December 26, 2020

"As retro as a shelf of books might seem in an era of flat-panel screens, Books by the Foot has thrived through Democratic and Republican administrations..."

"... including that of the book-averse Donald Trump. And this year, the company has seen a twist: When the coronavirus pandemic arrived, Books by the Foot had to adapt to a downturn in office- and hotel-decor business—and an uptick in home-office Zoom backdrops for the talking-head class.... If an order were to come in for, say, 12 feet of books about politics, specifically with a progressive or liberal tilt... one of [the] more politics-savvy staffers to the enormous box labeled 'Politically Incorrect' (the name of Books by the Foot’s politics package) to select about 120 books by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward. The books would then be 'staged,' or arranged with the same care a florist might extend to a bouquet of flowers, on a library cart; double-checked by a second staffer; and then shipped off to the residence or commercial space where they would eventually be shelved and displayed (or shelved and taken down to read).... A lover of books who professes to never want to see them destroyed, [Wonder Book President Chuck Roberts said] 'Pretty much every book you see on Books by the Foot [is a book] whose only other option would be oblivion'...."


All those political books — you see that they are published, and you see that they are calling cards for their authors to go on talk shows, but are they ever read? At least they have one more purpose, sitting on a shelf, a shelf that will be seen, a constituent of an extra-thick wall. How much bigger would rooms be without these for-show books? One more foot wide for every bookcase you can scuttle. But here are people shipping books in, books they have no intention of reading.

Meanwhile, a lot of people are trying to declutter, and books are a whole category for "tidying up" within the Marie Kondo system (which only has 5 categories). That system requires you to pile all your books on the floor and one one by one subject them to a test that has a strong presumption against keeping any given book:
The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill of pleasure when you touch it. Remember, I said when you touch it. Make sure you don’t start reading it. Reading clouds your judgment. Instead of asking yourself what you feel, you’ll start asking whether you need that book or not. Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding?...  [F]orget about whether you think you’ll read it again or whether you’ve mastered what’s inside. Instead, take each book in your hand and decide whether it moves you or not. Keep only those books that will make you happy just to see them on your shelves, the ones that you really love.... There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway. So get rid of all those unread books....

Imagine touching a book "by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward" and feeling "a thrill of pleasure." I don't have to touch these books to know I would not be thrilled! I can't even imagine another person who could be thrilled. It's a difficult feat of imagination, and I cannot do it. 

178 comments:

Qwinn said...

The Left cannot remotely revise every book to delete wrongthink and replace with goodthink like they can and soon will with every last word on the internet.

Thus, the program to encourqge destroying the physical books begins, right on schedule.

Michael K said...

The mandatory Trump bash sort of turned me off.

An article about people who buy "books by the foot" is preening about Trump.

Skippy Tisdale said...

including that of the book-averse Donald Trump.

[citation needed]

Bilwick said...

Is Trump actually "book averse"? Is he more "book averse" than Mensa Joe Biden? Or AOC?

Darrell said...

Now imagine tombstones with those same names on them.

Birkel said...

The conservatives must start winning the culture battles.
Some of that means producing our own cultural touchstones.
We need to be writing books and making films.
And they need to be quality, with underlying themes that are subversive.

No politically correct bull shit.
Nothing that smacks too strongly of told-ya-so.
It's a delicate balance that we must strike and encourage in our own subculture.

The battle must be joined.

Big Mike said...

the book-averse Donald Trump

Hey, law professor! Isn’t that assuming facts without evidence? In fact, more like assuming facts in contradiction of evidence, right?

Liberals’ respond: “Evidence, we don’t need no stinkin’ evidence. String him up!”

Big Mike said...

An article about people who buy "books by the foot" is preening about Trump.

Noted.

Sam L. said...

"Imagine touching a book "by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward" and feeling "a thrill of pleasure." I don't have to touch these books to know I would not be thrilled! I can't even imagine another person who could be thrilled. It's a difficult feat of imagination, and I cannot do it." I'd shoot the dirty dastard who'd send me them. Grave, unmarked, some assembly required.

Mary Beth said...

'Pretty much every book you see on Books by the Foot [is a book] whose only other option would be oblivion'

A Sarah McLachlan song begins to play. The narrator asks us to give these books a home and help stop cruelty to books.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The democrat party book industry is all about more money funneling to elite rich democrats.

That anyone would be excited to read that crap and help make rich democrats even richer? Sad.

Barnes and Nobel should re-name itself to: Glossy Democrat Party Book Shrine.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Never ending kool-kid virtue signalling.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Look at all the democrat pap I read! I'm special. I obey and worship.

Big Mike said...

Marie Kondo writes:

The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill of pleasure when you touch it. Remember, I said when you touch it. Make sure you don’t start reading it. Reading clouds your judgment.

So followers of Marie Kondo don’t actually read books, lest their judgement be impaired. I mean, if you read a book, you might learn something. Worse yet, you might think about something. No true liberal wants that!

Temujin said...

It sounds like that same sort of program we use to fill our congress.

Bob Smith said...

I used to watch “Booknotes” on C-Span. If the subject of the book or the author interview interested me I’d go buy the book. Got some good reads. And Brian Lamb was a good interviewer.

Kate said...

Trump bash. So tedious.

I hate clutter and don't keep dead tree books except for my college Middle English textbooks. I can't casually read them, so I know I'm holding onto them for the touch-thrill.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Do hivemind idiots read democrat pap? - or do they buy it for display?

Do you need a cocktail?

tommyesq said...

including that of the book-averse Donald Trump says the author of a piece extolling the virtues of staging bookshelves full of books that were not even selected, much less read, by the putative owners.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway. So get rid of all those unread books....

While there is no need to feel obligated to finish a book...it isn't a chore...this is not actually great advice about throwing away.

There are many books that you begin to read, but for some reason don't resonate with you. Doesn't seem relevant. Perhaps it is the situation that you are in at the time. Your mood. The mood of the world. Maybe the characters in the book remind you of people in your life that you don't like. The author's style of writing sucks. Many reasons to not like a book.

But then..you pick up the book later and ta dah! the book is now relevant to you.

Life changes. You change. Some (not all) books are worth a second chance.

tommyesq said...

Also should probably avoid comments about "touching" along with books by Al Franken.

John henry said...

NYC used to have hundreds of people who sold used books from tables on the sidewalk. I don't know if they still do. Robert Cook? Were they still there before the pandemic?

There is an interesting doco about on Amazon Prime Called Book wars. It's interesting where they get their books.

Some make a pretty good living, others are basically homeless. It's a business like any other, you have to have a bit of imagination and work at it.

John Henry

Eleanor said...

I'm a read a book and give it away so someone else can love it or hate it, too, kind of person. My bookshelf is full of transients.

John henry said...

Hartness and nobles original store is down on 18th street (or so)

Back in the 90s I made the mistake of visiting. I found an almost complete, uniform hardbound collection of Nevil Shute books 22 or so. Not even priced as a set. $4/book iirc. I bought the entire set without thinking how I would get them back to my hotel near Columbus Circle. On the subway, with great difficulty.

Then I realized I had to get them home. I wound up mailing them which was another adventure.

John Henry

Kay said...

I’ll admit it. I get the same amount of joy from curating the titles on my bookshelf as I do choosing what I want to wear. It’s another form of expression.

wild chicken said...

"politically incorrect" nothing but topical ephemera.

