Monday, December 22, 2008

Classically Trained

oI used to do a lot more reading than I do lately. I would read anything and everything, and there was rarely a book on my extensive shelves that I hadn't read at least once, and since my shelves make up about 80% of the literary material to be found in my home, it is not surprising that I have read mst of the books in the house.

However, I was looking at my shelves last night, and it seems that in my absence my collection has grown and changed of it's own accord. Something which naturally delights me, especially since I've recently discovered a gorgeous little second hand book shop in Glasgow (just off Otago Street for anyone who wants to find it) and have been growing and changing my collection myself.

So I was starring at my shelf last night trying to decide what to pick up next, and ignoring the books on inflation that I have to read for my essay. In the end I decided to listen to an audio-book of Catch 22 I picked up a couple of weeks ago. However, it seems that Nintendo heard my silent prayer of indecision, and sent me an email today about their new DS Game.

100 Classic Book Collection

As far as I'm concerned, putting a selection of classical novels on a DS cartridge does not a video-game make. Even if it does come with an "interactive bookmark" whatever that is. It seems that Nintendo is running out of cute, quirky ideas.

Now, I got curious, and I discovered that the most recent novels in the selection provided by Nintendo were written by D H Lawrence (who died in 1930) and Arthur Conan Doyle (who died in 1930). According to Wikipedia, "the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years."

I am therefore quite certain that even the most recent novels on the cartridge will be freely available on the Internet for those who like reading things on a monitor. Presumably then Nintendo will be offering this "game" free for anyone who wants it? Or will be charging a moderate sum for the materials and programming time that went into creating it?

I will thank them however, for providing me a checklist. I will read all the books they think they can sell to people in "game" form, but in an easy book form instead. I've already read 28 of them, which I actually think is pretty poor, and plenty of the others on the list sit unread on my shelf.

This could be a damned good project, and will sort out my hobby problems for a while. It will also give me a good excuse to go to that bookshop and squander my student loan. At least it's virtuous and will make me seem all cultured and well read.

The only disappointing thing is that I have to start with Jane Austin because she's at the top of the list.

Pffft, as if I can be bothered with Sense and Sensibility, I'll read about Inflation first.

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