April 24, 2016

"These are neat? I guess? In that someone made effort and put something that I can kind of identify with on the web."

Says a Metafilter participant, reacting to "Extremely Accurate Charts for Book Nerds." The commenter continues:
[T]he older I get, the less I identify with books being cool for their own sake. This may be a function of hyperabundance, both of texts of any sort (Kindle, magazines, www, &c.) and of actual books--books, which are harder and harder to unload at used bookstores or even Goodwill because of that same hyperabundance. I live in a small place, our home library has something close to a book-in, book-out policy.

I love to read, I can't not read, but I guess I don't care as much about the substrate as I used to.


Laslo Spatula said...

A Letter from Miss Harriet Tubman, Kansas, 1954:

No, I am not THAT Harriet Tubman. But I finally read a book about her. The librarian looked at me kind of funny when I asked for it -- our library doesn't have much use for books about negroes.

I read almost all of it, and I have to say I don't quite get it. She could've saved herself a lot of trouble if she simply just waited patiently for slavery to end.

Then she'd be free without all the fuss and bother.

People get in such a hurry; sometimes it's better to just let things take their course. No need to have a Civil War about it. Especially when it's only about negroes.

Besides, I didn't think that negroes got in a particular hurry about anything. At least that's what I've heard. Lazy and shambling.

I think I'll stick to my white books. I like Jane Austen.

I am Laslo.

Sam L. said...

Las, you be SUBVERSIVE!

Michael K said...

"No need to have a Civil War about it. "

Interesting. I am reading the Bruce Catton history of the Civil War, which is not his biography of Grant. I am just finishing volume one, "The Coming Fury," which has a lot about the effort to avoid a war.

It's interesting to think about the alternative history if the north had just let the south go.

There are two schools of thought. One is that slavery was doomed and the Industrial Revolution would have solved the matter in favor of the Union.

The other is that the Confederacy planned to invade Mexico and take over Cuba.

I have always been interested in alternative history. I used to have a book titled, "For Want of a Nail: If Burgoyne Had Won at Saratoga," an alternate history of the Revolutionary War.

Another good one is "Rising Sun Victorious," which has a series of chapters about specific battles, including the invasion of the Home Islands.

EMD said...

So disappointed in the link. Dumb. I thought it was going to be charts based on particular books.

One thing the internet has achieved is in dissolving the English language. Awesome lost its meaning pre-Internet, but epic is on its way out along with a host of other words.

Mashable is one of the worst offenders of this practice.

Paco Wové said...

What EMD said. Stupid content. I felt cheated, clicking that link. "Extremely accurate?" I think not. Bastards.

Hagar said...

The Bruce Catton series is great history writing.

Michael K said...

"The Bruce Catton series is great history writing."

Both series. I have had them for 50 years and am now rereading the Civil War series as I think it resembles the present.

jelink said...

"I think I'll stick to my white books. I like Jane Austen."


Actually, it's a little-known fact that Austen was Tubman's favorite author.

Laslo Spatula said...

A Letter from Miss Harriet Tubman, Kansas, 1954:

No, I am not THAT Harriet Tubman.

I wish I read more, but the house takes so much time, especially after my younger sister Margaret ran off with that man who sold ointments.

I understand that slavery was a bad thing I guess, but I could see how I might appreciate me having myself one, just to help get things done.

If I had a slave I'd think I'd like it to be one of those light-skinned negroes best. I think I would just be more comfortable with one who wasn't so obviously a negro -- where you maybe had to look at him a moment to decide for sure.

I'd have to build a shack for him out back, but I bet Mr. Anders down the way would do it for me in exchange for some fresh home-baked pies.

I'd make the pies, not the slave, of course: some people don't like negroes touching their food.

That we give me more time for books.

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

Mildly amusing. Somewhat accurate. If you couldn't relate at all, kinda weird you assume nobody could.

Donald Douglas said...

Sorry, not buying it.

I love hard-copy books. I read electronically, on some kind of pixelated screen, most of the time for both work and leisure. Regular books are a wonderful haven away from that, and I like the textile feel, the ability to flip from front to back and not lose my place. I just still love regular books.

Michael K said...

"the ability to flip from front to back and not lose my place."

Yes. I read fiction on Kindle. Non-fiction mostly in hard cover.

I just read "The 10,000 year Explosion" on Kindle and have now ordered the hard copy,

Robert Cook said...

I have read books on my iPhone, and it's fine. But I love and prefer real books. For me, books as objects have a magical feeling about them, and I often take down books from their shelves simply to hold and handle them and flip through the pages. (Also, practically speaking, I prefer books printed on paper and bound between covers simply so I have a sense of where I am in the book. An eBook can seem endless, as there is no physical indication of how far into the book one has gone, or how close to the finish.)

Michael K said...

I have a collection of old medical history books that I plan to donate to a medical school library but the boxes are under a pile of crap in a locker and I have to summon the energy to dig them out and donate them so another generation can read them.

I hope they want to.

Sydney said...

I like both books and e-reading. The advantage of e-reading is that you can easily look up an unfamiliar word or the translation of a foreign phrase without having to put your book down. But, I also like the feel of a real book, and I think I read faster looking at words on paper than I do reading pixelated versions.

William said...

The Internet is infinite, but books are best enjoyed within the finite environment of book covers. You can see the beginning and end and judge your progress through that finite dollop of information. Or lack thereof. I just finished Stephen Ambrose's book about D-Day. It was tough sledding. It was well written and meticulously researched, but there was chapter after chapter detailing how different men, each individually named, met his end on that day. Remember the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan. Imagine sitting through a two hour movie watching men get slaughtered and maimed. That's what it felt like reading the Ambrose book. And you couldn't just put it aside either. That would be disrespectful to the memory of those brave men and their sacrifice, so one was stuck reading the whole thing. Some history is painful to read.

Kathy said...

The homeschool curriculum I use purposefully includes many ebooks, for the benefit of people on limited budgets. But I buy the physical books anyway, simply because we enjoy and retain them so much more.

Albert Thomas said...

The function of a Mechanical Engineering is to take an item from a concept to the market.The mechanical engineer searching’s for to obtain certain abilitiesonline Mechanical Engineering writing service

Terry Bogard said...

Our website is No. 1 in C/C++ Assignment Help and C/C++ Project Help. You can also hire us for C++ Projects Assistance. CHelpOnline.com is the Number 1 C/C++ Help Site in C Assignment Help niche.C++ Homework Help

mikee said...

I was reading the appended authors' interview at the end of "Good Omens" whilst in the bathtub once, when I came upon the bit where Pratchett says people kept bringing him copies that had been dropped in their bathtubs, for autographs.

That would never happen with a Nook, which is not nearly waterproof enough to use in a tub.