It's a red-hot, red letter day for Amazon Kindle owners. The British Library has announced that 65,000 rare 19th century literary first editions will be offered as free downloads to owners of the device beginning in Spring of 2010. Thanks to a joint venture with Microsoft, the no-cost titles will reproduce the original type-face and illustrations from such classic works as Charles Dickens's Bleak House, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.
While having an electronic facsimile of a valuable first edition is a treat for fans of highbrow literature, what about readers seeking the pleasure that comes from biting into a nice, juicy, raw, piece of pulp? Can kinky Kindle owners looking for graphic kicks with a side of sensationalism find anything to sate their savage appetites from the staid British Library? Happily, along with the high class fiction, the UK library's freebies will also include the world's finest collection of cheap, tawdry, lowdown, lowbrow, Victorian trash. Get ready to heat up your cold Kindle with a torrid "Penny Dreadful."
From Seatle PI's Nancy Mattoon of Book Patrol.