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What do people do with books besides read them?


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Showing 26-50 of 80 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 07:49:28 BDT
Icarus says:
But, as I said, to me books are not "stuff", any more than my pictures and sculptures are "stuff". They are connected to me. They are the thoughts and feelings of other people. They are 'le temps retrouvé'.

Posted on 27 Apr 2013 10:00:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Apr 2013 10:02:52 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
During my youth my sister built a maze for her hamsters out out of my books and 8 track (remember them) collection. Taught me not to become attached to stuff as hamsters tend to escape mazes by eating their way out.

So saying I don't buy books unless there is a good chance I will read them more than once so I tend to keep them.

On a side note who has time to read 5000 books? That is one a day for 13 1/2 years and even I don't have the time to spare to do that.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 11:47:02 BDT
gille liath says:
I bet that's what every hoarder says. :) As I said, by nature I'm one of them too, I do understand what you mean.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 11:54:20 BDT
gille liath says:
And that's not to mention the thousands from libraries! It's no wonder Icarus can't remember everything he's read.

I suppose I've owned between one and two thousand books; I've probably got fewer than 500 now, and I've read relatively few that I haven't owned. As you know, I'm not one of those who thinks any book is better than none. Quality, not quantity - are there 5000 worthwhile books in the entire world? To read I mean, not as décor / rat's mazes etc.

I've noticed recently that one or two of my books look a bit nibbled. Maybe there's something the kids haven't been telling me...(they don't have a hamster, but maybe they've tamed a mouse or something).

Actually, I've never owned or even handled an 8-track. Sorry. :)

Posted on 27 Apr 2013 13:55:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Apr 2013 14:07:01 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
Simple logistics prevents me from believing that anyone can have read that many books. I read at approx 100 pages an hour and only manage to average a book or two a week due to having to spend time earning a living and being at least a little sociable with my good lady. So in the forty years since I started reading I could at most have read four thousand books. Taking in to account the number I have read multiple times and the periods in my life when I was doing the sort of things people write about I would guess that I have only actually read approximately two thousand. To read more would require a voracious dedication and a level of independent wealth combined with a complete lack of social contact that I find unlikely though it may be the case with Monica.
As for there being 5000 worthwhile books in the entire world. Of course there are. However finding them amongst the several million in existence is somewhat of a challenge.

And there is no need to apologise for not having an 8 track. Be thankful you're too young.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 20:35:06 BDT
gille liath says:
That's exactly what I was apologising for. :)

There probably are 5000 books that are worthwhile in themselves, but I doubt whether there are 5000 that are worthwhile for any individual reader; partly because nobody's interested in everything, and partly cos often if you've read x you don't also need to read y (because they cover much the same ground).

Watch out: Monica will 'ave yer...

Posted on 27 Apr 2013 21:06:43 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
There is very little I'm not interested in, and things I think I have no interest in become interesting when you meet, or hear, or read the right person. If someone can express their passion for a subject or thing in an entertaining manner I find it difficult to not find myself becoming similarly fascinated and endeavouring to expand my knowledge base. So I would be surprised if there aren't 5000 or more books I would find worthwhile.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 21:09:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Apr 2013 21:10:43 BDT
gille liath says:
Well, I think my interests are as wide as most - and I'm really struggling...

Maybe it's as you say, the good uns are just too difficult to find.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:08:54 BDT
Icarus says:
There are far more than 5000 books worth reading in the world. I would not claim that all my books are good books, but even bad books have an interest in that they can tell you something about humanity. I don't read 'airport' books, or thrillers, or bodice-rippers, 'holiday' reading. So there are few books I have read that I have completely finished with.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:13:28 BDT
Icarus says:
Well, Mr Joliff, I've been reading for 60 years, so your figures are not problematic. The numbers do add up, and it does not mean I've been neglecting other activities. As a student of literature and the history of ideas (and I was a student for quite a long time) I often read several books in a day. Since then, as a publisher, I've had a professional interest in and need for reading more books.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:17:12 BDT
Icarus says:
"I doubt whether there are 5000 that are worthwhile for any individual reader; partly because nobody's interested in everything" - I'm interested in everything (except golf). While it is true that I have never read a book about sport, I do read about a wide range of human activities, and then there are novels, poetry, plays. Not to mention the works of earlier centuries and other languages.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:24:28 BDT
gille liath says:
Icarus, I just looked up your profile and I see you've reviewed two books - one on the basis of an Amazon sample, the other on the title alone. Is this the way you read the 5000?

