My Anti-library

In response to Mark Safranski’s question, of the books in my overflowing and bizarrely eclectic library that I still have yet to read here are a few notables.

The first is the The Supreme Court Review, 2006. Every Christmas some dear old friends give me the annual edition, published by the University of Chicago, of this series. Reading it enables me to read a little law and get some feel both for what the United States Supreme Court is up to and directions in legal scholarship. It usually takes me the whole year to get around to reading it but I’m always glad I did. And in case you were wondering I read medical books and math books for recreation, too.

The second is the actress Hermione Gingold’s first book, The World is Square. I loved reading her autobiography and I look forward to reading this book, which I gave to my wife for Christmas, too.

The last book is Following Ghosts by John Rice and Suzanne Clothier. This is a book about tracking. Dogs’ sense of smell is acute and so foreign to us that it from our standpoint it amounts to ESP. We can’t even imagine the amount of information they get from scents but I’m sure it includes data like time, space, age, and state of health. I’m quite certain that dogs can identify family relationships by sense of smell alone. Our junior bitch, Nola, has a remarkable gift in this area.

How’s that for varied tastes in reading?

I may as well tag a few others to keep the chain going. How about

John Burgess
James Joyner
fellow Watcher’s Council member GW

So, what’s in your anti-library? Books you own but haven’t read. What do you hope to learn or accomplish by reading them?

4 comments… add one
  • Sorry, no ‘anti-library’. Concept does not compute!

    I buy, borrow from the public library or friends, or otherwise acquire books by the far-too-many. But I read them and promptly. I don’t think I’ve started and not finished a half-dozen books in my life. I’ll endure a bad book if it has any possibility of a redeeming value, even if I absolutely reject its premises, just to try to understand what the author is trying to say.

    I don’t read everything in print. You’ll find no Westerns, historical romances, bodice-rippers, self-help, religious tracts, or very many ‘true crime’ books on my shelves. Biography isn’t quite my thing either. I’ve perhaps ODed on ‘chick lit’ too. Outside of those, though, I’m probably interested.

    I make a weekly visit to my public library taking out usually three fiction and to non-fiction books. I also buy a lot of non-fiction (though my most recent purchase was of the ‘Jumper’ series of SF, I liked the film so much), primarily about the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, or Islamic civ. writ large. History, US law, archeology, paleontology, biological sciences, linguistics, fishing… bring ’em on!

  • That’s interesting, John, because I, too, unlike some of the young ‘uns who’ve commented at Mark’s site, generally read the books I buy.

  • Thanks for including me in this. It turned out to be an interesting inellectual exercise. I have been slow to respond, but I have finally done so.

  • Thanks very much for responding, GW. If I hadn’t been curious I wouldn’t have asked and I was overjoyed with what I learned.

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