eor: (books)
[personal profile] derien reminded me the other night that I am mortal, that I only have so many minutes on this earth and that I shouldn't waste them on things that I don't enjoy and aren't productive.

The context was around books. Once I start a book, I want to finish it. No matter how stupid it is. No matter how boring it is. No matter how long it takes me. No matter how much I loath it. I think this comes from 1) being stubborn and 2) having picked up books when I was a young reader that were way beyond my capability and being frustrated by my inability to finish them. So there are very few books that I've started and haven't finished.

But [personal profile] derien is right. Among all the thousands of hours I've wasted, a fair number have been on books that didn't give me either joy or knowledge, just the ability to put a notch in my bookshelf. No more. This weekend I put down "Gravity's Rainbow" after getting nearly halfway through it. I tossed aside two other books that have been hanging around but I know I won't enjoy. This doesn't mean that everything I read will be great, but it means that books are subject to the same calculus as music. If it's crap, I'll call it crap and toss it aside if I'm tired of it.

We won't go into all the time I've wasted watching TV or on the Internet, those can be the subject of another post.

free books

Feb. 2nd, 2011 12:30 pm
eor: (books)
In going through the shelves the other day I discovered the following three volumes that are in need of a new home. First come, first served.

Oscar Wilde "The Picture of Dorian Gray" trade paper
"The Federalist Papers", trade paper, some yellowing, small print and thin paper (not good for older eyes)
Edit: Jane Austen "Pride and Prejudice" tiny edition, small print and thin paper (also not good for older eyes) (I finally found the third one, it had grown legs)

I'll leave them up on here for a few days then start circulating to a wider audience.
eor: (Default)
A different book meme from [livejournal.com profile] lekythen.
The list )
eor: (Default)
NPR's list of summer reads meme from [livejournal.com profile] pussreboots.

The ones I've read in bold. Items on the shelf in italics.

The list )
eor: (books)
I am debating getting rid of some books. This is sketchy ground for me: I am a book hoarder. If I haven't read the book, I always tell myself I "might" read it, no matter how bad I think it will be. If I've read a book, I definitely don't want to get rid of it. Perhaps I might want to read it again. Or if it was really bad, it's a kind of a trophy to prove I've read this really bad book. But I think most of all, it's a memory thing. I can glance at the titles on the shelf and re-live parts or large chunks of each of the titles as my eyes stray across them. Glancing at a bookshelf might remind me of what I was doing when I read the book, how old I was, what I was feeling during that time. The spines of books on a shelf can be a time machine back to your own past.

Last night I dreamt I found a copy of one of the Zelazny "Prince Charming" books. I was happy to see it even though the copy was dusty and would make me sneeze to read it. Then I woke up and it was gone. Why did I ever let that book out of my hands? That whole series is rip roaring funny.

So do I get rid of the book I rated "Most Worthless Read" last year and a few of its kin? My shelf runneth over.

To pitch, or not to pitch,
That is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler, in the spines,
to endure the bad and boring
of previous reading
or by donating toss them.
eor: (greenscreen)
Confessions of a hopeless geek time. I am reading Bruce Schneier's "Practical Cryptography". For fun.

Keep in mind, Bruce is the hands down best technical writer I have ever encountered. His style is very readable. He can clearly and concisely explain his subject matter. He could be writing novels but instead he's co-authoring world class encryption schemes. Admitted, some of the math bits go well over my head ([livejournal.com profile] tronella might get them, but they are out of my league). It's interesting anyway; brain food.

If you even a passing interest in the field or are just curious, I encourage you to pick up "Practical Cryptography" or Bruce's near legendary work "Applied Cryptography", now in its second edition. It's for geeks what mainlining heroin is for junkies.
eor: (Default)
This isn't very coherent, but it's the best I can do at the moment.

Yesterday we went to Cambridge to meet up with LJ people! We met up with [livejournal.com profile] bravecows,[livejournal.com profile] shati,[livejournal.com profile] genarti,[livejournal.com profile] sandrylene,[livejournal.com profile] bookelfe,[livejournal.com profile] foreverdirt, and [livejournal.com profile] schiarire. I didn't get much chance to talk to anyone in particular due to the natural chaos of a nine way conversation, but everyone was nice, friendly, and humorous and I would recommend interacting with them if you get a chance. I don't know if I'd get the same recommendation from any of them, I felt like the thorn among roses. I wish we could have stayed for dinner with them, but that would have been killer both on the drive home and work this morning.

Things [livejournal.com profile] derien and I did earlier in the day:

We had lunch at the Gandhi restaurant on Mass Ave just past central square. We'd never been there before. We both had the buffet and found the selections very tasty. Most notably, their tandoor chicken was full of flavor and moist, not dry and tasteless like much of the tandoor chicken you find.

Acquired spices at the Shalimar grocery on Mass Ave.

We went to the used bookstore on Mass Ave., just beyond central square. Is it Robert's or Richard's? Something like that. We also went to the Harvard Book Store (twice). Our collection from both shops:

Our collection from both shops: )

We also stopped in "In Your Ear!" a second hand music shop that has been in different locations in the city for decades. The CD's that we were browsing were either $1 or $5.

The list )
Some of them are bound to be dogs, but what the hell we can always try to sell them up here.