I'd add anything by Hannity, O'Reilly, Buchanan, or Gingrich to that pile of crap.

And I love Buchanan, too, but these book deals come much too easily to them. Dictate your points, have an assistant flesh it out with google "research." Hit Send.

Caligula said...

"The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill of pleasure when you touch it." Who cares? What matters is whether the predominant colors on the dust jacket match the color of the bilious-green couch next to the bookcases.

". If an order were to come in for, say, 12 feet of books about politics, specifically with a progressive or liberal tilt ..." then it would match the New Nonfiction section of my local public library. Except that librarians may imagine that people might actually read these books. Even though their content tends to be so drearily predictable that there's often little point in doing so.

Has anyone else noticed how incredibly Woke public libraries have become (including even those in heavily conservative districts)?

Howard said...

People need to put on a deep zoom backdrop front to impress other shallow people they wish to make money from. When you call it curated, that garners gravitas from gomers.

John henry said...

I just put a picture of my tablet in the background. That's probably 10-15 feet at any given time.

Probably 30-40 feet in my kindle library.

Re book notes I bought a lot of books from that show. Some sounded a lot more interesting than they turned out to be.

One of the things I love about kindle is that I can download a free sample of anything that sounds remotely interesting. If I like it, I buy it.

If someone mentioned a book PK (pre-kindle) I'd either forget it by the time I went to a bookstore or they wouldn't have it.

Now, 30 seconds after hearing of it I can be reading it. Or a year from now, looking for my next book to read, I can poke around in my sample pile and find something.

Just started reading Peter Mayles Anything Considered because I'd mentioned Bill Burford and someone sai he sounded like Peter Mayle. Great recommendation so far. Bought the book and am 2 chapters in.

John Henry

tcrosse said...

How about Books by the Cord? I imagine some off-the-grid prepper in Idaho heating his cabin with the collected works of Hillary Clinton. They're probably cheaper than firewood, BTU for BTU.

Michael K said...

I'm glad to see another Neville Shute fan here.

Among many other things, he understood sailing and several of his books have good descriptions. He was also very conservative. He would be disappointed in how Australia has turned out. He had great hopes for it.

LA_Bob said...

I remember when George W Bush, considered too dumb and too incurious to be president turned out to be a huge reader. Of books! By itself, that didn't make him "smart", but it is something that has to be explained. Of course, it's de rigueur to describe any Republican president as shallow.

Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Obama were all brilliant, of course. They not only read books, but they understood them. Of course they did.

pacwest said...

The phrase "Books by the foot" ranks somewhere between pedophilia and Satan worship on my revulsion meter.

JaimeRoberto said...

Chris Matthews probably gets pleasure touching a book from Obama. And didn't the media once claim without evidence that the book adverse Trump kept a copy of Mein Kampf by his bedside?

Curious George said...

"the book-averse Donald Trump..."

Books By Donald J. Trump - Amazon.comwww.amazon.com › Donald-J.-Trump
Trump has authored over fifteen bestsellers and his first book, The Art of the Deal, is considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books ...

Yeah, he's "averse"

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

"Washington’s Secret to the Perfect Zoom Bookshelf? Buy It Wholesale/Books by the Foot curates shelves full of books for Washington offices, hotels, TV sets—and, now, Zoom backdrops"

So, is Trump "book-averse" or is he "lying about reading books-averse"?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Dripping condescension about those stuuuuuupid knuckledraggers from people who unironically buy books by the foot. Snort

Kevin said...

These are the books behind the “experts” we’re supposed to abide.

And we’re supposed to abide because of their book knowledge.

JML said...

"Imagine touching a book "by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward"...

Careful, touching that shit wii poison you.

tim maguire said...

Books by politicians are a scam, a money laundering scheme. They would be more useful, more practical, less wasteful if the pages were blank. At least that way, the purchaser can use them for something more then just signaling political preference.

JML said...

'will'

Freeman Hunt said...

Remember when people were buying the Mueller Report? There was even an audiobook version.

John henry said...



 Michael K said...

I'm glad to see another Neville Shute fan here.

Lots of us out there, Michael. Dan Telfa1r and I were able to get 120 people to Co e to Albuquerque to celebrate his 100th birthday in a 3 day festivity.

Including 2 daughters, grandkids and some great grandkids.

Www.nevilshute.org

John Henry

Mr Wibble said...

[i]"the book-averse Donald Trump..."

Books By Donald J. Trump - Amazon.comwww.amazon.com › Donald-J.-Trump
Trump has authored over fifteen bestsellers and his first book, The Art of the Deal, is considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books ...

Yeah, he's "averse"[/i]

Sort of how George W Bush was known to be a voracious reader by anyone who worked in the upper levels of the White House, but was portrayed as a boob. Meanwhile Obama was somehow portrayed as an intellectual because he'd walk around with book as a prop, but then the media would admit that he spent hours each day watching ESPN.

The left is full of idiots who think being "well-read" means having read both the Harry Potter series AND Game of Thrones.

Sebastian said...

"Reading clouds your judgment."

So true. Hence, DJT's clarity.

"So get rid of all those unread books."

Why? I like them as decoration that also signals lit cred: an unobtrusive twofer on my shelves.

Owen said...

Who needs books in the Zoom world? You can hang a backdrop with a picture of the spines of all the volumes of stuff you haven’t ever read. Much cheaper and more versatile. Just don’t let the wrinkles show.

Joe Smith said...

Did Bill Clinton make sure that Nabokov was included in his books by the foot (he wishes).

What do people with foot fetishes order...books by the feet?

Did John Holmes order just books?

Mr Wibble said...

I like having a large bookshelf. It's nice to go back to old books that I've read before and reread passages to kill time. And I also collect books on subjects that I may need to know about one day.

Also, I don't trust e-books. Amazon has already demonstrated that they're willing to edit books without my permission. In the near future we're likely to see a wholesale attempt to eliminate "problematic" literature and media. I don't want everything stored on a device where it can be deleted on someone else's whim.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Not shocking - they emulate their idol, Obama, who probably hasn't really read a book in years.

Mr Wibble said...

Ann needs to now do a bookshelf photo post.

Big Mike said...

I remember when George W Bush, considered too dumb and too incurious to be president turned out to be a huge reader. Of books! By itself, that didn't make him "smart", but it is something that has to be explained. Of course, it's de rigueur to describe any Republican president as shallow.

It was one thing for snide New Yorkers and DC denizens to make the assertion that Dubya was dumb. It was quite another for nominally intelligent liberals to accept that assertion so uncritically. That was the point where I began to develop outright contempt for liberals, despite having once been one myself.

Lurker21 said...


Gotta have that thick Clinton biography on the shelf in the background to get a good score from Room Rater, an ex-Clinton hack.

Nobody reads politician's books, or if they do, they don't read with much care. We found that out during the ongoing uproar about Romney's dog, when somebody pointed out that Obama had not only eaten dog in Indonesia, but had written about it in his book.

I guess he said it tasted a little like chicken (though I didn't read the book either).

Once upon a time, the big scandal around here would have been that a guy with a classic English name like Romney gave his dog an Irish name like Seamus, but I guess all is forgiven.

rhhardin said...

Most of my books are full of notes and page numbers in the end sheets. My own index.

Lawrence Person said...

As an actual bibliomaniac I look down on these poseurs.


Look on my bookshelves, ye mighty, and despair!

MadTownGuy said...

