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Sunday, December 27, 2009


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With you brother. I have books in my kitchen, my bedroom, the hall and my lounge room. Once, when the police called (nothing to do with me, they were investigating something and someone else) one of the nice constables was clearly absolutely stunned about the number of books. He asked the same question, but more in a "this is a different world" sort of way. I just smiled and said "most of them".

I would also like to take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. I very much appreciate it, even though you were mean about my old teacher David Stove.

I'm a bibliophile. My house is lined with a great deal of books. I'll be honest: I've read an overwhelming majority of them, but there's a fair number that I'm still making the rounds on. I don't think there's anything wrong with this fact. Sure, I could make a "to be read" pile, but my wife is just too damned organized and insists on having everything in its proper place. Oh, well. I am in the process of getting to those ones I haven't read and don't think there is anything wrong in admitting that I own books I have yet to read any more than I think there's something wrong with admitting that I subscribe to magazines I can't always finish or that I own movies I need to finish.

I like to look wisely at the person and say, "Some of them I've read twice."

That guy,

I agree with you, there is nothing at all wrong with owning unread books. One does not buy books for the moment, but for the long haul. I've had books languish on my shelves for years before being carefully studied. Books are like tools. I have tools I have never used. I've never used every drill bit I own, every hex wrench . . . But I have 'em if I need 'em.

Facebook man,

Thanks for the comment. And thanks for the kind words. So you were a student of David Stove. Interesting. Yes, I was harsh with him but I was only giving him, or his shade, a taste of his own medicine. I should say, however, that I like his conservative views, his work on Darwinism, and the clarity and energy of his prose. No one could call him a boring writer. But his The Plato Cult sticks in my craw. The tone he takes with great philosophers is unseemly, and if I am right shows simple incomprehension on his part.


Only twice?

So much for the option of logging in via facebook (or, as a friend calls it, stalkerbook). I blog here.

I guess David was taking the Dr Johnson view of Berkeley: but great philosophers have adopted some very strange positions even so.

Apparently, html is not acceptable. So I blog here


You should give us some sort of list of your reading, either current or overall (there's a few good websites for listing). I would also find it interesting to hear your typical attack plan on the books and magazines/newspapers that you read.

I agree with you on the working library thing. I think it's hard for non-readers to really understand how serious reading works; they seem to not have ever realized that it is like stocking a garage with an awesome set of tools, as you slowly learn to take apart the machine and put it back together again.

Derrida was asked this question. His answer, "Only 4 of them, but I read them very, very carefully."

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