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The Book Meme

chrishansenhome, at my request, tagged me for this meme, so here we go....

1) Total number of books I've owned:
I'm not sure if this means "in my lifetime" or "currently." Since I can't possibly answer the former, I will attempt the latter, which is only somewhat easier. And I'm not going to include the several titles I've got stored away at my parents' house in San Diego. I'm not going to attempt to count how many books I have at home -- for one, I'm at work, and for another, it would take too long. According to Tubby, I "have too many books." I didn't think that was possible! I wonder what he would think of bitty's collection, which puts mine to shame. Anyway, I have one giant bookcase and one tall, skinny bookcase, both filled completely with books. The books are two-deep and, in a couple of places, three-deep.

2) The last book I bought:
Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I needed a quick, short read when I was faced with potentially having to ride the T and I had neither the book I was currently reading (Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon) or the three I had bought a couple of days before (Ryunosuke Akutagawa's Rashomon and Other Stories, Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street, and Go Ask Alice) any of which would have been appropriately short.

3) The last book I read:
Since I've only got about 120 of the 918 pages left, I'm going to say Cryptonomicon. The last book I completed (which was only some 90+ pages long) was Rashomon and Other Stories.

4) Five books that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):
1. McCullough, David: The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914. Simply the greatest book ever written concerning Panamá and the Canal.
2. Tolkien, J.R.R.: The Lord of the Rings. Need I say more?
3. Cervantes, Miguel de: Don Quijote de la Mancha. One of the most humorous, heart-warming, and entertaining reads, especially if you can manage to read it in the original. BTW, if anyone is looking to get me a random gift for no reason at all, check this out.
4. Wills, Garry: Why I Am a Catholic. Gives the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian's personal credentials as a Catholic, an in-depth (and not too flattering) history of Catholicism and the Papacy, and an explication of core Catholic beliefs and defense of why one can be critical of the Church and still be Catholic as long as one holds those core beliefs.
5. Kerouac, Jack: On the Road. Inspired me to buy my truck and start driving cross-country, learning more about myself and the world I live in as I go.

5) Tag five people and have them fill this out in their LJs


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC)
Book meme
Stop tagging me. I don't respond to tags.

All of your books are on paper. I have at least as many paper books as you have, but I also have books on my PDA, on CD-ROM, on DVD and available through the Internet (over 15,000 from Project Gutenberg alone). I recently started Sun Tzu's Art of War on my PDA, although I've only gotten a few pages into it.

Your fifth selection reminded me of two other travel books I've enjoyed over the years: Steinbeck's Travels With Charlie and William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways, both winners.
Jun. 16th, 2005 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: Book meme
I have at least as many paper books as you have, but I also have books on my PDA, on CD-ROM, on DVD and available through the Internet (over 15,000 from Project Gutenberg alone).

I know it's semantics, but I would argue that books only come in paper (or sometimes cloth, leather, or similar) formats. What you have electronically are novels, stories, dissertations, etc., all of which are traditionally contained in books but are increasingly stored on electronic media.
Jun. 16th, 2005 11:35 am (UTC)
Re: Book meme
Books were once also published on clay tablets. Time marches on. Paper is as recent an invention as the printing press. The technology is advancing and there is nothing sacred about paper for books.
Jun. 16th, 2005 11:44 am (UTC)
Re: Book meme
I think you've missed my semantic distinction. Books (the bound items that are most commonly made from paper and/or cloth products) have never been made from clay tablets. Stories, histories, records, etc., used to be kept on clay tablets, not books. For many centuries, these stories, histories, records, etc., were stored in books. Now, increasingly these stories, histories, records, etc., are stored on electronic media. Let's not confuse what goes in books (the novels, stories, histories, records, etc.) with the storage media themselves (books, clay tablets, computers, etc.), which was entirely my point.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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