I have a complex and confusing relationship with technology. I use it all the time, can sometimes get geeked up about cool, new features, but do not feel compelled to purchase the latest gizmo and hate changing how I have to interact with something once I have gotten used to a particular way. Thus, I was in no hurry to get a new phone, despite that my iPhone 3GS was a dinosaur purchased way back in 2010. When I received a coupon-text from AT&T giving me a great deal on a trade-in, however, I had to go by the store at least to check out my options. I am no the proud owner of an iPhone 5, and I have had several geeked up moments over its cool, new features.
One of my first tasks was to re-install the books in my iBooks library. The one feature I remain permanently geeked up about (how many more times can I use that expression?) is that I can read just about anything at any time. I have access to more volumes than the great library at Alexandria in my pocket on a device about the size of a credit card. It boggles the mind.
When I went to re-install, I found all my previous purchases in the cloud, but since they included the many more volumes I have on my iPad, I had to choose which ones to put back onto my phone. So, which books does a Latin teacher find essential to keep on a device that goes everywhere with him? Which are the "must haves?" Which are the volumes so important they need to be kept at the ready? Before I share the list, know that these are all free books. I have yet to purchase a book for an e-reader. While I love having the access to books in e-format, I cannot seem to spend money on a book unless it is, in the most literal sense, real. Okay, here we go.
The King James Bible, the English Standard Bible, the Septuagint, the Greek NT, the Vulgate, the poems of Catullus, Cicero's essays on friendship and old age, the Federalist Papers, Pope's translation of the Iliad, Pope's translation of the Odyssey, the poems of Horace, Lucan's Pharsalia, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Pope's poetical works, the Aeneid (both Latin and English, and Vergil's Eclogues and Georgics.
This is certainly not to say that there will not be others, and I may end up putting some of the many, many more that fill the shelves of my iPad onto my iPhone. These, however, form the core, essential books for which I am grateful to have such amazing technology.
On an unrelated note, thanks to all the readers who are still out there. The dry spell in posting was a result of end-of-year responsibilities at school. Now that, in the words of Alice Cooper, "school's out for summer," I hope to be posting more regularly.