Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Free Associating: A Dangerous Thing

I have just discovered that HarperCollins posts free PDF versions of books on its Web site. Not all its books, and not forever, but still! Right now you can download a free PDF of Neil Gaiman's book Neverwhere. The whole book! For free! HarperCollins says this deal is "for a limited time," in this case only until September 23, 2008. The permissions on the PDF will expire 30 days after you download it, which means that when that happens you won't be able to open the file, so you better read it quick.

Why is this a dangerous thing? Because it means that I could conceivably READ AT WORK! This would be a really bad thing, since I like my job, and want to keep it. Like most people who work on a computer, I peruse the news sites and look at a blog or two during my work day, but for the most part I can resist the call of the World Wide Web while I actually have stuff I have to get done. But people, if I had an actual novel on my computer at my office? That would be far more tempting than So even though I did download Neverwhere (just to learn about the technology, I swear), I am not going to read it at work. Just in case I am tempted, I checked a paperback copy out of the library, so I can defer my gratification at least until I get on to the bus.

It looks like HarperCollins is (or will be) offering other books as downloadable PDFs. I can't tell you what they are, because I have (so far) resisted the urge to explore that link on the Web page. I really truly don't want to know what else I could be reading while at work. But if you want to know, you can see the link on the top left side of the page I link to above. Have fun, but don't get caught!


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