Ok, this is the post I meant to write but got distracted by something else that wanted to escape my head. I’ll get to my new set of collected ISBNs shortly, as this post is mostly about the books I’m not buying, whether it be because I’m trying not to succumb to temptation, or because the book is not available as I’d like it. For starters, I was hoping to get an e of the recent winner of the Miles Franklin: Truth by Peter Temple.
Unfortunately, the only seller of the e is the local arm of Borders – and all their e are in DRM laden epub format, rather than regular epub. This means it’s not possible to convert them to other formats (for reading on other ereaders) without illegally hacking the file ie hacking the file I would have paid for. I am quite happy to pay for it, I just want it to work on the ereader of my choice. So for the moment the e of Truth is restricted to a user base that has the “right” reader.
This situation is partly my fault in having a kindle (which is the most restrictive of the ereaders) and partly the fault of the distribution channel for restricting the format. With thanks to a friend, I know it’s not possible to convert the Borders’ epub to .mobi due to its DRM (Digital Rights Management – a draconian practice that penalises the honest, and does nothing to stop piracy), though I’m less clear as to whether their epub will work on a Sony (which supports regular epub) and not just the kobo (solely available through Borders).
The end result is that I, as an honest reader, will be unable to read Truth…unless I give up and buy the p.
Anyways, on to a list of books that I have managed to avoid buying. So far.
- Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque by Edgar Allan Poe  – this refers to the paperback but I think if I did get this one I’d like it in leather.
- The Friar and the Cipher by Lawrence Goldstone  – this is yet another book seeking to understand The Voynich Manuscript – I have a printed copy of the manuscript which includes an introduction in french but thankfully, a friend translated it for me.
- Descartes’ Secret Notebook: A True Tale of Mathematics, Mysticism, and the Quest to Understand the Universe by Amir D Aczel, PH.D. 
- The Watch on the Heath: Science and Religion before Darwin by Keith Thomson 
- The Lost City of Z: A Legendary British Explorer’s Deadly Quest to Uncover the Secrets of the Amazon by David Grann 
- Nox by Anne Carson 
- Instant Light Tarkovsky Polaroids by Giovanni Chiaramonte 
- Betrayal: The Underbelly Of Australian Labor by Simon Benson  – a book that is proving to be rather topical.
- Sydney Harbour: a History by Ian Hoskins 
- Rare and Curious: The Macquarie and Dixson Galleries Collectors’ Chests by Elizabeth Ellis  – this one looks rather cool.
- The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes 
- Map New Zealand by Alexander Turnbull Library