Yesterday I picked a new Blackberry. My old 8810 had bit the dust one too many times and the mic no longer worked. That was fine for those who wanted to give me a telling to without hearing me respond, but a challenge for actually accomplishing two-way communication. So I went down one step to the Curve, in red. It actually has all my old model had, plus a camera (with a flash!) and spell check for email. Just grand! So, I am well-pleased with it. (Even if a new iPhone would have been nice. Sadly, it is not supported on our enterprise system.)
So I set about putting all the non-standard apps on the new phone: Facebook, TinyTwitter, Google Maps, NYTimes, Yahoo! Go, and Mobipocket eBook Reader. I have had a BB for two years now and prior to the BB I used Palm devices extensively. What I missed from the Palm was an easy way to read books online (I still don’t have a good Bible for the BB). My brother just received a Kindle for his half-birthday as did Merlin Mann of MacBreak Weekly and 43 Folders fame. So in one ear I had my brother, encouraging me to get a Kindle and in the other Merlin (may I call you Merlin? Or Sahr?) on MBW picking Feedbooks as a site for Kindle-formatted free books. These are classic and new books that are open and copyright free. Free is good.
So today I downloaded a few books, including Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth which we have assigned for our incoming students to read this summer. Cory Doctorow, famous blogger and excellent sci-fi author who is younger than I, has made a number of his works available as well. I am looking forward to start reading these tonight! Regardless of your device or lack thereof, Feedbooks is a great resource. (Many of these are, I am sure, from Project Gutenberg, another outstanding source.) BTW you can also upload your own works, so for all of us academics who own the rights to our books I think we should upload them and tell the world. I will see what it takes to put it in format and upload my doctoral thesis. (I believe Brill would not be thrilled if I released a pdf of my book.) Would any of the rest of your be willing to disseminate your works in this way?
Mobireader runs on many devices and can connect to one of several OTA (over the air) eBookstores allowing you to purchase and immediately download books and periodicals. The Kindle has all of this integrated with Amazon.com (and can play Audible books, mp3s, etc.) but is one more device that I would have to carry around. So I am pleased. A new phone, new functionality and some good books!
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