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Member: kaixo

CollectionsYour library (2,185), Currently reading (8), To read (27), 日本語の勉強 (72), 学习汉语 (23), e-books (47), Have read (745), To give away (11), Gifted away (26), Read but unowned (20), Favorites (59), Wishlist (3), All collections (2,222)

Reviews1 review

Tagsread (742), Japan (551), fiction (431), Literatur (400), non-fiction (373), literature (329), ltfa (234), ultb (220), japanische Literatur (164), Philosophie (162) — see all tags

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Recommendations21 recommendations

About my library»A second shock of banality occurs to many people in my condition—that is, people who possess a fairly sizable library (large enough in my case that someone entering our house can't help but notice it; actually it takes up the whole place). The visitor enters and says, “What a lot of books! Have you read them all?” At first I thought that the question characterized only people who had scant familiarity with books, people accustomed to seeing a couple of shelves with five paperback mysteries and children's encyclopaedia, bought in installments. But experience has taught me that the same words can be uttered also by people above suspicion. It could be said that they are still people who consider a bookshelf as a mere storage place for already-read books and do not think of the library as a working tool. But there is more to it than that. I believe that, confronted by a vast array of books, anyone will be seized by the anguish of learning, and will inevitably lapse into asking the question that expresses his torment and his remorse.

»The problem is that when someone says, “Eco? You're the one who always answers,” you can reply with a little laugh and, at most, if you want to be polite, with “That's a good one!” But the question about your books has to be answered, while your jaw stiffens and rivulets of cold sweat trickle down your spine. In the past I adopted a tone of contemptuous sarcasm. “I haven't read any of them; otherwise, why would I keep them here?” But this is a dangerous answer because it invites the obvious follow-up: “And where do you put them after you've read them?” The best answer is the one always used by Roberto Leydi: “And more, dear sir, many more,” which freezes the adversary and plunges him into a state of awed admiration. But I find it merciless and angst-generating. Now I have fallen on the riposte: “No, these are the ones I have to read by the end of the month, I keep the others in my office,” a reply that on the one hand suggests a sublime ergonomic strategy, and on the other leads the visitor to hasten the moment of his departure.«

— Umberto Eco, How to Justify a Private Library, 1990

GroupsAsian Fiction & Non-Fiction, Author Theme Reads, Books in 2025: The Future of the Book World, Erlesenes Deutschland, German Library Thingers, I Survived the Great Vowel Shift, Japanese Culture, Japanese Literature, Language, Le Salon des Amateurs de la Langueshow all groups

Favorite authorsKōbō Abe, Inio Asano, Paul Auster, Alan Booth, Julio Cortázar, e. e. cummings, Osamu Dazai, Max Frisch, Franz Kafka, Yasunari Kawabata, Donald Ervin Knuth, Gabriel García Márquez, Yukio Mishima, Shigeru Mizuki, Haruki Murakami, Cees Nooteboom, Fernando Pessoa, Jiro Taniguchi, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Naoki Urasawa (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresBücherbogen am Savignyplatz, Bücherstube Marga Schoeller, Buchhandlung Anakoluth, Buchhandlung Walther König I, Buchladen zur schwankenden Weltkugel, Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung Peter Hinke, DAS BUCH am Hackeschen Markt, Fundus, Grober Unfug, Internationaler Comicladen, Knesebeck Elf, Modern Graphics, comics & more, Yamashina, Japanische Buchhandlung

Favorite librariesZentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin, Haus Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationBerlin, Germany

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/kaixo (profile)
/catalog/kaixo (library)

Member sinceAug 22, 2006

Currently readingRead Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers 1 free CD included by Michael Emmerich
Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (The Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University) by James C. Scott
Ziel HSK 3: Chinesische Lesetexte mit Vokabeln und Grammatik by Hefei Huang
Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software (Pragmatic Programmers) by Michael T. Nygard
The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale Agrarian Studies Series) by James C. Scott
show all (8)

Leave a comment


Thanks for your suggestions! I got two others (both excellent choices!), but I'll check out your suggestions since they look tempting. Andrew Hodges' Alan Turing I have, but never managed to make much progress in, somehow (and I tend not to put book I haven't finished on LT).

Is Alan Booth the guy married to a Japanese and walks all the way form one end of Japan to the other? I think I read that 10 years ago, wouldn't have mind to read it again, though.
No, I didn't cheat (although I am really curious), but you're the only Berliner secretsanta so far. With an excellent library, too.
Noticed you liked Out by Natsuo Kirino, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here, as well as a few other book-related sites. Thought you might like my book since it's also gritty, a bit violent, and a bit dark :) I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like (I'm out of physical copies at the moment). Here's a link to a summary (and a sample chapter) in case you'd like to read more about the novel before you commit.



Excuse me for writing in English. My German is atrocious, in spite of the time I spent with "Let's Listen and Learn German" before a trip last year to Vienna and Dresden (also Prague).

I'm flattered that you find my library interesting. I imagine it was the Japanese stuff that attracted you? How did you get interested in the archipelago? My excuse is I've been living here for a couple of decades.


Hallo Markus,

Gödel Escher Bach habe ich mal gelesen, fast ganz, ist aber schon Jahre her. Ich habe mich in meinem früheren Leben sehr für Mathematik interessiert und auch mal mit Escher beruflich zu tun gehabt (ich habe sogar einen Briefwechsel mit ihm geführt) - auch das ist Jahre her. Die Verfilmung der Jahrestage hat mir auch sehr gut gefallen, eine Ausnahme bei Literaturverfilmungen. Da ich mich auch intensiver mit dem Thema Zeit befasst habe, ist mir in Deiner Liste "Eine neue Widerlegung der Zeit" von Borges aufgefallen. Sollte ich mir das kaufen?
Inzwischen hast Du mich ja längst überholt was die Anzahl der Bücher betrifft ....

Herzlichen Gruß
Hallo, da haben wir doch einige Übereinstimmungen - und vor allem auch mein Lieblingsbuch "Jahrestage". Das freut mich!
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