Sunday, October 5, 2008

exercise 20

I read all those things about ebooks, and I can see there are plenty of good things about them. However, when there are also such obvious disadvantages (having to lug a computer round with you when you just want to read something when you're at the beach or on a bus; not being able to read it in the bath; having to have batteries or electricity, etc.), why shoot yourself in the foot by trying to promote it by saying things like: "You can mark your page with an electronic bookmark and jump straight to it when you open the book"? I mean, has it ever struck the author why it's called a "bookmark"? Because it's a copy of a device which has been used for centuries to "mark your page and jump straight to it when you open the book"!
I looked up "Mary Barton" in Gutenberg. It was a bit hard to find, as I'd put the author's name (Mrs. Gaskell), and it said it didn't have it. I thought perhaps I'd made a mistake, so I just tried "Mary Barton", and found that they'd used the author's full namd, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. I would have thought they'd have had it under both. (I've also just looked up "John Halifax, Gentleman" by Mrs. Craik, and found the same thing. As both authors were only known by their maried titles, it seems odd that you can't find them using that name).
It's offered in Plucker and plaiin text.
I didn't really find out anything interesting about it, as I've read it several times, so I knew what subjects were covered. So I thought I should try one I hadn't read, so first I tried "Hereward the Wake". Well, the interesting thing I found was that it doesn't exist as a book - it's just a chapter in another book, about heroes. So then I loked up "Dombey and Son" and found what that was about, and it was interesting that it covered many of the same subjects as "Mary Barton", but is obviously not as dramatic "Murder trials" doesn't feature in the list, for instance). It's available in another format as well, HTML, but that wasn't exactly riveting information.

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