classics or Oxford Classics versions of various books, and it adds up, sheesh. I mean the quality of my reading experience is better, but it is odd to pay money for something I used to get for free. For instance I just downloaded the Oxford classics version of Emma, because I decided when I rereaded I wanted to get all the downlow on the political and cultural shit that I just to just intuit (or Google) during the course of my reading.
Anyway, I can’t believe how much money I’ve given to Amazon in my life. My Kindle library is like 500 titles long. I’ve read about 200 of those, but the remainder could easily be my entire reading for 1 or 2 years. And yet I still continue to acquire books.
Sigh. Buying books feels better than buying other consumer goods. In many cases it’s also a lot cheaper. But it’s still a form of consumerism.
A form that feels sooooooo good.