What'cha Readin'?

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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4541  Postby Hermit » Apr 30, 2020 4:52 am

surreptitious57 wrote:There is an excellent online site called [b]wordery . com that boasts a phenomenal I0 000 000 titles in its collection
As Waterstones dont always have every book you want then it is an excellent place to go with a stock of that size

For difficult to find (i.e. usually out of print) books I go to BetterWorldBooks. Naturally they are second-hand. Not that I mind. Saves on landfill, and the site claims to have raised funds amounting to $30,765,212 for literacy & libraries to date.

Currently on their way to me:

Inside Europe, the 1940 edition by American journalist and author, John Gunther. What it lacks in citations and footnotes it makes up by the fact that the author lived there at the time he wrote about and was variously in charge of the Daily News's offices in London, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, Rome, and Paris.

The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (2 volumes, 1966 & 1969) by American historian, Peter Gay, whose family had escaped Germany in 1939. Fun fact: Gay's original surname was Fröhlich, the German word for gay, as in 'cheerful'.

I read these books in the mid or late 70s, but they are among the many I lost one way or another over the years. Worth reading again, so here they come.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4542  Postby surreptitious57 » May 01, 2020 4:32 am

I draw the line at leaving a book lying around once it is read but other than that it gets roughed up as much as possible
I like very tight shelves because I reason that the more compact that a book is then the greater its preservation will be

Not a fan of hardbacks because you cannot rough them up as much as paperbacks and they are also more expensive
And I always remove their dust jackets and store seperately because when reading they are superfluous bits of flap

My books are stacked colour coded with darkest to lightest and tallest to shortest from right to left on the shelves
On the floor they are stacked horizontally with darkest at bottom and lightest on top even though this is less visual

I have now got into the habit of observing peoples bookshelves when ever they are being interviewed on television
Some of them have books lying horizontally on top of a vertical row but to me this is both asymmetrical and untidy

I have a piece of three by two that I use to balance my books on when reading as it saves having to read bent down
I could never read a book without bending the spine back since to me it is the only way you can actually read them

You can burn books as far as I am concerned only if they are bad ones - good ones should of course never be burned
Only fiction qualifies as bad because all non fiction contains knowledge and knowledge is always useful to someone

What would I personally burn - well if push came to shove I would probably not have the balls to burn anything at all
But I could very easily live in a world without any horror or romance or fantasy or ghost written celebrity biographies
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4543  Postby Hermit » May 01, 2020 12:15 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:My books are stacked colour coded with darkest to lightest and tallest to shortest from right to left on the shelves
On the floor they are stacked horizontally with darkest at bottom and lightest on top even though this is less visual

That might be an OK thing to do with a few hundred books, but from a practical point of view (i.e. trying to find a particular volume you're looking for) it's perhaps not such a good idea when there are 20,000 of them. Between November 2004 and January 2005 the Adobe Bookshop in San Francisco was arranged like this. It was an art installation.

Image

You might get heart palpitations seeing how I sort my books. Here's a section of the wall to the right of me.

Image

The two columns on the right, and four rows down from the top are my favourites among my non-fiction books. They are sorted by the years they are written about - or in. The rest is sorted roughly thematically, with one theme kind of melding into an adjacent one. To an outsider it might look somewhat chaotic, but I rarely have a problem finding any particular volume almost immediately.

My study is quite small. Most of what is not door or window is taken up by shelves housing books and a truckload of DVDs. Unfortunately, there simply is not enough space for all of them. A lot of my books are stored in my garden shed. A compactus would come in handy, but I have not worked out a way how to install one in a usable way, and FFS, are they ever so fucking ugly.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4544  Postby Fallible » May 01, 2020 1:01 pm

Having been a librarian in a former life, I also rebel against correct classification or order storage. I did start to make an online catalogue of our books, but I couldn’t keep it up.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4545  Postby surreptitious57 » May 01, 2020 1:14 pm

Your books are arranged rather neatly but I noticed two other things almost immediately
They are mostly slim and there is also not much variation colour wise - at least not to me
Not suggesting you should consider buying fatter ones of different shades but simply referencing what my eyes see

A book shelf with plenty of variety of size and colour just looks more visually enhancing as it attracts one to it more
Someone on Quora has 38 shelves whereas I have only 7 but he is a lawyer so has the space and the money for them

Someone once said that you can know someones soul by their record collection
And I think the same can be said of someones book collection too if not more so
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4546  Postby Hermit » May 01, 2020 2:29 pm

Fallible wrote:Having been a librarian in a former life, I also rebel against correct classification or order storage.

Correct, as in Dewey or ISBN? I tried that too, but it did not work for me. Not at all. My problem is compounded by the fact that most of the books I acquired (and keep acquiring) were printed before those classifications were introduced.

That said, I adore Dewey Readmore Books (18. 11.1987-29. 11. 2006), the library cat of the Spencer, Iowa, Public Library.

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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4547  Postby Hermit » May 01, 2020 2:32 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:...I noticed two other things almost immediately
They are mostly slim...

Are you for real? One of my favourite volumes is E.H. Carr's book on historiography. It packs a lot more useful information in its not quite 160 pages than Sartre's 800+ page tome titled Being and Nothingness, which I basically keep as a target for ridicule.

You might also have noticed the books in the left hand top corner. The first ten of them are the first ten volumes of Penguin's Freud Library. I read all 5000 pages before I realised what a load of rubbish psychoanalysis is. Silly me.

