Reading – I hadn’t thought of this before until I read an article about it the other day, but no books have been added to the Public Domain in the past 20 years. Works from 1923 were originally to go into the public domain in 1999, after a 75-year copyright term. But in 1998 Congress hit a two-decade pause button and extended their copyright term for 20 years, giving works published between 1923 and 1977 an expanded term of 95 years. Thousands of new works were added to the Public Domain this year on January 1.
Many new books (those from 1923) were added to the Public Domain this year. Among the books added (with a link to where they can be downloaded from) are:
- Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Golden Lion
- Agatha Christie, The Murder on the Links
- Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis
- Robert Frost, New Hampshire
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
- Aldous Huxley, Antic Hay
- D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo
- Bertrand and Dora Russell, The Prospects of Industrial Civilization
- Carl Sandburg, Rootabaga Pigeons
- Edith Wharton, A Son at the Front
- P.G. Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves and Leave it to Psmith
- Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room
- E.E. Cummings, Tulips and Chimneys
Project Gutenberg, which already had over 58,000 free downloadable books, has added these five titles from 1923:
To get a full picture of what has been added to the Public Domain, check out the article “January 1, 2019 is (finally) Public Domain Day: Works from 1923 are open to all!“.
Reading – I came across the article “Stop Feeling Guilty About Having So Many Unread Books” a few months ago and thought it had some good ideas worth sharing. In particular, I liked these opening sentences:
Is your bookshelf teeming with more books than you have time to read? Or do your unread books induce feelings of guilt?
If so, you may be practicing the ancient Japanese art of tsundoku, that is, buying more books than you’ll ever read.
Some of the points brought up in the article are:
- Recognize Reading As A Source Of Learning
- Read More Than One Business Book At Once
- Listen To Audiobooks
- Abandon Bad Books
- Ask Your Peers For Book Recommendations
- Create Your Antilibrary
While this article is really looking at books from the viewpoint of business and self-education, much of it can be applied to casual reading. I am not a fan of reading more than one book at a time myself unless one is a technical book. When I try to read more than one novel at a time it just confuses me and I forget what is going on in the novels.
Audiobooks or podcasts are a good idea. I listen to several hours of podcasts each week and as they mention in the article, I have learned to listen at 2x the playback speed. Even with this, I am hundreds of podcasts behind!
I also agree about abandoning bad books or ones I simply do not like. I follow the Rule of 50 with my reading for the most part, though I have to say that I have not had to invoke it too often. Using peer recommendations or reviews on Goodreads will help to eliminate those books you would clearly not like, though some will slip through.
The ‘antilibrary’ or list of yet to be read books is a good idea. I have hundreds on my Kindle, though my ‘to-be-read’ queue is only around 70 books right now. That sounds like a lot, but the past three years I have read more than 130 novels a year.
Short Stories – I read the short story “Father Avenir and the Fire Demons of Yellowstone” that was posted on the Baen Books website. This short story was written by Kevin J. Anderson (http://kjablog.com) and Sarah A. Hoyt (https://accordingtohoyt.com). Mr. Anderson has published more than 140 books. Ms. Hoyt has published a dozen novels in various genres.
I categorize this short story as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in early America. It is hard to tell if this should be categorized as an Alternate History or just a Fantasy. A priest traveling alone in the west enters Yellowstone and confronts his demons.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 35 minutes I spent reading this fantasy. I liked the story enough, but it wasn’t clear to me where it was going. I think it needed more explanation. I give this short story a 3 out of 5.
My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).
Reading – Glad to see a day is dedicated to Science Fiction. It is my favorite reading genre.
Try making your next book a Science Fiction title.
Apple Books has made six titles available for free download. They are:
Having one or more of these titles available may help the Holiday Season travel to pass more quickly. All of the books themselves are all public domain.