Here’s a lighter one. In an idle moment a year or so ago I was Googling books I remembered from my childhood. I searched for a science fiction novel I got out of Guildford Junior Library in about 1960, which, to be truthful, was a little above my reading comprehension at the time. I had a vague idea of seeing if I had progressed enough to understand it.
I was intrigued to find it mentioned on the website of some guy who’d been fruitlessly searching for a copy for over twenty years – it’s apparently a great rarity, and the last of a trilogy of which he’d only read the first two. Frustrating for him.
Well, just the other day it occurred to me to wonder if he’d been successful in his search, but my new search took me to Amazon, where I found the book is now easily available in Kindle form at only £1.95. So easily is the rare books industry destroyed! But I wasn’t about to fork out for a Kindle reader, so I idly searched to see if free software was available. It seems Amazon do their own free download to read Kindle books on your computer. I downloaded both, read the book – nostalgia rules, OK?
The following day I get a chatty e-mail from my brother in the Midlands, who mentions in passing that he’s just remebered this same book, Googled it, discovered it on Amazon, and that they do a free Kindle software download too. Now there seem to be a few unlikely coincidences there which lend weight to Rupert Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance Theory. Interesting, huh?
And the book? It wasn’t that brilliant, in retrospect. It featured these Venusian amoebae who communicate using telepathy, via thought rods you hold in your hand. But my brother and I manage quite well without, it seems. Fiction is so mundane.