Monday, October 31, 2011

Too Many Books

We all have books. Gabriel Zaid wrote a book about there being too many books.

Don: Now you’re retired, what are you going to do with your books?
Carlo: My books, yes. Bit tricky that. Have to clear out my office. Don’t want to throw them away. Don’t want to carry them with me. Dilemma.
Don: There are too many books in the world. Take up space. So said Zaid.
Carlo: Yes I even have his book. Bought it as a warning to myself. But my books, they’re a map of what I’ve read, what I’ve thought.
Don: Why don’t do you something digital? Scan the ones you want keep, toss the rest, and buy an e-book reader for books you buy from now on?
Carlo: I could do that. I might even do that. (burps)

Carlo sounds willing but there is a concern about whether he is committed to Don's suggestion. Carlo is 65 and likes to sit in the piazza drinking coffee with friends and passers-by. A quiz to determine his commitment.

1. Are all your books worth reading?
A. None.   B. A few.   C. Many.   D. Most.   E. All.

2. Do you have books on your shelves you have bought but never opened?
A.   All.   B. Most.  C. Many.   D. A few.   E. None.

3. Do you judge people by the books they read?
A. Never.   B. Occasionally.   C. Sometimes.   D. Frequently.   E. Always.

4. What will you do with your books when you retire?
A. Throw all of them away.
B. Throw half, Keep half.
C. Dither.
D. Decide in principle but procrastinate.
E. Scan ones I want to keep, get an e-book reader.

Scoring for all questions:
A = 0;   B = 1;   C = 2;   D = 3;   E = 4

0-5 A non-book, information person.
6-10 A bookish, information person.
11-15 A bookish, couldn’t care less about the delivery-medium, information-oriented person.
16-20 A truly information-oriented person.

An extra question:

Do you turn off computer and TV and read A BOOK an hour before sleeping?
A. Never   (Serious digital dependency)
B. Occasionally   (Sign of digital dependency)
C. Sometimes   (Avoidable occasions are negotiated)
D. Frequently   (Signs of a mature skepticism about digital media)
E. Always  


LH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LH said...

Greetings fellow "E" person, which is much different from e-person. I'm retiring soon and plan to epoxy all my books together into the shape of a yacht and sail to Uruguay. Upon arriving I'll depoxy the lot and settle them into hardwood shelves of height not greater than my (predictable future minimum) eye level while standing slightly hunched...and no shelf lower than 18 inches - I've had enough of lying on the floor to ogle them beauties down there.
Thanks for the affirmation.

Barry Natusch said...

There might be a market for your books in Uru. There are readers. Literacy rate is 98%. Books are somewhat expensive. Set up a used bookstore around the U of MV. Recycle! Biocycle! Epicycle!