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

"Never ending kool-kid virtue signalling."

If all you're going to is virtue signal on Zoom, who needs Books By the Foot? Fathead can print a virtual bookcase wall decal for a fraction of the cost.

Zach said...

Reminds me of a great scene in The Great Gatsby

As we entered he wheeled excitedly around and ex-
amined Jordan from head to foot.

‘What do you think?’ he demanded impetuously.
‘About what?’ He waved his hand toward the book-shelves.

‘About that. As a matter of fact you needn’t bother to ascertain. I ascertained. They’re real.’

‘The books?’
He nodded.
‘Absolutely real—have pages and everything. I thought
they’d be a nice durable cardboard. Matter of fact, they’re absolutely real. Pages and—Here! Lemme show you.’ Taking our skepticism for granted, he rushed to the bookcases and returned with Volume One of the ‘Stoddard Lectures.’
‘See!’ he cried triumphantly. ‘It’s a bona fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella’s a regular Belasco. It’s a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop too—didn’t cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?’

William said...

Like many here, I at one time had a plan to read everything ever written. but, as years go by, I realize how unrealistic that plan is. I doubt very much if I've read more than half of the the books currently in print....I read one book every week to ten days. TO avoid clutter I take them to a thrift shop around the corner after I've done reading. It's not such a practical plan. I sometimes buy two books for every one I donate. Those interested in declutter should avoid used bookstores....I've read and enjoyed several books by Ron Chernow. That said, I can't imagine ever re-reading one of his books. I wonder why they always appear on the shelves behind the talking heads. Chernow, Caro, and McCullough. There's always at least one title by these authors on the shelf of any pundit. I know these books get read but are any of them ever re-read.... You never see any Julia Child or the Joy of Sex or Agatha Christie on their shelves.

rcocean said...

We have all kinds of books we enjoy. I doubt either my family or myself get a "Thrill" just by touching them. Books are there to be read, not to be touched. but i have no doubt the author is really, really, into chick lit.

BTW, I just noticed that deservedly dead John Mccain put out a "Summer reading list" in 2017. Its hard to know how true it is, because judging by his biographies, McCain wasn't much of a reader. But the choices seem like the kind of books Mccain would've read. Basically, its 3 books about WW I (All quiet on western front, Goodbye to all that, Guns of August) Hemingway's Spanish civil war book, Wouk's incredibly long and mediocre "Windy War", the best and the brightest, a goofy self-help book by Admiral McRaven, and a popular history of the Civil War. The only surprises were "Of Human bondage" by Maugham (I assume McCain probably remembered it from his HS lit class), and the only book fiction book since 1980 about an irish girl during the "Troubles" in 1921. All in all the sort of military/medicore old fashioned list you'd expect. I wonder if McCain "Thrilled" to any of them.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

All of my books are in drawers, or boxes. I detest showcasing books.

I grew up with an uncle who insisted on lining his guest bath with every paperback he ever read. I get it... You're well read, and here's the proof.

Now it's all window dressing and virtue signalling. I read all the CORRECT BOOKS... Look at me. and you know damn well that if you zoom-called with conservative books in the background, you'd be harassed and doxxed, shunned and treated like a Jew in Nazi Germany.

iowan2 said...

Birkel said...
The conservatives must start winning the culture battles.
Some of that means producing our own cultural touchstones.
We need to be writing books and making films.
And they need to be quality, with underlying themes that are subversive


Rush has said for years conservatives should be buying up media like Vogue, and Teen. Those cultural touchstones already out there, and start moving the message. Almost everybody is conservative in the way they lead their lives. But the culture, blocks any outside validation of their beliefs. So we need to infiltrate their leisure media.
Now, there's to 30 thousand foot view, we need good detail people to flesh it out and implement.

Lurker21 said...

The conservatives must start winning the culture battles.
Some of that means producing our own cultural touchstones.
We need to be writing books and making films.
And they need to be quality, with underlying themes that are subversive.


That's not going to happen. Either such books and movies are "subversive" and rely on needling the prevailing liberal culture or they aren't and just affirm some idea of conservative values. If they are subversive of progressive wokeness and liberal political correctness, they loose their impact and relevance if the culture war is "won." If they just affirm conservative values they aren't going to be that interesting.

Think of it as a journey story. You need to leave home and go through some interesting -- or harrowing -- experiences to make coming back home a real story. If you're just staying home or talking about how wonderful it is to stay home, it's not much of a story and it strikes people as insipid. You need more challenge and conflict and it can't just be about current political disputes. They aren't big enough.

What happens is there are crises that make more trivial preoccupations fall away and writers and their audiences get back to more basic and fundamental values. That happened with the Depression and the Second World War and it turned the culture away from decadence and self-destructiveness.

But what eventually came out wasn't liberal or conservative, but something that could unify people in hard times. Great moral regenerations don't come because of political disputes between right and left, but because people have something bigger to overcome or because they have faced such a crisis and prevailed. Barring something major crisis, things will go on as they have been going.

I'd go further and say that in the culture wars, culture lost. When all our movies come from comic books it's hard to care about what the political spin is. Quality films are being made with themes that could be considered conservative, but the price of mass popularity and influence is the loss of quality. If you do something big enough to sway the crowd, odds are it's not that great.

rcocean said...

I find it surprising that people buy books, read them, and then get rid of them. I never buy a book unless I want to keep it and re-read it over and over. Of course, once you get past a certain age, you realize the number of possible re-reads is getting a smaller and smaller. I've reduced my book buying for just that reason. At a certain point in life the number of possible re-reads of your personal library will exceed the expected time remaining. For example:

Number of books 1000
Annual re-reads -50
Years if reading 20
Expected life remaining 20

Conclusion: Stop buying new books!



Mr Wibble said...

You never see any Julia Child or the Joy of Sex or Agatha Christie on their shelves.

It's funny, but non-readers have this illusion that being a "serious reader" means lots of serious books, whereas the serious readers are the ones with the massive stacks of cheap paperbacks and the weird books tucked away in a corner. And the best part is, those are often the most useful books to read.

rcocean said...

"All of my books are in drawers, or boxes. I detest showcasing books."

Yeah, but its tough rummaging through Boxes to find the book I want. we have our "Library" down in the basement. No showing off, but easily available.

Paul Mac said...

Some thought about the value of antilibaries seems like it might be appropriate here.

https://nesslabs.com/antilibrary

Paul Mac said...

Some thought about the value of antilibaries seems like it might be appropriate here.

https://nesslabs.com/antilibrary

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

It would be hilarious to fill your bookshelf background with porn. Really crappy porn. Porn and silly romance novels. Really prove your intellectual fire power.

Mr Wibble said...

The problem with trying to create "conservative" content is that you end up with quality on par with a second rate Christian television show: morally preachy and boring. Trying to produce conservative content is a fools game. Better to simply try to produce good content. Honestly, even when the left tries to produce edgy left-wing content it often comes out preaching a conservative message. I'm still not convinced Girls wasn't some elaborate gag to mock left-wing stereotypes that got out of hand. And Shameless is, in my humble opinion, one of the most conservative shows on television, if you really dig into the messaging. Then, of course, there's the Watchmen comic and movie, where Rorschach was supposed to mock the right wing and instead became the hero to readers.

rcocean said...

