I recently got a Kindle 2 as a gift, which is perhaps the most fabulous electronic device I’ve ever owned. I’ve read more in the past two days than I have in the previous two weeks. First I filled it up with three dozen journal articles on ecological and experimental economics topics (fun, I know). They are way easier to read on the e-ink screen than on LCD, even if the formatting gets fouled up sometimes.
Then I checked out the Amazon store (wirelessly), which is similarly fabulous. I purchased Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments for a mere 99 cents — take a moment to note the fabulousness of the public domain. Got some samples of David Allen’s new books. Then my thoughts of new and exciting content to load up led me to Creative Commons-licensed books. It was downhill from there.
I tracked down The Future of Ideas, The Public Domain, and Viral Spiral, by Lawrence Lessig, Jamie Boyle, and David Bollier, respectively. “Wow, this is great,” I thought. “What other fabulous Creative Commons books can I download for free and read on my Kindle?”
Last night it came to me: Cory Doctorow is a CC junkie. I’ve wanted to check out Little Brother for months now, but given my budget constraints on book purchases, it hasn’t made the cut yet. I avoid reading fiction since the opportunity cost of reading time is so high, and non-fiction is far more “valuable”. I mean, if I want fiction, I can just watch hulu, right? Firefly is an amazing show after all. But I digress…
I threw Little Brother on my Kindle, and read a few pages. Oh that Cory Doctorow. He drew me in with his witty foreward, talking about how CC is wonderful and re-convincing me why books should be given away digitally. So I started reading the first chapter. And then I was hooked. It’s so frigging interesting. It doesn’t even feel like fiction, which I guess is scary that a dystopian future isn’t so far off. But I couldn’t stop reading. And now I should probably be doing other work, like returning emails or starting on Chemistry, but no, I’m going to go read Little Brother some more.
Stupid Cory Doctorow with his brilliant writing and his fascinating story line and his awesome glasses.