Looking for a Book Now Means Choosing the Right Medium

What is a book?

I have lately seen publicity for the new movie, Far From the Madding Crowd, based, of course, on the book by Thomas Hardy. I thought it would be fun to read it. I tried several different sources for the book and was amazed at all the options out there.

As this is an old book that is officially outside of copyright, my first step was to go to Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/27) I downloaded the epub version, that I then opened with my Nook reader. Strangely, it didn’t have any paragraph breaks, which would make it hard to read! Some of the other versions did have paragraph breaks, though.

Once in Nook, I looked at some of the many versions of the book from different publishers. I chose a twenty page sample of the book from Open Road Publishers, that was available for purchase for $1.99. Not bad! There are many publishers that have lines of economical classic books.

Not wanting to buy a copy, I assumed it would be available in the Mont Alto Campus Library.

The library default search goes, annoyingly, to a general Google search called Lionsearch. If you want a book directly, you need to click The Cat underneath.

Searching for the book I first found a Penguin version of the book through Proquest, but it looks like it’s not the full version. It seemed to have parts of each chapter. (http://gateway.proquest.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/openurl?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2003&xri:pqil:res_ver=0.2&res_id=xri:lion&rft_id=xri:lion:ft:pr:Z001592087:0 ) You have to sign in to Penn State to use the link. You can export the reference information in different formats, though.

Finally, I focused the search on an actual book. I did find it in a very old physical copy of the book in the stacks. I checked it out, since it seemed appropriate to read this story in a worn paper version.


And here’s the listing, showing that it is checked out. To me.


I will say that I thoroughly looking through the stacks! It’s great seeing so many real books.

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