I say this as a book worm. The idea that being a "book reader" means your "smart" or "Thoughtful" is unproven to say the least. I was surprised that George Bush was a big book reader, because he never gave any evidence of it, in his speeches or actions. Even reading his biography "Decision Points" gave no indication he was well read. He not only seems to have learned nothing from the History he read, he didn't even learn from his father's failed Presidency. He repeated the same mistakes.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

rcocean-
most books i've read and enjoyed, I'm pretty much done. I try not to store them. I give them away. I do have hardcover books in storage. and large coffee table books... in storage. and I would agree that because they are stashed away - I don't read them like I should.
I read most stuff on my kindle.

rcocean said...

Does anyone think Biden, Hillary, or obama care about books? Yet, the DNC news letters that we hilariously label "The MSM" always act as if they did, unlike those Neanderthal Republicans. Of course, the biggest fake "intellectual" was JFK. Presented to the American Public as some sort of scholar, author, and lover of the arts, when he just wanted to have sex and wield power.

Lurker21 said...

I like the thrill of finding books and the pleasure of having books, but if you've ever had books fall apart in your hands while reading them, you might just want to keep them in boxes or stacks, look at them every once in a while and feel well-read, educated, and superior for having them, rather than try to read them and risk the disappointment again.

Of course, my collection is heavy with old paperbacks bought at used bookstores, rather than more recent hardbound editions bought new. When I got them it seemed like I was acquiring a bit of the wisdom of the world with each volume. Now it seems like they're too many and too fragile to read and too hard to get rid of.

rcocean said...

"I read most stuff on my kindle."

Yeah, I'm beginning to like Kindle. I was slow to embrace it, but good for books that i just want to read and don't really care to have taking up space. Or its also good for things like the collected works of Hemingway or Thackeray. 12 volumes and its all on a computer!

rcocean said...

Its been great discussing books but I have to run. Adios and Happy New Years.

Big Mike said...

'Pretty much every book you see on Books by the Foot [is a book] whose only other option would be oblivion'

Is that not the appropriate destination for “books by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward”?

Will said...

Political books? It was pretty clear that nobody had read Obama's book because it was a major shock/surprise to find he admitted eating dog.

At this point, book deals for the Comey, Obama, Clinton, McCabe set are just a way to launder the payoffs. It's assumed nobody will ever read them... Same with Netflix money...

When they find a way to sell credibility and authenticity by the foot or the pound then Washington political hacks will be first in line

Breezy said...

Several of my liberal friends literally cooed over Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”. They carried it around religiously and would not hesitate to read a page or two while waiting for service. It was her “voice”, they said, that so appealed to them. They all said that.

Joe Smith said...

You do realize that most politicians' book sales is a form of money laundering.

Do you really think that anyone gives a flying fuck about Michelle Obama's views on anything?

Big Mike writes a shitty book (for which the liberal publisher gives her an enormous advance).

Shitty book is published.

Unions and special interests from all over the world purchase shitty book by the tens of thousands and store them in a warehouse, never to be seen again.

Publisher then pays author of shitty book royalties.

Author of shitty book now in possession of millions of dollars from special interest groups laundered through the publisher.

It's a scam.

Joe Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iman said...

Everything about these people is phony. Fucking peacocks, monkeys on parade.

Breezy said...

Joe Smith - I agree. It’s also a way for them to get televised interviews for greater exposure, even though it’s a trash book.

Joe Smith said...

"Has anyone else noticed how incredibly Woke public libraries have become..."

Librarians, as a class, were Karens before Karens existed.

Unbelievably left-wing, and oddly enough, all-in for censorship of wrong-speak.

Note: My typing has gone to hell the last couple of months. I keep posts up if the misspellings are obvious, but I delete and re-post (like this one) when the mistake changes the meaning...

Breezy said...

Journalists do the same thing.

Michael K said...

Blogger rcocean said...
I find it surprising that people buy books, read them, and then get rid of them. I never buy a book unless I want to keep it and re-read it over and over.


That is one reason I buy nonfiction and use Kindle for fiction. You may think you own the Kindle book but you don't. Amazon can edit the book you think you own and you will not even realize it. They have done it before.

Paper books are the ones you own.

Balfegor said...

I can't imagine buying generic books "by the foot", but I can imagine buying, say, a complete set of the Loeb Classical Library, or Dickens, or the Brontes or something, since you never know when the mood might strike you to read something new, and a ready-made bookshelf of reasonable-quality stuff is an invitation to browse. I don't have the shelf space for it, though.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

then switch it out to all Hello Kitty and Peanuts.

Balfegor said...

Re: Breezy:

Never read Michelle Obama's book and I've no interest in doing so, but my impression is her story is probably more interesting than most modern writers with their MFA's in creative writing or whatever. Plus, she seems like she has an enormous chip on her shoulder, which -- while it might be somewhat tiresome in an acquaintance -- is the kind of thing that can give a bit of spice to autobiography. Not sure whether she let out all her private resentments and hatreds on display, though, since she is a politician's wife after all.

Iman said...

Remember when people were buying the Mueller Report? There was even an audiobook version.

Oh, yes. Also remember the votive candles and I suspect there may have also been action figures.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

R-ocean - kindle for travel is the best.
Instead of bulky books taking up limited space... ya load the kindle with a whole bunch of stuff ... even more that you might do with paper books. Getting used to the % instead of the page number is fun.

Travel... what's that?

Leora said...

My husband has one of Mario Cuomo's books which is titled "Reason to Believe" which is also the title of a song about someone trying to believe his lying lover. It makes him laugh every time he notices it. Personally I cherish the privacy of my reading choices made possible by the Kindle.

Breezy said...

Balfegor - Good points. My limited understanding is she did discuss personal issues such as their infertility in that book, so she was able to captivate people with the content in a more genuine way. I was struck by how deeply my friends became attached to that book, in a way that would give them joy beyond the mere cover appeal.

Michael K said...

At least in our Social Justice future, medical students won;t need to many thick books.

Alas, under-represented minorites,(sic) once admitted, didn’t necessarily thrive. In fact, they were 97 percent more likely than were their counterparts to struggle academically as well as substantially more likely to wash out before graduation. This begat more scrutiny of the output end of the process. One white paper asserted uncritically, “In the competition to recruit minority students, most medical schools relaxed their admissions standards… On the other hand, no school relaxed its graduation requirements.

They will. Another reason why I am so glad I retired from teaching.

It will be an opportunity for foreign black applicants, at least. American blacks have lots more trouble, almost all cultural.

virgil xenophon said...

Lawrence Pearson@ 11:21AM/

NO MAS, NO MAS, modern-day descendant of Ozymandias, I have just gazed upon your works and truly despair with all the fervor of the green-eyed monster of jealously!

PM said...

A small framed pic of Jeffrey Toobin would be a smart part of any backdrop.

Joe Smith said...

"Plus, she seems like she has an enormous chip on her shoulder..."

It's called being a racist that hates white people...

Bruce Hayden said...

“Dripping condescension about those stuuuuuupid knuckledraggers from people who unironically buy books by the foot. Snort”

Couldn’t have said it myself. My view has long been that if those leftards were really as smart and well read as they believe they are, they would be conservatives.

Bruce Hayden said...

“That is one reason I buy nonfiction and use Kindle for fiction. You may think you own the Kindle book but you don't. Amazon can edit the book you think you own and you will not even realize it. They have done it before.”

You will be interested then in knowing that I have this on Kindle: “War Stories: A Memoir of 40 Years in Medicine.”

robother said...

