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There Is So Much I Could Write About This Subject

What criteria should you use to put books on your bookshelves?

So much to write, so little time. The same problem with reading the books on my bookshelf.

But for now, I will say that Ezra Klein is a pompous, pretentious ass. "Poseur" is too kind a word for him. Not that this is the only evidence of this, of course...


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Habitat Hermit wrote:

Why is Obama striking a typical Mussolini pose in that picture? The only way it could get worse was if he got a funny-looking hat...

On books I recently discovered the wonders of double-stacking in depth so the unread ones tend to get the front row to increase their odds of being read. Besides that I only try to group books by author and/or subject and that's all. Actively avoiding bookstores also helps ^_^

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Why did Mussolini strike that pose? Because it's a "I'm a great leader pose". To me, it superficially gives the impression that a) he's confident and fearless, and b) is some how visionary, seeing things that other people don't see. Obviously, Obama wants his audience to have a similar impression.

ken anthony wrote:

It's not the cover but the content that matters. My cousin once came over to my apartment, which had bricks and boards to the ceiling of one wall filled with books. He asked how many of those books I'd read. The question itself seemed strange to me. These were my books. How could I have not read each one from cover to cover?

There was a train stop at the base of the twin towers that had the most amazing magazine rack, it went on forever with what seemed like every magazine published in the world. Every weekday, coming home from work, I made that stop. The owner was a friendly muslim guy. Watching that second plane hit the tower is something I will never forget.

Ezra and those posting on his site scare the hell out of me. Any Gov. is a form of tyranny, but ours used to have a document we followed and enough people of honor and substance to defend it. That hasn't been true for at least a generation and I fear our decline may be irreversable.

bbbeard wrote:

Ezra Klein is 23. And he thinks that Howard Dean, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Barry Obama are great orators. I think that tells you all you need to know about Ezra Klein. So he can quietly slip off our radar screens now.

Once upon a time, when I was Klein's age, I suppose, I kept a loose count of my books, with the intent to make sure I had read more or less half of them at any given time. After awhile this became fairly pointless, inasmuch as I acquired a good many books of which I needed only a chapter or two, so my "percentage read" FOM became incommensurate.

Now I just try to keep track of how many rooms contain significant quantities of books, so that I have an idea where to look when I need to find one I know I own. Living room, bonus room, bedroom, attic, office, storeroom, garage....

Once, about ten years ago, my wife pressured me into parting with about six boxes of books, the intent being to lighten the load on our upcoming move. I will regret this for a long time, I think. When I can't find a book I think I own, I always wonder if it was somehow thrown out with "Defense Strategies for the Seventies"....


rjschwarz wrote:

It's odd to think of someone (a) only buying a new book when they've finished the last or (b) hiding books they haven't read. Of course they belong on the shelf with the other books. the question is what to do with books you've read and know you'll never reread. Are they trophies to show off, are they fodder for library donation, are the fuel for the fireplace (just kidding).

Pat wrote:

That has to be tongue in cheek doesn't it? Taken that way I find it pretty funny. That Obama piece though, no excusing that sort of hysteria.

Carl Pham wrote:

What's funny is how the books change with age, I think. Essentially all the SF on my shelves is 20 years old, and essentially all the history and biography is less than 5. Books on cosmology are old, books on antenna design are new. The French and German dictionary are old, the Latin grammar book and world atlas are new. Tolkien, old. Patrick O'Brian, new. Lewis Carroll, old. Francis Hayek, new.

Seems like it ought to mean something, somehow.

I confess to being a bookshelf voyeur; if I go to someone's house I'm always fascinated by seeing what they've got on the bookshelves.

Cambias wrote:

Klein's dictum that your bookshelf should advertise the person you want people to think you are, rather than containing the books you have read, or plan to read, is the most asinine statement I have read in 38 years of literacy. How did a little twerp like that get published in anything but a high-school newspaper?

Sigivald wrote:

Mine are grouped by author without groups by subject/type.

And I have a selection of books I haven't read - because I thought they might be interesting when I bought them, or I "might want to read them", but haven't gotten around to it.

(Hell, it took me five or six years and two tries to get through "If On A Winter's Night...". The first chapter made me want to throw it against a wall. Fortunately it improved rapidly after that.)

However, that's maybe 5% of the total (not counting reference books, which are read as-appropriate in the appropriate sections. I don't need to read my report on the small finds from Anglo-Saxon York cover to cover; it's there to look up things I care about when I care about them).

Mike G in Corvallis wrote:

"Poseur"? Try "tosser," or "wanker."

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on February 27, 2008 3:46 PM.

Looks Like A Small Lion To Me was the previous entry in this blog.

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