I'm just yanking your chain but, like MJ, I find it difficult to accept that anyone can genuinely assimilate that number of books - that is, read them in any meaningful way.

But what do I know? I said the Sinclair C5 wasn't a good idea...

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:40:17 BDT
Icarus says:
No, that's not the way I read them. I'm just not into reviewing books on Amazon. But what I wrote about the title of the book was entirely valid: it completely undermined the claims of the book.

As to 'assimilate', it depends what you mean. If you mean can I, years later, give a disquisition on them, then no, in most cases not (with notable exceptions). But have they informed my thinking at the time I read them, either by enlightening me or giving me something to think against, then often yes, in which case it's not that important if I can remember them in detail. But I do like to be able to go back to them when something prompts an interest.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:41:23 BDT
Icarus says:
The good ones are not too difficult to find. On the contrary, there isn't enough time to read all the good ones.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:52:13 BDT
gille liath says:
Yeah, I don't mean 'memorise'. I suppose I just mean reading a book with attention, and taking whatever it has to say - if anything - into your overall scheme of thought, or whatever you want to call it. Sometimes, as you say, it may just be the recognition that 'this is a load of rubbish'.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 22:52:48 BDT
gille liath says:
I definitely have to disagree with you there.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 23:25:45 BDT
Whack someone over the head. Particularly enjoyable if it's a massive door stopper, which would be the second, non-reading use. They also make a perfect stand for a camera or tilt a laptop.

See? Many things you can do with books.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 23:30:53 BDT
TomC says:
I'll add those to the list for my forthcoming publication "101 Uses for a Read Book", along with hamster mazes and propping up table legs. This writing business is turning out to be really easy; Bahamas here I come.

Do iguanas eat books?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2013 00:18:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Apr 2013 00:21:42 BDT
Always happy to help. :-)

So far my books have been safe from the iguana, although, if I had a massive wall full of books, I'm sure he'd use it as a climbing aid.
There, another use for them, albeit not for human use.

ETA: and books make also good 'stands' for bikes. If you stack them just high enough for the pedal to lean on them and keep the bike stable ... Only if you need to take a picture, though.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2013 10:34:44 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
Yeah. A longer time frame and a professional interest would be the way to achieve that sort of number. It also negates the antisocial downside of reading.
I myself have read three books in a day. More depending on how you divide up LotR which I have read in 12 hrs.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2013 11:54:19 BDT
monica says:
Not only is there not enough time, I lament as well the good books I'll never know of.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2013 11:57:29 BDT
monica says:
Amen.

Be grateful that someone who's not spoken to a soul for the past 10 months deigns to post a reply. No, I won't as gl suggested have a go at you--I'm far too rich to care what anyone thinks of me.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2013 11:58:31 BDT
monica says:
I expect to see your question included in the next Q & A anthology from New Scientist . . .

Posted on 28 Apr 2013 12:04:08 BDT
monica says:
I'm still at listing my books with Library Thing and some of the collections I've come across have many, many thousands of books. Granted, some of those are shop inventories & some apparently full of children's books & genre stuff, but most of the ones I get links to are full of serious books that, judging by the feel of the collection & sometimes by remarks of the owners, have been read and absorbed. (I think the links I get there are skewed by my own books, though; one of the stats you can get there shows that the vast majority of users have many more books written by living than dead authors, which isn't true of the ones I've checked out . . . )

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2013 13:59:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Apr 2013 20:21:36 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
I am overwhelmed by the service you render me. How did a lowly peon such as I become deserving of so great an honour from your eminent personage?

And how do you communicate with the multi disciplinary taxi service who supply your wants then? Telegraph, semaphore or are your posts a prearranged signal with the respective parties? Personally I think the latter as I have you pegged as a semi retired member of The Laundry.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  80
Initial post:  26 Apr 2013
Latest post:  4 May 2013

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