Friday, August 28, 2015

The Early Bird Gets the EBook

Image result for early bird books

It seems as if I am not only a collector of real books, but I now have quite a stockpile of ebooks. Granted, they don't take up any shelf space, but hoarding is hoarding!

Earlier this year I signed up for Early Bird Books, a site that sends me a list of ebooks every weekday that are on offer at discounted prices. There is also one Free Book to be had and I have taken advantage of many of those. 

I decided to explore the free titles I have downloaded from that site on my Kindle and was surprised (OK, not really) at the number of books I had shelved but not read. 

Here is just a sampling:

Sea and Sardinia by D. H. Lawrence - A recounting of a trip he took in 1921 to the island of Sardinia off the coast of Italy.

The Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton - A series of detective stories. Does anyone remember the movie with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day?

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - An epistolary novel, somewhat autobiographical.

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope - The adventures of an Englishman who takes the place of a kidnapped king to save the fictional country of Ruritania. Has been adapted into many movies.

Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon - The story of a young man who has to spend a million dollar inheritance in order to receive a seven million dollar inheritance. How fun would that be?

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce - I also have a paperback edition of this one.

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit - I have heard so much about this popular British author that I wanted to read this book. Apparently the It is a somewhat grouchy fairy.

Adam Bede by George Eliot - I have only read Eliot's Middlemarch. Here is another classic for my entertainment.

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather - Of course! I love the opening paragraphs of this book.

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse - I read this when I was in college and remember nothing about it except that it was quite the rage then. 

Candide by Voltaire - Oh, well, why not?

I see, now that I have made this list, that it represents quite a variety of genres.  These are all in the public domain and are probably available from many sites online, but it is nice to have titles just show up randomly. I am glad to know I have a wealth of books for the upcoming fall and winter. I feel like a little book-squirrel.

Any suggestions as to where I should begin? 


  1. Those e-books are dangerous, even if you can't really see them stacking up and even if they're free! I couldn't read all the books I have at my house and on my Kindle unless I lived to be about 250! And, of course, I still be stacking up new books whenever I read about interesting ones. You have some interesting ones on your list that I don't have!

    1. Joan: Dangerous, yes! I really don't need more temptations! I do believe that I would have bought any and all of these books at a used bookstore or sale if I ran across a nice hardcover edition. So I console myself with the thought of all the money I've saved, not to mention shelf space.

  2. Nice Belle, what an eclectic collection! Some of which cries out for comment!
    Sea and Sardinia by D. H.
    Yes, he was also a travel writer, an easy read compared to some of his novels, I would urge you to try some of his excellent poetry, a greatly undervalued poet ( yes I have said that before!).
    The Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton. Does anyone remember the movie with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day?
    Yes indeed I do, it was great fun. Recently watched some Father Brown on PBS, so simple and un-offending even to that criminal element within each of us.
    The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Belle maybe don’t start here (or Joyce) this is excellent (depending on the translation) but it requires a dedication to the task, not a summer read at the beach.
    The Prisoner of Zenda
    Peter Sellers firstly comes to mind…. but the Deborah Kerr edition is also very good. I haven't read this.
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    Oh boy! I love this work but again the chapter recalling the sermons of Hellfire and Brimstone is toe-curling (“Sturm und Drang” to recall Young Werther!). That episode is too close to home for me but if I recall the Dominicans (Hounds of the Lord) not Jesuits were always brought into school for the real hell-fire sermons, as they had lots of practice through the Inquisition. Worth the effort overall!
    Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
    Oh yes author of one of my all time favourite books (and films – one with Jenny Agutter) “The Railway Children” but haven’t read anything else of hers. I think this will be a light read for you under your parasoll.
    Adam Bede by George Eliot
    A lovely read much less complex than Middlemarch (her best??) but deep at the same time, a wonderful writer. I would start here if I were you.
    Candide by Voltaire –
    Oh, well, why not?......yes indeed, French farce at its best, great fun! After Eliot next in line!
    Lets know how you go!

    1. Tullik, you are a dear to offer such detailed guidance. I love your take on Mr. Joyce! I see his book is on Caitlin Moran's Top Ten Desert Isle books. (Why does no one ever take a practical book such as How to Kill and Eat Wild Boar or How to Make a Hut Out of Palm Leaves?)

      I will begin with 'Adam Bede'. I know a woman who reads it every year or so. It is her favorite. I long ago read an edition of 'Middlemarch' that was so old and the type so small I am sure I missed half of what was going on.

      I downloaded the Lawrence book thinking it was Lawrence Durrell! I recently read 'Bitter Lemons', his tale of life on Cyprus.For some reason I always get those two names mixed up!

      Thanks for taking the time to advise. I knew I could count on your thoughtful direction.

  3. well it depends what you like. In my teen I really loved this book by Goethe, super romantic great literature.

    1. I have heard so much about the Young Werther book. I will certainly give it a try. Tullik (above comment) has offered a nice path through the list. Thanks for your input, Emma. And, wish me luck.

  4. Oh my God, what a great collection! I must join Early Bird Books. There's something called Bookbub, but it is mostly modern books. No idea where you should begin: I love the classics. i've never read Chesterton!

    1. Kat, this is a great site but as Joan mentioned, it is dangerous. I haven't read Chesterton either. Really there are only three on the list that I have read. Movies adaptations don't count! I really must buckle down and get some on this list read or at least read enough to know if I want to continue with the book. Sigh.

  5. I don't even like reading on my tablet, and I have a collection of ebooks! The lure of free or low-cost books is just too great. And sometimes the only form I have access to is an ebook. I have no idea where you should begin in your great collection--but at least you will always have them, and they will not be gathering dust somewhere!

    Don't know if you want this information or not, but my husband subscribes to a newsletter (?) called Pixel of Ink, and has found many (many) free and inexpensive books through it. Like you need MORE books, right?

    1. Kathy, I have come to terms with reading on my Kindle. Most days, anyway. And you are right - sometimes it's the only edition available. Plus the bonus of no dust.

      I am tempted to visit the Pixel of Ink site but will hold off on that hornet's nest! Something to remember when (haha) I run out of reading material.

  6. Brewster's Millions was good fun - I fantasize a lot about how I would spend almost ALL my millions on books... ;-)

    1. Good point, vicki. Of course we would spend our money on books. Or even buy an entire bookstore!