There are no stupid questions…

… and there’s no such thing as a late adopter. That said, I just discovered ManyBooks.net – possibly the greatest thing to happen to books in the public domain since, well, ever. They lead pretty quiet lives. The selection at ManyBooks isn’t quite as comprehensive as Project Gutenberg‘s, but the interface is more user-friendly, and you can download the texts in a variety of formats, including ones for the Sony reader and the iPhone. Haven’t tried it yet (have been getting my books directly from the iPhone app), but it seems pretty straightforward. My first download: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. Awesome! Plus, this little bit at the end made me think of “Once in a Lifetime” by The Talking Heads, which also makes me happy. In, you know, an uncomfortable way.

I’ve seen hundreds of ’em, bit of breakfast in hand, running wild and shining to catch their little season-ticket train, for fear they’d get dismissed if they didn’t; working at businesses they were afraid to take the trouble to understand; skedaddling back for fear they wouldn’t be in time for dinner; keeping indoors after dinner for fear of the back streets, and sleeping with the wives they married, not because they wanted them, but because they had a bit of money that would make for safety in their one little miserable skedaddle through the world. Lives insured and a bit invested for fear of accidents. And on Sundays–fear of the hereafter. As if hell was built for rabbits!

 

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