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13 March 2015 @ 12:25 am
One win for the dead trees  
I do like having a lot of books on my tablet, but every once in a while I am reminded of why I still love my hardcopy library. I idly remembered a science fiction story I read a very long time ago. A little googling wangled the name and author: "Low Grade Ore", Kevin O'Donnell, and isfdb told me it had only been published in four places; Isaac Asimov's magazine and three anthologies edited by him.

But then I hit a dead end. I have an archive of scans of a lot of older SF magazines, but not Isaac Asimov's. It had been scanned by Google, but was not available for view, as was one of the anthologies. I checked Open Library. Nothing. I checked Amazon. O'Donnell apparently hadn't republished it in an ebook. There were a couple of somewhat expensive copies of one of them if I wanted to wait a week or so.

I cast my eyes upward in annoyance, and they fell upon the anthology section of my bookshelves. The name Isaac Asimov caught my eye; I tilted my head sideways and read the much tinier print underneath it. Why, yes, it did read "Science Fiction Masterpieces" and that indeed was one of the collections that reprinted it.

And thus I am no longer annoyed, and have reread it as I wished.
Alix (Tersa): Arwen Reading (tersa)tersa on March 13th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, if you'd previously read it and it's never existed in digital format, that would mean it was pretty darn likely you might own it in hardcopy (unless you purge your hardcopies even if you don't own it in digital format...which no bibliophile I know does. :)
Lauratavella on March 13th, 2015 06:28 pm (UTC)
Well, this is true, but I also read my way through the entire science fiction collection of a half-dozen libraries when I was a kid and teenager, so there's a lot I've read that I don't have either.
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on March 13th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC)
I, too, like keeping dead trees editions around. I don't have to worry if the reader will still be available when I pass my favorite works on to my grandchildren. Big stuff like LOTR will still be available digitally I'm sure, but my favorite obscure works might not be able to be read.
Lauratavella on March 13th, 2015 06:32 pm (UTC)
There's so much lesser-known stuff where the author is dead or it hasn't been worth their time to put out ebooks, yet most of it will be in copyright for another century or more.