Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yesterday's Classics

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I am a self-professed bibliophile (aka book-a-holic... AND my children are well on their way to following in my footsteps ;) ).
I have a number of bookcases and STACKS of books in my home. Although until recently I was inclined to slow down my purchase of physical books,  due to the over-proliferation of books in my home, my mind has been changed by visits to my public library (A story for another post). Suffice it to say that GOOD and classic literature is "disappearing" from those shelves to make space for... um... I'm not sure what, exactly, but I'm not happy about it.


Screen shot 2011-05-04 at 11.49.30 PMBecause many "Classic" books are being removed from my local library's shelves, AND given the advent, and subsequent popularity of e-readers (I currently only have an Itouch, but am interested in a Kindle or a nook, or some such thing....), I was very pleased to be amongst the TOS Crew members who were given the 225 e-book bundle from Yesterday's Classics to review.  Books in this set include those that are appropriate for read-alouds to the "youngest" scholars, as well as titles that are useful to the jr-high to high-school aged student. There is something for just about everyone, in the 22 genres that are included (Ancient to American History, Nature, Bible, Legends and Fairy tales are a few...).
Screen shot 2011-05-04 at 11.45.14 PMAbout the books~ Some of the titles in this bundle I have actually found in physical form at library book-sales, or purchased via ebay, etc (I'm thinking of "The Dutch Twins" by Lucy Fitch Perkins as well as some Thornton Burgess books).  Others, that have been required reading(like "Our Island Story" or "Famous Men of the Middle Ages") for a variety of curricula , I have found available for free on the internet, however, there are a large number of titles included in Yesterday's Classics that I have not been able to locate in any other fashion, which is rather impressive (Note~ Yesterday's Classics does publish all of these books in printed form. Please note the price points as you read on, below).

Screen shot 2011-05-04 at 11.46.05 PMGiven that I have been on both side of the fence so-to-speak(Paying for hard-copies as well as scouring the internet for free versions), I have to say that I am DELIGHTED by the books offered by Yesterday's Classics, and the format in which they are found. Admittedly, it would be much nicer if I had one of those fancy e-readers, but my laptop and my itouch are serving very nicely thus far (If I were tied to a desktop computer, I think that I would be much less excited, but even then, I would be very pleased by the availability of the titles in this grouping).


Screen shot 2011-05-04 at 11.50.13 PMClick on the banner below to find a page filled with the particulars of each of the 225 books included in  theYesterday's Classics ebook bundle. Really, there is sooooo much information here, that I highly recommend that you read through the page, and familiarize yourself (to some degree)with all that is offered, from the (225) titles and their (22) genres to the information offered. For instance, you may read that if one were to purchase all 225 of the books included in paperback form, it would cost a cool $2495.75, purchased as individual e-books it goes down to $648.80. Given those numbers, the bundle currently being offered is an amazing deal!.


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Now that you've seen the huge number of titles included(I'm assuming you clicked through!), you may be interested to hear what I consider to be the pros and cons of purchasing this bundle:


Pros:
  • The format of each book is uniform, and holds true to the original text (in that if there were illustrations, color or otherwise, they are included... font size is variable as is the case with other e-pub/kindle documents that I am familiar with)
  • The titles are indexed by level, genre, and author (In documents included in the download). This makes choosing/locating a particular title fairly easy. 
  • The files are available in both e-pub and kindle format~ and if one needs both, the people at Yesterday's Classics are very accommodating. 
  •  Each book has "Clickable chapters" which makes it easy to navigate.
  • The amount of time and effort saved by having this number and variety of books at my fingertips is appreciated by this busy momma! 
  • Cost, as compared to physical or individual titles is most definitely not outrageous
  • Doesn't cause my husband to groan ~ there is no "box" or bag or stack of books for his feet to trip over!
  • Oh yes! When going on a road trip, or camping, I can consider the option of letting my children "pack" these to read... the itouch takes up very little space, and is multi-purpose~ most excellent! 
Yesterday's Classics Kindle versionFree Kindle Version(Comparison of a "Free" Kindle version page, and "Yesterday's Classics" version of the same page) Which one would YOU or your CHILDREN, rather read?


Cons:
  • Cost, as compared to the potential of "Free"~ makes a difference when one has more time than money.
  • If you are a "Real paper" book-reader, e-format might be less enticing
  • "Managing" an electronic library may be a little confusing/or difficult at first. However, there are some "helps" included with your download, that will help you choose which e-reader, or e-reader software will work best for you, as well as walk you through the process of getting the files into usable form.
Along the lines of my last point, I found this Helpful tutorial in moving epub documents to your ipod. I have both the epub version (for reading on my itouch, "on the go") and the kindle version which I use on my laptop.  I would say that the kindle version may be a little more "Seamless" in operation, but they are both perfectly good options. I appreciate companies that accommodate the variety of alternatives available to their customers. :)


One note, when I downloaded the files, I did have to "Get info" for each folder and change the "permissions" so that I could open the folders. Other than that, the process was fairly intuitive. :)


If you use Ambleside Online, and Living Books Curriculum, among others,  this is an option that may be very helpful to you as you are attempting to acquire the books needed for these specific curricula. Check out the books included for each "year"  of the Ambleside curriculum!


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Again, I recommend checking out the full information found at Yesterday's classics (Click on the banner!).


While you are there you can also download a free title (Interestingly enough, it is "The Dutch Twins" title that I referenced above as a book that I own in vintage hard-cover!). You have to scroll past the "Click this button to place your order" to get to it.  Downloading and reading a title yourself should give you some idea of what to expect.


You can also  read for yourself the specifics of all the titles included. (I opted not to list all 225 here... this review is takes up enough space! ;) ) The descriptions are found after all of the "information", just so you know!


One more note~ this time about the price~ the $99.95 price listed on the banner (That's $0.44 per book, if you want me to do the math!) is good through June 1. After that I understand that it will return to the regular price of $149.95 (Which is still a great deal at $0.66 per book!)


I hope that you have found this to be useful to you as you determine where to best spend your homeschool budget. To read the opinion of other TOS Crew members, please visit the TOS Crew Blog.




Blessings~
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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