Thursday, January 6, 2011

Contemporary Spanish Literature on Kindle

I had despaired of seeing contemporary Spanish authors appear in Kindle format. When I first got the KIndle, I used to enter Juan Goytisolo and Rosa Montero in the search line all the time. Soon I realized, though, that it was all in vain. Due to copyright restrictions, all we had accessible on Kindle were Spanish classics which had no copyright issues.

So last night I entered "Juan Goytisolo" in the search box just on reflex. And guess what? There is a whole collection of contemporary Spanish (and even some Latin American) writers that has appeared on Kindle. And the collection keeps growing. This happened some time late Fall when I was too exhausted by my weird schedule to notice anything around.  

You should have seen the state I was in at 3 am last night when I discovered these books on Kindle. My heart started racing, I was short of breath, and there were tears in my eyes.  Now I know what people who have won the lottery must feel. If you think that such a reaction to having these books within one's easy reach is exaggerated, then you don't know what it is to be a specialist in contemporary Spanish literature in North America. Whenever a new book by the author you specialize in is released, you either have to order it from Europe (insanely expensive and takes forever to get delivered), guilt trip your friends or colleagues who are travelling to Spain into bringing it back for you, wait until you get to travel to Spain yourself, or (and this is what I do more often than not) just sit there waiting for it to appear on Amazon while dying of curiosity and feelings of professional irrelevance.

The writers some of whose novels are now available on Kindle are: Juan Goytisolo (mostly his early fiction and essays for now), Juan Marse (two titles at this point), Carme Riera, Eduardo Mendoza, Rosa Montero, Miguel Delibes, Bryce Echenique, Alicia Gimenez Bartlett, Manuel Vazquez Montalban, Miguel Angel Asturias, Camilo Jose Cela, Terenci Moix, and others. The books are all quite cheap, ranging in price between $4 and $7. Anybody who has tried buying books by these authors in paper format (especially in North America) must be weeping with joy right now. Even if you are lucky enough to locate the book you need, it will cost you upwards of $20 plus shipping. There is a great store of Spanish-language literature in Montreal, which can locate and ship any book to you anywhere in Canada or the US. The amount you will have to pay for it, though, will terrify you. Now that these books have started appearing on Kindle - and quite cheaply, too, - this problem will be solved.

Now, the important part: how to find them? All you have to do is enter "Leer-e" (the name of the publishing house that makes the books available on Kindle) in the search box. I have a feeling that they will be bringing us a lot more books in the nearest future, so this is definitely a search that needs to be made often. Another good search for books in Spanish is "Digitalia", although their selection is not as exciting or cheap as Leer-e's.

Happy reading!


Shedding Khawatir said...

That is wonderful news! I alas, don't read Spanish, but I can completely understand how elated you are--if (any) literature in one of my languages appeared on the Kindle, I would be completely over the moon! As it is, I'm busy calculating extra baggage fees v. shipping costs v. an annual plane ticket to visit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch!
I am also a contemp. Spanish lit. specialist looking for good books on Kindle.