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08 Jun 2011

(source)

Came across this post summing up beautifully what it means to be a reader today:

"The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see. It's just numbers.

"...It's undoubtedly true; there are things that fade. But I can't help blaming, in part, the fact that we also simply have access to more and more things to choose from more and more easily. Netflix, Amazon, iTunes – you wouldn't have to go and search dusty used bookstores or know the guy who works at a record store in order to hear most of that stuff you're missing. You'd only have to choose to hear it.

"You used to have a limited number of reasonably practical choices presented to you, based on what bookstores carried, what your local newspaper reviewed, or what you heard on the radio, or what was taught in college by a particular English department. There was a huge amount of selection that took place above the consumer level. (And here, I don't mean "consumer" in the crass sense of consumerism, but in the sense of one who devours, as you do a book or a film you love.)

"Now, everything gets dropped into our laps, and there are really only two responses if you want to feel like you're well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender.

"Culling is the choosing you do for yourself. It's the sorting of what's worth your time and what's not worth your time. It's saying, 'I deem Keeping Up With The Kardashians a poor use of my time, and therefore, I choose not to watch it.' It's saying, 'I read the last Jonathan Franzen book and fell asleep six times, so I'm not going to read this one.'

"Surrender, on the other hand, is the realization that you do not have time for everything that would be worth the time you invested in it if you had the time, and that this fact doesn't have to threaten your sense that you are well-read. Surrender is the moment when you say, 'I bet every single one of those 1,000 books I'm supposed to read before I die is very, very good, but I cannot read them all, and they will have to go on the list of things I didn't get to.'

"It is the recognition that well-read is not a destination; there is nowhere to get to, and if you assume there is somewhere to get to, you'd have to live a thousand years to even think about getting there, and by the time you got there, there would be a thousand years to catch up on.

"...It's an effort, I think, to make the world smaller and easier to manage, to make the awareness of what we're missing less painful. There are people who choose not to watch television – and plenty of people don't, and good for them – who find it easier to declare that they don't watch television because there is no good television (which is culling) than to say they choose to do other things, but acknowledge that they're missing out on Mad Men (which is surrender)."

-- excerpts from The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything by Linda Holmes (read the whole post)


07 Jun 2011

(Photo credit)

Came across this interesting blog post via Internet Archive. I have long been a fan of Internet Archive because I think, in their own way, they're saving the world. At least, the world I love - the world of books. Ever since I can remember, these guys have been sharing digital books for everyone - yes, books for the public domain. What could be better?

The answer: collecting "one [physical] copy of every book ever published" for long-term warehousing in shipping containers. Now that is awesome.

To quote:

"Books are being thrown away, or sometimes packed away, as digitized versions become more available. This is an important time to plan carefully for there is much at stake.

"Digital technologies are changing both how library materials are accessed and increasingly how library materials are preserved. After the Internet Archive digitizes a book from a library in order to provide free public access to people world-wide, these books go back on the shelves of the library. We noticed an increasing number of books from these libraries moving books to “off site repositories”...to make space in central buildings for more meeting spaces and work spaces. These repositories have filled quickly and sometimes prompt the de-accessioning of books...While we understand the need to manage physical holdings, we believe this should be done thoughtfully and well.

"A reason to preserve the physical book that has been digitized is that it is the authentic and original version that can be used as a reference in the future. If there is ever a controversy about the digital version, the original can be examined...Saving physical copies of digitized books might at least be seen in a similar light as an authoritative and safe copy that may be called upon in the future.

"...Therefore we have determined that we will keep a copy of the books we digitize if they are not returned to another library. Since we are interested in scanning one copy of every book ever published, we are starting to collect as many books as we can."


06 Jun 2011


04 Jun 2011
Happy weekend, everyone! What will you be reading this weekend? I am currently reading Jeremey Mercer's Time Was Soft There.

I hope everyone will have a grand time just relaxing and reading. Here's something to inspire you:


(via)


04 Jun 2011


"Lord! when you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book." -- Christopher Morley


02 Jun 2011
Wow. I can relate so much to this! (via)

To quote:

"Anyway. Once compelled to the bookstore, I experience additional compulsions, such as

- Offering unsolicited help to confused-looking customers: Most of the time these are high school or college students, searching for assigned reading, usually in the wrong section (Contemporary Authors when they should be in Classics). Not only do I feel compelled to point them to the opposite side of the store, I’ve even gone so far as to walk them over there, and then suggest particular editions of the book. I try to avoid a route that would put me in the direct scope of the legitimate employees as I perform this unwanted service.

- Suggesting books to strangers: This compulsion is linked to another urge, the compulsion to look at what people are buying. If I see someone picking up a Philip K. Dick novel, I nosily ask about China Miéville, because I know that there’s a copy of Perdido Street Station that still hasn’t found a home. If some poor kid is in the Faulkner section to find As I Lay Dying for school, I become the creepy weirdo who suggests that she also read Go Down, Moses. On the “B” aisle once, my awareness of a used copy of 2666 became so distressing (why hadn’t someone already picked it up!) that I waited until someone else strolled down the aisle and tried to casually mention how awesome the book was, and that that person could not do wrong to buy it. Weird look ensues.

- Desiring books I already own: The copy of 2666 (which disappeared by the next week, thankfully) highlights another strange compulsion. If I find a copy of, say, Tree of Smoke, I feel compelled to pick it up and give it to someone. I have to remind myself that giving someone a 700 page book that got incredibly mixed reviews is not really a gift; it’s a dare or burden.

- Tracking books: So, yeah, I keep track of books. Why hasn’t anyone picked up Vollmann’s The Ice-Shirt in six months? Why is there still a used copy of Suttree? This is shamefully obsessive, but not as shamefully obsessive as—

- Hiding books: I don’t even know how to begin to start to try to explain this. Let’s move on.

- Buying books I’m pretty sure I’ll never read: I’m pretty sure that I’ll never get through all or even most of Roland McHugh’s Annotations to Finnegans Wake, but I had to buy the first edition. When will I have time to get through Malcolm Lowry’s Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place? Why do I feel the need to pick up British Penguin editions of Aldous Huxley books that I already own (and have not read all of yet)?

- Scouring for book marks: I don’t know why, but I like to find what people have used to mark their places in their books. I have, to my great shame, transferred, on occasion, a bookmark from a book that I’m not going to buy to one I am taking. This isn’t exactly theft, but it feels like a strange violation of sorts."


01 Jun 2011
Whoa, since my post the other day, I already made a sale! Hooray :) It is the best feeling to wake up and see "You've sold a product" in my email. I am so in love with designing. I showed my sister-in-law the artwork that I made for my bro, and she loves it! We're planning on ordering a few things that I created to give to my brother in a few weeks. I hope she keeps it a secret, so that we can surprise him!! Anyway, here's what I sold: