Tuesday, February 23, 2010

They wrote for you

Socrates, Shakespeare, and Stevenson wrote for you.  True, they didn't know you and you were not born while they lived.  But, think about it.  Their writings are preserved and are avaiable for free on the internet and in libraries.  You can get many famous authors on your Kindle for free.  Just go to the Amazon web site, set the search for Kindle books and check out anyone you are interested in.  Check out someone you are not interested in and read them a little.  Try to find out why their writings have been preserved over the centuries and why they have the reputation of being great thinkers and writers.

The writing by Plato of what he said Socrates said at his trial in his own defense is available in several formats.  Shakespeare is available all over the place.  Many important classic authors are avaiable on Project Gutenberg, including The Bard.  Robert Louis Stevenson is also available there for free.  Similarly, Bartleby.com has lots of famous literature available for free, too.  There are many other sites with these and other texts available for free.  There is comment, criticism and explanation available, too.

Don't have a Kindle?  If you have an Amazon account, you can download software that does a fine job of showing your books on your computer and, while the books, many free, may have a cost, the software itself is free.  In fact,for some books, such as those with diagrams, charts or pictures, the computer image is often superior to that on the Kindle.

I think a good rule of thumb is Give it a try if it interests you but if you read 50 pages or so and you find it is not appealing to read that, drop it.  Wherever you did the reading (book,computer, Kindle), you might want to keep that source for a while after deciding to switch to something more fun.  Some great writing grows in the back of your mind and you may be glad to be able to return to that book in a week or a month or a year.  Some people are too tenacious or too virtuous and can't drop a book that bores them.  There is too much good stuff in the world to waste your time on what doesn't satisfy.

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby