January gone and February disappearing. Been a good few weeks. Online was fun and exhausting. Had a nasty cough for two weeks but good news is that I have got back into reading after a 2 month absence. Think I’ve knocked over 3 books in the last couple of weeks…they were all e, though that’s at least in part because it’s been too humid/sticky to feel comfortable reading a p book. I have a rather nice collection of p, all waiting for the cooler months to arrive.
A friend gave me a book voucher for my birthday last year and I finally spent it last week. Luckily, it was with a decent bookshop that respects vouchers, unlike a certain other chain that’s going under at the moment. Anyways, when I buy p these days, I usually wait til I find a nice hardcover ie stuff in p is stuff I like to hold. Mostly what I’d previously buy in paperback, I’ll buy in e these days. So, I used said voucher to buy two books: Winton’s Cloudstreet and Tsiolkas’ Slap. Cloudstreet, I found in a nice hardcover with a pretty dustjacket – though I normally don’t retain the dustjacket, preferring my hardcovers unadorned. To my regret, I still haven’t read it, though I have enjoyed other works of Winton. The Slap is a special edition as part of Allen + Unwin’s 20th birthday. It’s signed and pretty, and not too pricy. Both are pleasing to the eye and hand.
My Subterranean Press edition of China Mieville’s Kraken arrived a few weeks ago though I ordered it via Amazon as that one was cheaper than buying direct from the SubPress. That’s not always the case and it does depend on which edition I’m after too. For example, I’ll soon be receiving my SubPress limited edition of The King of the Elves (Collected Stories of Philip K Dick vol 1) directly from them as it’s not available from other sources. Plus I’ve just ordered Volume 2 (Adjusted Team, also limited edition) from SubPress, which will have matching numbers to vol 1 (as SubPress are keeping track of the numbers – excellent customer service). On the other hand, my SubPress copy of Shadow of the Wind was bought via Amazon, but The Martian Chronicles was direct from SubPress. The latter was assuredly not available via other means, and a beautiful work it is. In one instance, Terry Dowling’s Amberjack, I ended up getting a copy from both Amazon and SubPress as I hadn’t heard from SubPress, so I figured it had sold out before I got my order in. I then ordered it from Amazon and both copies arrived within a week or so of each other :-) …plus it’s still available from SubPress. A good friend scored that as a chrissy present. Plenty of nice books awaiting the end of humidity. Even better, all ended up being quite cheap (except Martian Chronicles of course) ie cheaper than hardcovers locally. That says more about how expensive books are here, than it necessarily does about the cost of books overseas.
As for e, I have finally started working my way through Bujold’s Vorkosigan series. I’m currently paying about $5 per 2 novels in DRM-free e, via Baen’s website (her publisher). I have found free downloadable editions online but I gotta tell ya, I’m happy to send money their way…I would happily pay $5 per book. Once bought, I can choose the formats I want to download in, I usually grab the epub and the .mobi, the latter being what the kindle supports and getting the epub, as a sort of archival/master copy should I eventually move on from the kindle to another company. Though of course, as there’s no DRM, I can easily convert the .mobi to any other format, I just like playing it safe and having multiple backups. Not to mention, that I can log on to their site and download the edition I need when I need to. I am really liking the Baen approach to managing e content…it encourages me to buy more :-) Having read the first two books, I’ve now bought the next two.