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Memoirs of a British Agent Being an account of the author's early life in many lands and of his official mission to Moscow in 1918 by R. H. Bruce Lockhart

Omoo. by Herman Melville

Lenin: A Biography by David Shub

The Gods of Freud: Sigmund Freud's Art Collection by Janine Burke

Heroes by John Pilger

Dr Simon Forman by Judith Cooke

Union Street by Pat Barker

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Member: BlinkingSam

CollectionsYour library (741)

Reviews41 reviews

Tagsbiography (153), fiction (145), Australia (57), memoir (54), history (51), English literature (48), Folio Society (45), Australian literature (33), C19th (33), music (31) — see all tags

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About meI am old. I have white hair. I sit in a darkened room and only venture out to replenish food and books. I have been collecting books for forty years. It will take a while to load them all onto LibraryThing. One day everyone will leave me alone and I will finally be able to read in peace.

About my libraryThoughts on buying and reading books.

There are an awful lot of books in the world, but there is also a lot of dross.

No one can read everything. Therefore any one person can read a certain predictable amount. There are countless genres and styles across the whole spectrum of writing.
To make the most of the time available to me I should calculate my total future capacity. Let's say, for the sake of vanity, that I live for another 30 years; and that I read one book every three days. The most I could expect to read is about 3,600 books. I accept there are many more good books than I can possibly read before I fall off the perch.

Given these limits it is terribly important not to read the rubbish. Every time I read an inferior book - it is time wasted. It is as though I had thrown a good book on the fire.


How to find those good books worthy of being in the 3,600?

Read reviews (Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books are good starting points); listen to broadcasts; and go to festivals and hear what writers have to say. Try to make an informed decision about the book I will buy.

Do not wander into bookshops and buy on impulse. If I don’t know the booksellers then be wary of their recommendations. Often, with the best intentions in the world, they will have been told by the publisher what they (the publisher) think will be a “bestseller”. It may not be the book for me!



Favorite bookstoresBooks for Cooks, Diversity Books, Out of Print Books, Syber's Books (David Syber), The Avent Garden Bookshop

Favorite librariesState Library of Victoria

Other favoritesMelbourne Writer's Festival, The Wheeler Centre: Books, Writing and Ideas

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/BlinkingSam (profile)
/catalog/BlinkingSam (library)

Member sinceJan 19, 2011

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