And silly you for even raising the issue of the volume of a volume.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4548  Postby Macdoc » May 01, 2020 2:35 pm

A thing of the past soon enough. First the physical bookstores are gone or going and soon enough the home libraries in favour of compact electrons.
Hard even to give away physical books these days. So easy to share electronic libraries as well even across oceans. :coffee:

Currently still engaged with The Expanse series.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4549  Postby Fallible » May 01, 2020 2:40 pm

Hermit wrote:
Fallible wrote:Having been a librarian in a former life, I also rebel against correct classification or order storage.

Correct, as in Dewey or ISBN? I tried that too, but it did not work for me. Not at all. My problem is compounded by the fact that most of the books I acquired (and keep acquiring) were printed before those classifications were introduced.

That said, I adore Dewey Readmore Books (18. 11.1987-29. 11. 2006), the library cat of the Spencer, Iowa, Public Library.

Image


D’awwww...

I was referring to the Dewey Decimal system. Much of my life in those times was spent trying to make an eclectic volume fit into a numerical pigeon hole. It killed my inner child. :whine:
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4550  Postby Fallible » May 01, 2020 2:42 pm

Hermit wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:...I noticed two other things almost immediately
They are mostly slim...

Are you for real? One of my favourite volumes is E.H. Carr's book on historiography. It packs a lot more useful information in its not quite 160 pages than Sartre's 800+ page tome titled Being and Nothingness, which I basically keep as a target for ridicule.

You might also have noticed the books in the left hand top corner. The first ten of them are the first ten volumes of Penguin's Freud Library. I read all 5000 pages before I realised what a load of rubbish psychoanalysis is. Silly me.

And silly you for even raising the issue of the volume of a volume.


E.H. Carr is great. His What is History? was the first book for uni I ever bought.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4551  Postby Hermit » May 01, 2020 3:30 pm

Macdoc wrote:A thing of the past soon enough. First the physical bookstores are gone or going and soon enough the home libraries in favour of compact electrons.
Hard even to give away physical books these days. So easy to share electronic libraries as well even across oceans. :coffee:

I love digitised books. The ability to look things up without having to rely on thumbing through pages alone is worth it.

That said, there are still too many books that simply are not available in digitised form.

For instance, last week I searched for Porsche 908: The Long Distance Runner. The English language edition of the book was published in 2009, and is now out of print. Google books makes about 50 of its 240 pages of the English version available (and none of the German), but unfortunately no eBook is available. If I want the book I'll have to get one in dead tree format. Starting price is US$300.

Also, you can find John Gunther's Inside Europe in digitised form, but only the 1936 edition. I have not found the revised and expanded 1940 version to date.

I also wonder how many of the well over 1200 volumes of Dent's Everyman's Library have been digitised at this stage.

The end of physical books is nowhere as near as you might imagine.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4552  Postby Macdoc » May 01, 2020 3:56 pm

Oh there will be lots still circulating for a long time but it's a declining market ...not as abrupt a drop as CDs but on it's way ..

Hundreds of efforts like this are rescuing old out of print editions or rare books.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gutenberg

Even Kindle itself has 400 pages of free books ( lots of junk of course but many classic authors too plus it has spurred thousands of would be authors to self publish.
Also Amazon has connected used books with those that want them.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4553  Postby surreptitious57 » May 01, 2020 4:08 pm

Sometimes old technology is retained because it has something that simply cannot be replicated
Were all my books on a kindle it would not be the same and I would not use it for this very reason
I have been reading the old way for so long that I just dont have the willpower to adapt to change
Also kindle screens are too small for me and they have no soul so not much use to me unfortunately
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4554  Postby Hermit » May 01, 2020 4:27 pm

Macdoc wrote:Oh there will be lots still circulating for a long time but it's a declining market ...not as abrupt a drop as CDs but on it's way ..

So, when you wrote "soon enough" (twice), you really meant "a long time"? ;)
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4555  Postby Fallible » May 01, 2020 4:46 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:Sometimes old technology is retained because it has something that simply cannot be replicated
Were all my books on a kindle it would not be the same and I would not use it for this very reason
I have been reading the old way for so long that I just dont have the willpower to adapt to change
Also kindle screens are too small for me and they have no soul so not much use to me unfortunately


By that reasoning, you never would have learned to use a computer.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4556  Postby Fallible » May 01, 2020 4:47 pm

Proper books will be around a while yet, Sloth and I will keep them profitable single handedly.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4557  Postby Kaleid » May 01, 2020 5:05 pm

I'm a book-sniffer.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4558  Postby Fallible » May 01, 2020 5:15 pm

Helloooooo Kaleid!
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4559  Postby surreptitious57 » May 01, 2020 5:28 pm

My computer has a I5 inch screen which is way bigger than a kindle and is the optimum size screen for me
Looking at a kindle size screen is very bad for the eyes which is why I dont access the internet on my phone
But even allowing for the large screen that my computer has I still would not use it to read entire books from
Electronic screens are bad for the eyes anyway if exposed to them for too long irrespective of their actual size
Paper is more natural and organic by comparison and so is therefore healthier for the eyes especially in old age
Exposure to electronic gadgets for too long also causes humming in the brain - I have it now - so there is that too

I seriously love smelling the pages of new books too Kaleid - some of them are so aromatic - and magazines as well
That is something you cannot get from a soulless kindle and is something only real book lovers can truly understand
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4560  Postby Fallible » May 01, 2020 5:30 pm

That’s not what I meant, but never mind.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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