Books by the Foot seems like such an old-timey analogue solution. Why isn't there an Apple or Zoom app that lets you tailor your background bookshelf to your Zoom audience? Marie Kondo would no doubt approve.

Not that there aren't pitfalls to that solution. I recently got 20 minutes into a Zoom class before I looked closely at my little image above the teacher and noticed that my daughter had left the chipmunk face FaceTime app turned on.

sterlingblue said...

That last paragraph epitomizes why I read Althouse. Insightful and hilarious takedown of media BS.

Michael K said...

You will be interested then in knowing that I have this on Kindle: “War Stories: A Memoir of 40 Years in Medicine.”

That one is Kindle only. I had to do a Kindle version of my older medical history book several years ago. I don't know if the Kindle version is selling much. The original version is still selling, too.

William said...

Even being a dilletante would be kind of aspirational for me. I pick up books and read them spmetims just out of mild curiousity. I don't pursue any topics in a systematic way. I just collect random facts for the curio cabinet of my mind. ...Here's an odd fact: I wouldn't suppose 19th century Russian medicine was anything to brag about. Nonetheless, according to Figes book on the Crimean War, it was a Russian physician who introduced the concept of triage and the use of anesthesia during amputations. British physicians thought that pain and shock facilitated the healing process and were against anesthesia.....Sometimes being conservative is smart and sometimes it isn't. My study of history leads me to believe that there's not much to be learned by the study of history, but it helps to kill time. (Subtle pun there.)

William said...

I just read a bio of Lord North. He was prime minister during the Revolutionary War. He was supportive of the King's policies and very pro war. England's handling of the American colonies was perhaps the single greatest and most significant failure in their history. Nonetheless. Lord North didn't receive much in the way obloquy. He was good natured, corpulent, and sociable. He would occasionally fall asleep in Parliament during heated debates. None of his opponents actually disliked him. I suppose that was an achievement of sorts. In any event, after the loss of the American colonies, England went on to bigger and better things. So maybe there's hope for the post Biden years. But as noted previously there's not much to be learned from the study of history.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

I'm one of those guys with thousands of books all over the house. Except for those that have special sentimental value, I have taken to replacing them with kindle versions when I run across them and donating them to various places which I am sure will just ashcan most of them. I admit that if I have already bought a book once, I am not fastidious about getting a kindle version from, um, unofficial sources.

By the time I exit the book reading stage, I expect my shelves will be mostly reference books and comic-strip and other graphic volumes that fare poorly on pixel.

As to whether you own your kindle books, you can either a) Always download over usb and never turn on the wireless, or b) de-DRM them with a Calibre plugin or c) See above.

Bruce Hayden said...

“As an actual bibliomaniac I look down on these poseurs.”

“Look on my bookshelves, ye mighty, and despair!”

Impressive. Too cheap here to buy hardbacks though. Probably competitive in terms of sci-fi/fantasy. At the last house had roughly 180 linear feet of such on the wall in the garage. Have the brackets and (probably) the shelves. And this time, the books are already pretty much sorted alphabetically by author (for the move, they came off the shelves in order, and the range of the authors in a box were marked on it, which should speed things up immensely). Last time, it was a major project, merging three different collections that were only very roughly in sorted order. Both garages have 10’ ceilings, which allowed 13 rows in the last house. Probably here too. Next brother has asked if I want his (much smaller) collection. Sure. We have the room - I just need to run the shelves a bit longer. We didn’t overlap that much - he was into darker stuff than I was.

For anyone interested - what I did was to put vertical pieces on walls, pretty much floor to ceiling, into the studs. Then brackets into the vertical pieces, and shelves onto them. The shelves sold at Home Depot were too short, thick, and wide. So I took 12’ pieces of maybe 4” wide molding, cut to length, and painted to match the walls, for the shelves. Worked great. I may have to tweak that a bit, at the new house, since the sections open for shelving are different lengths this time.

Probably have maybe 1/2 that many linear feet in hardbacks, in similar bookcases to yours, but indoors. About 1/4 is math, science, and engineering, and a comparable amount of law, though I seem to have misplaced most of my text books/Horn books from LS. Those all came from my various offices where I worked as a patent attorney. The rest run a gamut of political philosophy, economics, psychology, sociology, etc.

And, yes, I am proud to admit I am a hoarder, and that includes books. My partner claims that I am the hoarder in the family, and not she. Ha! Ha! She is the one with 300 pair of shoes, most of which haven’t been worn in the last decade. But, then, I probably have 200 ties. We are currently embroiled in a dispute about the master closet. I lost my walk-in closet with the new house, but the master closet is bigger. Enough bigger for my 50 sports coats, etc. and that was the deal, for buying the new house, that we would share the huge master closet. She didn’t expect that I would take her promise seriously. Then, she walked in there a month ago, and found that I had moved my dress clothes into one end of it. She is now refusing to unpack because my clothes smell like moth balls. So, half the closet is now filled with her garment boxes, along with boxes for her 300 pair of shoes, which she refuses to unpack. I am not sure why that is supposed to change my mind - my clothes are unpacked. In any case, I discovered something slick with our closet space problem - that I can double stack our 9’ high closets, putting an upper rod at the top.

Openidname said...

"Balfegor said...

"I can't imagine buying generic books 'by the foot', but I can imagine buying, say, a complete set of the Loeb Classical Library, or Dickens, or the Brontes or something, since you never know when the mood might strike you to read something new, and a ready-made bookshelf of reasonable-quality stuff is an invitation to browse. I don't have the shelf space for it, though."

This is what Kindle is made for. I have the complete works of Dickens and Wilkie Collins on mine, plus random things like "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and a book by Ted Cruz. They take up zero space and are always available, even away from home.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

They take up zero space and are always available, even away from home.

That has been a godsend. It used to take me hours to choose the books to take on vacation.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Imagine touching a book "by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward" and feeling "a thrill of pleasure."

Well, I would get a thrill of pleasure" being reminded that Hillary will never be President, and that election stealer Al Franken got dumped like the sewage he is the second he was no longer convenient for the Dems.

The best part of that? So far as I can tell, there's not a single vote that the Dems won by getting Doug Jones into the Senate. Now he's gone, a Republican has replaced him, and Franken's political career is still dead

Greg The Class Traitor said...

So, Kondo is about feelings over reason? F her

Robert Cook said...

I often browse through my bookshelves and take books down merely to hold them, flip through the pages, feel the texture of the cover, etc. I have always, since I was a child, felt a sort of reverence for books as objects. It is definitely pleasurable to touch my books.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"NYC used to have hundreds of people who sold used books from tables on the sidewalk. I don't know if they still do. Robert Cook? Were they still there before the pandemic?"

Yes. And some are still at it, after a brief period of having disappeared, now returned.

Michael K said...

The best part of that? So far as I can tell, there's not a single vote that the Dems won by getting Doug Jones into the Senate.

Mitch McConnell deserves some credit for Jones. The AL Governor was being investigated by the AG. With the support of McConnell, the investigated Gov appointed the AG to the Senate seat vacated by Sessions. That was unpopular and a good conservative Congressman named Mo Brooks wanted to run. McConnell saw to it that Brooks could not raise money and the primary resulted in the clusterfuck that allowed Jones to slide in with lots of out of state money. Brooks is still in the House.

Lurker21 said...

