MemberCarltonC

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Jun 11, 2008
Real Name
Carlton
About My Library
I have recorded the books that I have finished reading since September 1981 and listed them all in a, now fragile, black book. I have attempted to list some of the books I read prior to 1981, but there are a lot of unrecorded science fiction/fantasy titles from that period.
I still enjoy the occasional fantasy title, but read a mix of history, travel, "literary" fiction, historical fiction and what would appear to be an above average proportion of short story collections. I also like books-about-books (both the physical artefact and reading), having spent a lot of time mooching around bookshops.
I only started writing reviews of the books I have read a few years ago (about 2009).
About Me

“We read books to find out who we are.”
— Ursule Le Guin, The Language of the Night, 1979

"The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?” and the others — a very small minority — who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary."


From Helen Gordon’s Notes from Deep Time:

There’s a pleasure in knowing the names of things. It’s not about a need to categorise the world, sectioning it into little boxes. And clearly you don’t have to know the names of rocks – or trees or plants or birds – in order to enjoy a landscape. But if you do have this information, something changes about the way you exist in that space. A named landscape thickens. It’s to do with history and context but also, I think, with the quality of attention. To assign something its name, you need to take the time to pick out identifying features. You look for longer. And the more you know, the more things stop being a backdrop – blurred, indistinguishable, hurried over – and become somehow more present in the view, more insistently themselves, the way a familiar face stands out in a crowd.

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Bookstores: Blackwell's Oxford, Borders - Oxford, Borzoi Bookshop, Jaffé & Neale, Oxfam Bookshop - Witney, Oxfam Bookshop Oxford (St Giles), Waterstones Oxford

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