@redswir1 I’ve been meaning to post about books for a while, and since it’s a slow day at work I can finally do so.

Lately, I’ve been splitting my time between books on my Kindle and “physical” books. I’m also at the point where it doesn’t make a ton of sense to keep buying physical books unless that’s the only format the book I want is available in. I’m not going to get rid of my book collection or anything, but it’s nice to carry around hundreds of books and be able to read/reference something at a moment’s notice. In particular, I can find most 19th century novels as free ebooks, because they’re out of copyright, which works out super well for me because that’s the time period I study (with a preference for late 19th century British lit for anyone who cares). I believe I have everything that the Brontes wrote, and if I want to get super nerdy about it, I can grab the original editions which have their names listed as Currer, Ellis, and Acton (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne for those who were unaware they originally published under pseudonyms). And, if I ever need to cite something for a paper, I can very easily check the book out from the library. It’s basically changed the way I think about collecting literature.

At any rate, my rant about how awesome public domain stuff is aside, I’ve been reading a lot of Lovecraft on my Kindle (again, public domain badassness). Due in large part to the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast, which I believe I’ve posted about before, I have been interested in reading through all of his stories again. I have read most of them in various collections over the years, but I downloaded a collection of all of the public domain stuff released chronologically, so I’ve been reading them in the order they were written. And, since the podcast covers the majority of his stories, I’ve had a source of analysis and discussion to enjoy after I finish one of the stories. Another nice thing about reading short fiction is that I can finish most of his stories during my lunch break and then listen to the podcast while I work. This obviously doesn’t work with some of the longer stuff like The Shadow Over Insmouth or Call of Cthulhu, but a lot of his stories are shorter than I remember them being.

I also have a lot of other “last” novels sitting around waiting to be read. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I enjoy an author, I tend to read everything I can by them. This usually leads to my binging on their stuff and, in a last ditch effort to preserve that feeling, keep one of their novels unread “for later.” For instance, I’ve read all of Nabokov’s novels except for The Original of Laura, which was only released a couple of years ago. I have read all of Vonnegut’s books except for Sirens of Titan. I have read all of Woolf’s novels except for The Waves. I’ve read all of Baldwin’s novels except for Just Above My Head. I know I can always reread stuff that I’ve read, (and, in the case of Lolita, I have done that numerous times), but it’s comforting to know I’ve set something aside for a rainy day. This probably makes me look like one of the main lunatics on the board, but I was curious if anyone else did this.

In addition to the Lovecraft stuff, I’m also reading The Master and Margarita, and it is every bit as fascinating as I thought it would be. It’s largely an allegory for Stalin-era Russia, and it is epic in scope and theme in the way that (only?) Russian literature can be. It scratches the same itch as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, and all the rest, and I would honestly say the book belongs in the same breath as Crime and Punishment and Anna Karenina.