Imagine touching a book "by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward" and feeling "a thrill of pleasure." I don't have to touch these books to know I would not be thrilled! I can't even imagine another person who could be thrilled. It's a difficult feat of imagination, and I cannot do it.

That's why you only rent them. But Room Rater and other political types, probably do feel a "thrill of pleasure" when they touch something that contains Clinton's picture and words (as revised by a ghostwriter). They don't have to read the book. It's an icon, luminous and endowed with its own aura. I think Hillary Clinton was even made up to look saintly on the cover of one of her books.

As for Kondo, isn't the reason why a book sparks joy the promise of the wisdom it contains? And aren't you missing out on something if you don't try to access or attain that wisdom? What is our relationship to the book if we haven't read it or attempted to read it? I keep many unread and maybe unreadable books like that around, but if I really think about it, I might end up hating the book, or myself, or Marie Kondo and throwing it out wouldn't make it better. Her world seems to be a very simple place without the complexity and ambivalence of the real world. Isn't "judging a book by its cover" (or weight or feel) the epitome of superficiality?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Amazon can edit the book you think you own and you will not even realize it.

Yes, and no.

If you're on Windows:
https://www.ebook-converter.com/114-how-to-remove-drm-from-kindle-ebooks.htm

If you want an open source, use anywhere, solution:
https://epubor.com/3-ways-to-remove-drm-from-kindle-books.html

Get the Kindle App installed on your computer. Download all your books. Ask Kindle to tell you where they are saved. Zip up that directory (don't delete it) and save the zip off somewhere else.

Do this every so often, and date the Zip archive.

There are non-Kindle, non-Amazon controlled, apps that can read the Kindle Mobi files.

If you think something's been changed, you can pull an old archive, extract that book, and compare.

The vast majority of my reading is done on a computer. Disk space is cheap. Wall space is not.

But I don't let anyone control the books I read

Robert Cook said...

"Books By Donald J. Trump - Amazon.comwww.amazon.com › Donald-J.-Trump
Trump has authored over fifteen bestsellers and his first book, The Art of the Deal, is considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books...."


What would make you think he actually wrote those book?

Michael K said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
I often browse through my bookshelves and take books down merely to hold them, flip through the pages, feel the texture of the cover,


I often read favorite chapters and even about certain incidents. I'm not much on feelings but I did get volume 1 of my 1864 edition of "Decline and Fall.." rebound.

I used to pick sections of Pepys diary to read.

Bruce Hayden said...

“You will be interested then in knowing that I have this on Kindle: “War Stories: A Memoir of 40 Years in Medicine.”

“That one is Kindle only. I had to do a Kindle version of my older medical history book several years ago. I don't know if the Kindle version is selling much. The original version is still selling, too.”

He really is a good writer. I greatly recommend that book.

Michael K said...

What would make you think he actually wrote those book?

The lefty mind reading begins again. Did Hillary write her books ?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

robother said...
Books by the Foot seems like such an old-timey analogue solution. Why isn't there an Apple or Zoom app that lets you tailor your background bookshelf to your Zoom audience?

There is. And if you don't move from your seat the entire Zoom call, you're fine.

But Zoom really can't handle that much movement when you have a fake background up. So the people watching the Zoom can generally figure out who has a fake background, and who has a real one.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Michael K said...
Mitch McConnell deserves some credit for Jones.

Mitch deserves a LOT of the "credit" for Jones.

He deserves some credit for keeping the GOP in the Senate in line enough that Jones didn't matter.

But if the Dems hadn't been desperate for Jones to win, they never would have dumped Franken.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

"If an order were to come in for, say, 12 feet of books about politics, specifically with a progressive or liberal tilt"

Because only leftists are so pathetic and shallow as to play this game?

Or is ti because the people who buy conservative books actually read them, so they don't get donated to "Books by the Foot"?

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skeptical Voter said...

Well I might touch a book by Hillary Clinton after I'd put on 9 mm vinyl gloves--and washed my hands after I took the gloves off. Sarcasm there.

But a lot of books by politicians of both stripes have a "shelf life" of nanoseconds. They are vanity projects to boost a candidacy for this or that, and somewhere I suspect there is a squad of about a dozen ghostwriters who, between them, have authored every one of these books.

MadisonMan said...

I am reminded that I always like to read A Christmas Carol at this time of year and I've forgotten, up 'til now.
If someone has books in their backdrop, I'm the one who will ask about them in a Zoom.

Robert Cook said...

Lawrence Person said:

"As an actual bibliomaniac I look down on these poseurs.

"Look on my bookshelves, ye mighty, and despair!"


Impressive, indeed enviable! I see you have solid collection of Dick. I managed a couple of years ago to acquire the last of the Dick Gregg Press Editions that I did not already own, (DR. BLOODMONEY). I never thought I would acquire the whole set. To do so, I paid more for the final missing volume than I probably ever would have for any book. I don't regret it. I have the Underwood-Miller Complete stories in slip case, numbered 492 of 500 (of numbers 101-500). It's the edition where each book is bound in a different colored cloth. Numbers 1-100 were, I believe, bound all in red, as yours appear to be. (I also have all six volumes of his Selected Letters.)

I also see you have Lafferty. I discovered belatedly that Centipede Press was reprinting his complete stories. I now have volumes 2,3,4, and 5. I had to pay a bit for Volume 2, already out of print when I learned of the series, but the other three I paid for as they came out. Volume 6 is due in a month. I see you have Volume 1 of the set, so rare already it is virtually impossible to find for sale at any price, and the one or two I've seen for sale are priced in the 4 figures. I have two Corroborree Press collections signed by Lafferty.

Robert Cook said...

"I grew up with an uncle who insisted on lining his guest bath with every paperback he ever read. I get it... You're well read, and here's the proof."

Maybe he just wanted them ready to hand in the event he or any guests might need something to while away the time.

Also, books on the shelf are easy to take down and put away. Books stashed in drawers are difficult to access.

Robert Cook said...

"I find it surprising that people buy books, read them, and then get rid of them. I never buy a book unless I want to keep it and re-read it over and over."

Yes!

effinayright said...

cocean said...
I find it surprising that people buy books, read them, and then get rid of them. I never buy a book unless I want to keep it and re-read it over and over. Of course, once you get past a certain age, you realize the number of possible re-reads is getting a smaller and smaller. I've reduced my book buying for just that reason. At a certain point in life the number of possible re-reads of your personal library will exceed the expected time remaining. For example:

Number of books 1000
Annual re-reads -50
Years if reading 20
Expected life remaining 20

Conclusion: Stop buying new books!
***********************

Even better, take advantage of your failing short-term memory by finishing a long book like "Moby Dick", putting it aside for a few days---and then start again on Page One!

Robert Cook said...

"The problem with trying to create "conservative" content is that you end up with quality on par with a second rate Christian television show: morally preachy and boring. Trying to produce conservative content is a fools game. Better to simply try to produce good content. Honestly, even when the left tries to produce edgy left-wing content it often comes out preaching a conservative message. I'm still not convinced Girls wasn't some elaborate gag to mock left-wing stereotypes that got out of hand. And Shameless is, in my humble opinion, one of the most conservative shows on television, if you really dig into the messaging. Then, of course, there's the Watchmen comic and movie, where Rorschach was supposed to mock the right wing and instead became the hero to readers."

Any piece of fiction written intentionally to be either "conservative" or "liberal" will in most cases be worthless as literature. That's just cranking out propaganda. Good writers write the stories they want or feel compelled to write. Their "politics" will come through in any case.

