The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Time trips

One of the nice things about eReaders and tablets is the availability of books I read many years ago. Libraries (support your local library!) are good sources for these too but they have limited space and sometimes the ones I want are no longer stocked or are unavailable when I think of them. I can put a hold on ones that are currently on loan but that can be a problem sometimes. For instance, that The Man in the High Castle was out on loan and I gave up waiting after 5 weeks. Fortunately, I found it in ePub form on the internet.

That's the advantage of the internet; books are available and you don't have to drive (or walk or ride your bike) to the library. It's like having just about any book you might want right at your fingertips. Rich people were often depicted on TV and in the movies having personal (and extensive) libraries in their mansions. Having always loved reading, I envied them those libraries. Now I have an even larger selection of books in "my" library.

The other day, for instance, I was reminded of a book by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven called the Mote in God's Eye. I was reminded by this picture of the Helix nebula while watching The Universe on H2 (History Channel 2). The memory of that book being triggered made me search for a digital copy of it. And then I was reminded of other books (mostly by Larry Niven) which included A world out of Time, Lucifer's Hammer, and A World of Ptaavs and found them in ePub format also.

All of which means I am reading (maybe "re-reading" is more accurate) much more than I have been in a long time. Revisiting novels is a way of time traveling. You not only have the nostalgia of the story but also of the time and person you were when you first read it. Each revisited book brings you back to the time you first read it, evoking other memories. Almost like looking at old photographs.


Steven Scott said...

I read the mote in god's eye. i've read quite a few niven (and seen his star trek episode(s), heh), but ringworld really did it for me. a huge chunk of my new outer-space full-arm tattoo (sleeve) is the ringworld and The Long Shot (spherical space ship)

Douglas4517 said...

Have you read "A World out of Time"?  One of my Niven favorites. Ringworld, as a concept (not just as a novel), intrigued me.

Michael Horvath said...

I'm loving the fact that I can get library books on my phone. I'm loving it more now that I can sell my own novel on Kindle, Nook, Android phones now that I've finally written one. The problem for me is that it has inspired me to go back to blogging too and my new blog is going to be alot more challenging than the old. Hope you are doing well Douglas!
-aka Miles Per Hour

Steven Scott said...

I  have! it was a good one. I think one of the least-favorite that I've read was The Integral Trees, although I did enjoy it and of course it had an interesting premise (a patch of atmospheric space where people lived in giant free-floating trees and hunted flying creatures and whales that lived in floating globules of water)

Douglas4517 said...

Wow! You've come a long way, Michael. Good luck with the book (though I don't think you'll need it). Drop me a note with the new blog's name.

The Jules said...

We have very similar tastes, Douglas! I haven't read A World of Ptaavs though. Must have passed me by that one.

I have got a Kindle, ans now have a Kindle app on my phone, which is very useful when my daughter fall asleep on me and I can't reach my Kindle. Hard life . . .

Douglas4517 said...

Grab it when you have a chance... interesting premise. It'll explain dinosaurs to you.

They don't tell you that about children, do they? That you are to be a place to take a nap. It gets worse. Trust me.