Orwellian eBooks Reveal More Than We Realize


John Hurt holds a book in a scene from the film, 1984. Photograph: Atlantic Releasing Corporation/Getty Images

Although the Kindle highlights function is publicly anonymous, there are still serious privacy concerns as it allows Amazon to track and store the reading statistics of customers

For The Irish TimesSarah Gilmartin writes:

‘The book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In a sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part of the attraction. It said what he would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden.”

Winston Smith’s description of reading in the totalitarian world of 1984 may be satirical, but there’s also some truth to it.
We know the feeling of identifying with a book. It is one of the most satisfying aspects of reading, when a character says or does something that we ourselves think but are unable to articulate so eloquently or with an image that really expresses the sentiment.

Reading 1984 as a traditional book, I might have reached for a pen to underline that quotation. Reading it as an ebook, I have access to an enhanced version of this highlighting process. Since Amazon launched its Kindle Popular Highlights, in 2010, readers have been able to leave their own stamp on their favourite ebooks and can publicly share their insights if they want to. Tracking the scattered thoughts and similar minds of readers around the world, Amazon also gives its Kindle customers the option of viewing the most popular highlights of whatever book they’re reading.

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[BOOKS] Who Could Go for a Smoothie?

bigsmooveEspecially when it’s free? Okay, the smoothie’s not free, you gotta make your own. In your own blender. And, you know, buy the ingredients to put in the smoothie. But the book is free.

[Smoothies: the most delicious recipes: Vol IV. for Kindle, by B.M. White — Free download from Amazon]

And while you’re there, browsing Amazon, buy a $30,000 eleventy-million inch flat screen LED TV, or something, it helps support this site! Okay, you don’t have to buy a big flat screen TV, but if you get a book, or CD, or some pants, or a ball point pen, or something, it helps support our high-quality news organization.

In the meantime, be like this guy, drink up!

Two-Fisted Fiction from The Man of Steel

Just a reminder, for those of you who haven’t yet downloaded author Robert Ferrigno’s latest book The Girl Who Cried Wolf

Deep in the archives here at punditfromanotherplanet, I found this rare file photo of Robert from the early days.


Before Ferrigno was a Best-Selling Crime Fiction/Thriller Novelist, and Narrative Designer and Content Creator for Game Studios, he was one of the founding Editors of The Rocket, the World’s Greatest Magazine, and a high-flying Features Writer at The Orange County Register

This photo is likely from when he was moonlighting on his first novel, The Horse Latitudes, while still at the Register

—The Butcher


Order your copy now