The list author says: "A bit of searching on the internet may turn up free (and "free") offerings for most everything Bloom uses in his book, "How To Read And Why." I don't offer books for the poetry Bloom discusses because it's all freely available and easily found online. And to save money, I can endure reading poetry on-screen. As a convenience, however, I have tracked down available books for all of the stories, novels, and plays.
There is good reason to purchase (or borrow) traditional printed books beyond mere convenience: when the original work is not in English, the freely available English translation is usually second class. I hold a particular grudge against Constance Garnett for her translations from Russian. Because of her I almost hated Dostoevsky. In the New York Review of Books article, "Tolstoy's Real Hero," (Orlando Figes, Nov 22, 2007) there is an excellent criticism from Kornei Chukovsky:
"In reading the original [of Notes from Underground], who does not feel the convulsions, the nervous trembling of Dostoevsky's style? It is expressed in convulsions of syntax, in a frenzied and somehow piercing diction where malicious irony is mixed with sorrow and despair. But with Constance Garnett it becomes a safe blandscript: not a volcano, but a smooth lawn mowed in the English mannerÂwhich is to say a complete distortion of the original.""
"Constance Garnett's translations of (at least some of) these stories are available for free. Unfortunately her translations are painfully dated, wooden, and loose. Freeborn's translations are the one's Bloom quotes in his book."
"For "The Charterhouse of Parma" we have three main choices for recent translations: Mauldon, Howard, and Sturrock. There seems to be no clear winner with some reviewers urging loyalty to Scott Moncrieff. From what I gather, Howard is extremely loose with his translation and his version is notoriously rife with errors and a general lack of editing. This leaves Mauldon, Sturrock, and maybe Shaw."