Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Joys of Browsing

I am still reading The Marriage of Elinor by Margaret Oliphant. It is a very good book, one of her best. I have now read almost half. Elinor is married, and her mother is beginning to become aware that there is some discord in the marriage. This is a wonderful portrait of a mother/daughter relationship, the love and warmth they share, the concerns of both in trying to spare the other; and the wringing of the mother's heart as she watches her daughter's struggles.

In these days of economic uncertainty I have had to give up browsing in bookstores, for the temptation to spend money on books is strong. To replace this I have turned to browsing in Google books, and I have found the pleasure to be just as great, if not greater, for the books at Google are free. There is no adding up the cost of books that I want, putting some back on the shelves as too expensive. I just download what I want at will. Of course this joy of free downloads is available to me because my great literary love is for 19th century literature.

Having a Sony PRS-505 makes reading these downloads easier than reading them on the computer. I would love to have a Kindle DX, for then I could read the books as they were published, reading the pdf images. I can do that with the Sony, as well, but "turning" the pdf pages on the Sony with the current software involves an annoying lag. I have learned to time pushing the page turn button so as to avoid the lag, but doing away with the lag altogether would be best.

I count my blessings, though, grateful to have the Sony reader and all the wonderful books available at Google.

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