As for Rorschach, he was modeled on Steve (Spider-Man) Ditko's characters Mr. A and The Question. Mr. A was an explicitly Ayn Randian comics hero, while The Question was a toned-down, less politically explicit character published by Grade D comics publisher Charlton Comics. (All the Watchmen were analogues of little known superheroes published by Charlton Comics. The Owl was an analogue of the Blue Beetle, a character Ditko took over and redesigned, and Dr. Manhattan was a version of Captain Atom, also drawn by Steve Ditko.)

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

If you walk into someone's house, and the bookshelves are full of those political bestsellers, don't you assume that the person doesn't read?

FullMoon said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...

"Books By Donald J. Trump - Amazon.comwww.amazon.com › Donald-J.-Trump
Trump has authored over fifteen bestsellers and his first book, The Art of the Deal, is considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books...."

What would make you think he actually wrote those book?

Lol! What would make you think anybody here would actually think that? What a maroon!

Robert Cook said...

"The lefty mind reading begins again. Did Hillary write her books?"

I wouldn't bet on it.

Darkisland said...

Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

He really is a good writer. I greatly recommend that book.

I agree. Both books very interesting.

Neither seems to be available at Amazon at the moment.

John Henry

Francisco D said...

Imagine touching a book "by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward" and feeling "a thrill of pleasure." I don't have to touch these books to know I would not be thrilled! I can't even imagine another person who could be thrilled. It's a difficult feat of imagination, and I cannot do it.

There are times when Althouse writes stuff that makes up for her "cruel neutrality" nonsense, NYT and WaPo obsessions..

This is an example.

Darkisland said...

I remember when Hillary was promoting "It Takes a Village" she was going around referring to it as "The book that I wrote". Not "my book" but "The book that I wrote"

At one point she specifically denied she had a ghost writer which really pissed off the ghost writer Barbara Feinman.

I think Donald Trump always talked about "My book" or named them by title.

John Henry

John Henry

Big Mike said...

Neither [of Dr. Michael Kennedy’s books] seems to be available at Amazon at the moment.

True.

Iman said...

Condo Nastee

Lawrence Person said...

A commenter suggested I share this purchase with the thread. Who am I to disagree?

The Godfather said...

Now I understand why Barack Obama "wrote" the first volume of his Presidential memoir: "Myself on the shelf".

Political Junkie said...

Zack - Nice GG reference.

Mikey NTH said...

Michael K said:

"An article about people who buy "books by the foot" is preening about Trump."


It would be more honest to wrap blocks of styrofoam in the correct dust jackets.

tommyesq said...

If you walk into someone's house, and the bookshelves are full of those political bestsellers, don't you assume that the person doesn't read?

or think for themselves?

tommyesq said...

But a lot of books by politicians of both stripes have a "shelf life" of nanoseconds. They are vanity projects to boost a candidacy for this or that

Book deals for politicians is nothing more than laundering bribe money. In this new millenium, the same applies to Netflix deals.

Michael K said...

The "War Stories" book is available. Bruce may have used an old title "War Stories 40 years a surgeon" which was the original title but I don't think I uploaded it with that version of the title. I decided to include medical students stories and made it 50.

Michael K said...

The Kindle version of the history book is available. Amazon split the two versions and I have to find the hardcover version.

Michael K said...

All the versions of the history book are here.

Don't ask me why the prices vary so much. Some are probably used copies.

Joanne Jacobs said...

I have a cherished family photo taken in front of the book shelves in my parents' old living room. Unfortunately, you can see the swastika on Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."

Michael K said...

Good writers write the stories they want or feel compelled to write. Their "politics" will come through in any case.

I agree but the left really does not understand the right. There are books and articles about this.

wildswan said...

Imagine touching a book "by authors like Hillary Clinton, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Bob Woodward" and feeling "a thrill of pleasure."

Imagine burning a book by authors like Hillary Clinton, Al Franken and Bob Woodward and feeling a thrill of pleasure. Yes. Thusly. Lost in sea of suburban liberals, The Last Conservative sits by her trendy fire-pit feeding the flames with remaindered copies of books by Hillary Clinton, Al Franken and Bob Woodward. She greets the neighbors as they go by on their endless muffled walks. "Nice night." Sparks fly upward to the dark night vault, snow whirls down and, leaning forward, she chucks an Al Gore on the flames. Yes, that way of kindle-wood chopping is quite successful in getting books going, she thinks. And wonders: Dear God, how did we get here? "Snow at last," she says.

John henry said...

Michael,

If you want to know how your books are selling, go to www.kdp.com log in using your Amazon ID (assuming it's the one you published under) and up at the top click reports.

It will give you enough info to choke a medium size horse. Current to the previous day. Sales by country, channel, title, period, royalties earned and paid and more.

It's kind of cool. I post a 1500-2000 word excerpt from my Packaging Machinery Handbook on LinkedIn about once a month with an exhortation to buy the book.

2-3 days later I can see the effect on sales. It's almost real time.

That's paper copies. I don't sell many kindle copies.

John Henry

John henry said...

Kindle copies show up in the same reports, of course.

John Henry

RichardJohnson said...

Will
Political books? It was pretty clear that nobody had read Obama's book because it was a major shock/surprise to find he admitted eating dog.

I read Dreams from my Father. Some passages from the book showed me Obama was not someone I'd admire.

Barack discussed the son of a fellow activist during his activist years in Chicago.

And I liked her son, Kyle Jr. He had just turned fourteen, and in all of his awkwardness-one moment frisky and bumping into me while we shot baskets together in the neighborhood park, the next instant bored and sullen-I could see all the contours of my own youthful struggles. Sometimes Ruby would question me about him, exasperated with a mediocre report card or a cut on his chin, baffled by a young man’s unruly mind.

“Last week he said he was going to be a rap artist,” she would report. “Today he tells me he’s going to the Air Force Academy to be a fighter pilot. When I ask him why, he just says ‘So I can fly.’ Like I was stupid....


To Obama's credit, he gave Kyle a book on airplanes for Christmas. Several years later, things have apparently not gone well for Kyle.

And what about Kyle: How did one explain what he was going through? I leaned back in my chair, thinking about Ruby’s son. He had just turned sixteen.....his grades had continued to drop in school, how he hid things from her, the door to his room always closed.

One day I volunteered to sound Kyle out, inviting him to join me for a pick-up basketball game at the University of Chicago gym. He was quiet most of the ride up to Hyde Park, fending off questions with a grunt or a shrug. I asked him if he was still thinking about the air force, and he shook his head; he’d stay in Chicago, he said, find a job and get his own place. I asked him what had changed his mind. He said that the air force would never let a black man fly a plane.

I looked at him crossly. “Who told you that mess?”

Kyle shrugged. “Don’t need somebody to tell me that. Just is, that’s all.”

“Man, that’s the wrong attitude. You can do whatever you want if you’re willing to work for it.”

Kyle smirked and turned his head toward the window, his breath misting the glass. “Yeah, well…how many black pilots do you know?”


Obama made no reply. Obama had apparently never heard of the Tuskegee Airmen. His being ignorant of the Tuskegee Airmen doesn't speak well of him. ( I knew about them in high school. So much for his posh private school education.) Ignorant, and lazy. Upon hearing of Kyle's interest in becoming a pilot, he might have done some research on his own and found out about the Tuskegee Airman: thus lazy.

