Winter reading for free

Hello from stormy western Nebraska.  An hour ago I was going to ride my bicycle to the library. Now the wind’s ripping through the trees & the sky’s black. And so, here are places you can get free digital reads.

Hathi Trust is one place for interesting books of all kinds.  I’m fond of fiction, so I read a long-neglected Scots author, Susan Ferrier.  I read all her novels, but my favorite is Marriage.  It’s not difficult and it’s fun (at least I thought so, but you might like more action-packed stories). From a writer’s point of view, it was interesting how she created love between opposites and made the explanations really entertaining.  Hathi Trust is worth it.  Far beyond the other services in terms of actual books, not just ancient farm manuals or mail records.  If you have trouble, use the help features and get a human. They’ll get you where you need to go. You don’t need to be part of a college or library, either.

I found some history there I needed for a book I’m slowly writing — and on Google Play. (About the tourists who visited the Scots highlands in the early 1800’s.)  You could focus on what you like.

I also use Open Library. It’s much easier than Internet Archives, which I think means well but wastes a lot of time & doesn’t give you the books they really have. Open Library’s pretty straightforward. Hathi, Google Play and Open Library are, of course, free.  They have services that charge you, but it’s clearly marked and avoided.

Burgomeister’s my old stand-by, but sometimes it disappears for a little while.  That seems to be the case right now, but I’ll keep sending the ‘owner’ email.  Sometimes using a vpn/proxy works, sometimes not.

Libraries now have free downloads for kindles and other reading devices, so you can stay out of the cold. I need to take advantage of the kindle set up; but I had some trouble with Amazon,  got lazy & stopped at 2 free downloads.  Libraries have lists of newspapers, books and magazines and several ways of getting them. Just phone or email your library. If you don’t have  a card, you can probably do that online, too.

I tried to stay ‘informed’ last fall & ended up being one more lied-to American. The New Yorker’s cartoons seemed to understand what we were going through. But they were manipulating us, just like everybody else.

So many things have turned out to be untrue, others might be worse.  I refuse to get involved again.   However, I’m going to be optimistic and more of an individual than ever.  And I will NOT read ‘the news.’  If things get really bad, I’m not afraid to leave.  It’s primitive & lonely away from the States, but not impossible…

Mind-readers among you, don’t be shocked at my language…

Keep in touch.  Remember, I live in a deeply conservative area right now & appreciate every gentle reminder of friendship.

Julia Bates

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