The next passage turned me off even more.This is from his freshman year at Occidental.
To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets...

Obama shows that from an early age, he was a poseur. These days we'd say that Obama at Occidental was virtue signalling. Choosing friends for the impressions they'd make on others- not wanting to be "mistaken for a sellout.". Ditto choosing politics for the same- seeking out Marxist professors.

I'd add that his seeking out Marxist professors didn't impress me. By my freshman year in college, I had read enough on politics, and more importantly known enough people who had fled the Iron Curtain to not seek out Marxist professors. Obama's doing so indicates to me that he was a fool.

walter said...

Brings to mind my early days of video production spent to some degree creating set elements including replacing book innards with chunks of styrofoam to allow easy storage on shelves.

walter said...

John henry said...That's paper copies. I don't sell many kindle copies.
--
The cool kids want da paper. It's like vinyl ;)

John henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John henry said...



 walter said...

John henry said...That's paper copies. I don't sell many kindle copies.
--
The cool kids want da paper. It's like vinyl ;)




This book is more of a text/reference book. I don't think it works as well on kindle.

Doesn't matter to me, royalties are about the same.

John Henry

walter said...

I get it, John.
Just trying to overlay a pop cultural sensibility over something..not so much ;)

Butkus51 said...

We all know the routine. Bobby Woodward will have nothing to do for 4 years.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Thank you Ann, for this book thread. As I go through the process of divesting myself of books, I so enjoy hearing the names I know from this blog- that talk about their books.

Bruce Hayden. Dr K. Robert Cook...yes, Communist Robert Cook.

I met with a Lutheran Pastor in his library, some years ago, to bring him a gift. He gave me access to his library and told me to borrow any volume I would like. His library was...everything! History, Philosophy, Meta-Physics, Medicine, Science.

It was a tiny town in the middle of Florida. A tiny, frickin town in the middle of Florida.

I brought him a beautifully bound volume of Thomas Paine. He called me a bibliophile.

That guy knew about this world, and our passions. His name was Ted Hanus.

Ambrose said...

Is there any evidence that Trump is any more book-adverse than Biden or Obama?

walter said...

Trying to remember when a dictator gave Obama a book and he suggested "I'm a reader"
Maduro?

narciso said...

It was chavez and it was open veins (galeanos hold my exercise is category error

walter said...

Ah..good ole Chavez. How time flies.
Oh..perhaps there are times when seeing what's in front of our faces Trumps book learnin'.

walter said...

(Witness the overflowing urinal capable of flooding out swing states)

Bruce Hayden said...

“ A commenter suggested I share this purchase with the thread. Who am I to disagree?”

Have the more popular editions of most of those Zelazny books. He is one of the few authors that my next brother and I both liked, and it will be interesting to see if he has anything that I don’t. Definitely not the rare stuff you got there though - he is even cheaper than I am.

RichardJohnson said...

walter:
Trying to remember when a dictator gave Obama a book and he suggested "I'm a reader"
Maduro?


narciso:
It was chavez and it was open veins (galeanos hold my exercise is category error

Galeano changed his mind on the book. Unfortunately Hugo was already gone, so couldn't give us another of his idiosyncratic opinions.Eduardo Galeano Disavows His Book ‘The Open Veins.’
For more than 40 years, Eduardo Galeano’s “The Open Veins of Latin America” has been the canonical anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist and anti-American text in that region. Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s populist president, even put a copy of the book, which he had called “a monument in our Latin American history,” in President Obama’s hands the first time they met. But now Mr. Galeano, a 73-year-old Uruguayan writer, has disavowed the book, saying that he was not qualified to tackle the subject and that it was badly written. Predictably, his remarks have set off a vigorous regional debate, with the right doing some “we told you so” gloating, and the left clinging to a dogged defensiveness.
“ ‘Open Veins’ tried to be a book of political economy, but I didn’t yet have the necessary training or preparation,” Mr. Galeano said last month while answering questions at a book fair in Brazil, where he was being honored on the 43rd anniversary of the book’s publication. He added: “I wouldn’t be capable of reading this book again; I’d keel over. For me, this prose of the traditional left is extremely leaden, and my physique can’t tolerate it.”



Category error?

Bunkypotatohead said...

So how much do they charge per foot? If it's the dreck produced by Hillary or Obama it shouldn't be more than a couple dollars per foot.
Or maybe they should pay you to take it off their hands.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

I sell almost no physical copies of the books I write. I take that as people buying them to read them, not to show them off.

Good.

chuck said...

Technical books are better on paper -- if the paper quality and binding is good. It isn't always these days. There are also PDF notes from professors that are free and can be downloaded, I read several unpublished sections of TAOCP (Donald Knuth) that way, and found Terence Tao's books the other day. I'm so old I remember when university libraries used to have shelves of class notes from courses given by famous professors.

For recreational reading the kindle is a god send. Lots of almost free material on kindle unlimited, fonts as big as you need them, and no need to carry pounds of books around while traveling or waiting in the doctor's office.

After the hassle of dealing with my mother's books when she died, and that was just several book cases full, I've been slowly trying to empty my own bookshelves. I dearly enjoyed some of those books, but I am not going to read them again. It is hard to admit it, but it is true. Most have gone to the library, and some I don't know what to do with except maybe toss them out. Old texts, except for some classics, are generally outdated in a couple of years. That is especially true of computer language references, Python 1.5 was three computer generations ago and C++ isn't what it was before C++11. I have also inherited several boxes of Astounding from the 50's and 60's, thoroughly read and not in great shape, that carry a lot of nostalgia for me, but I suspect there are others who would appreciate them more.

Josephbleau said...

I was at a furniture store yesterday. Now they have plastic books on the desks instead of real old books,

Freeman Hunt said...

When I'm dead, the kids can give a tiny rural town a library. That's my plan for the books.

Wince said...

Books are wordy.

عبوده said...

للمشاهدة بجودة عالية عبر موقعنا يلا شوت طلقة

Mr. Forward said...

Tcrosse recommended Books By the Cord. Great company, I've been heating my house with their product for the last several winters. Political autobiographies make great tinder, they are mostly hot air and gas anyway. Next I throw on any collection of columns from the New York Times and if I want the fire to last all night a couple of Chomsky's. I always save a page to put me to sleep.

DEEBEE said...

“ including that of the book-averse Donald Trump.”
Eagerly awaiting the era of the perfunctory swipe at DJT to establish cred for any writing, strained as it might. Perhaps a swipe of the wadi, week or month depending on the frequency of its brilliance is called for.

MadisonMan said...

When I'm dead, the kids can give a tiny rural town a library. That's my plan for the books
He gave River City the Library Building,
But he left all the books to her.

Unknown said...

I am the bookseller featured in the Politico story.

We made no comment beyond that "we have seen steady growth including the last 4 years".

Our company and books are apolitical. We don't censor any books.

Our Politically Incorrect style arose as a lark - to make lemonade out of lemons. These books are usually pulped.
We offer "Right" "Left" and "Mixed".

It is not a big seller

Interior Designers do not want "hot button" book subjects for their clients - public or private.

www.booksbythefoot.com is our outlet to #bookrescue books for which we cannot finder readers or collectors.

Our main business www.wonderbook.com has over 3 million books online and in three brick and mortar stores.

We have been doing this since 1980.

For more background see www.wonderbookblog.com . The nearly 200 stories there are searchable. e.g. Books By the Foot .