We got home just about in time to crash and start the week of labor.
eor: (Default)
Today we went up to Brunswick and enjoyed a walk about town with [livejournal.com profile] groundctrl and [livejournal.com profile] littleredhead. We wandered through the now mostly refurbished mill, went to Bowdoin's recently refurbished art museum, ate a few fine curries, and stopped at a local independent bookstore. There was much slush and at the end a pretty ripping snow, but overall the weather was enjoyable. The company, of course, was wonderful and so was the food.

Books acquired:
Poul Anderson "Ensign Flandry" (I first read this book in the late 70's early or very early 80's. This copy has the same cover!)
"Homemade Contrivances and How to Make Them" a reprint of a book from 1897, I'm addicted to this type of "the way things were" book
Shay Salomon "Little House on a Small Planet"
eor: (books)
I'm trying to sort in my mind my favorite books. It's tough, but I've come up with a preliminary list.

A list of books you really should read:

the list )

So LJ people, what are your favorite/must read books?
eor: (books)
Hey, I'm offering another free book!

Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" paperback, slightly yellowed but still readable.


Jan. 5th, 2008 12:43 pm
eor: (books)
Free books! I'm making space on the bookshelves. Get these unique books now or they might have to go to a local charity. Alright, if you'll take one I might throw in some chocolate and treats.

Michael Moorcock "The Swords Trilogy" (The King of the Swords, The Queen of the Swords, The Knight of the Swords) paperback, somewhat yellowed pages
Charles Fort "New Lands" paperback, somewhat yellowed pages
Doreen Valiente "Witchcraft for Tomorrow"
Jacques Vallee "Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact"

Perhaps more to come.
eor: (books)
Yesterday on the way to the faire we stopped at a book sale in Reading, MA. [livejournal.com profile] derien and I each picked up a small pile.

the haul )

more books

Jun. 30th, 2007 02:51 pm
eor: (books)
On the way up to visit [livejournal.com profile] derien's family yesterday we stopped off at Brunswick for a further browse through the booksale. We got another pile.

the list )


Jun. 28th, 2007 09:34 pm
eor: (books)
We went to the preview of the annual Brunswick library book sale. I was pleasantly surprised. The tables were much better spaced and organized than at other book sales I've been to. The selection was wider with less repetition of titles. The book limit made the atmosphere less like sharks in a chum tank and more like a browse through a bookstore. I want to go back for more.

The results )
eor: (books)
Today at 4:30pm [livejournal.com profile] derien called and told me about a book sale at our public library beginning at 5pm. If she'd given me any greater notice I'd have tipped off [livejournal.com profile] littleredhead and [livejournal.com profile] groundcntrl. As it is I ended up arriving at about 5:05.

The atmosphere wasn't exactly my native buying environment. I'm a slow buyer who likes to stand by himself and think a lot. The place was busy. There were tables for certain things (religion, cooking, selfhelp), but fiction was spread randomly throughout seven or more tables, mysteries in with romance, in with horror, in with classics. I wasted some time just trying to figure out what was where as people grabbed books madly and professional buyers used barcode scanners on handhelds to select for resale value. Eventually I was sucked in to picking up a book and after that it was all over.

the list )
eor: (books)
just a little store in a little town )


Apr. 7th, 2007 07:49 pm
eor: (books)
During our running around today we went to the bookstore. I picked up Wilhelm Reich's "The Function of Orgasm". When I showed [livejournal.com profile] derien the conversation went something like this:

d: You're going to get that?
e: Yes.
d: Why?
e: He's a nut!
d: Exactly. Why would you waste a part of your life like that?
e: There are plenty of ways to waste part of your life.
d: Like looking for a book that probably already sold.
([livejournal.com profile] derien was looking for a book she passed up about six months ago. She spent considerable time looking even though she couldn't even remember the title or author. A fruitless search.)

You really can't judge if someone is truly a nut until you've actually read the work. I didn't start badmouthing Stephen King until I'd read some of his books and discovered he couldn't write an ending to save his soul. Speaking of whom, when we were walking down the street today, a random passerby asked me if I was Stephen King. Uh, no, but from that comment I guess he's using old photos on his back covers, he's a bit older than I am.

Oh, I also got "HIgher Mathematics" by Burlington and Torrance. It's a nicely bound calculus book from 1939. I still mourn the fact that I got rid of my old calc book, but it was a much larger tome.
eor: (Somefriendslast)
I mentioned in my review of "Future Boston" that I had personal reasons for liking the books, apart from those which might be common to other readers.

Some of those reasons are here. )

new books

Feb. 10th, 2007 03:41 pm
eor: (books)
I went down to my favorite bookstore today and picked up more goodies.

George Ross: Modern Romania, A Brief Historical Perspective (a wee little softcover)
Neil Gaiman: Fragile Things (First Ed.)
China Mieville: Perdido Street Station
Jasper Fforde: The Big Over Easy (Signed, First ed.)
Linda Fraser: The Best-Ever Vegetarian Cookbook


Jan. 9th, 2007 07:52 pm
eor: (Default)
Now that I have a reasonable number of books converted to my ebook format I decided to dump a list. This list is not quite complete. Notable exceptions which I have finished, but haven't added to my server, are the Unabridged Dictionary, A Walk in the Karakorum, and The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (in one ebook).

IMP Full means a .imp file formatted for full vga readers in the REB 1200 and 1250 family. IMP Half is usable on the RCA 1100 and 1150 family including the currently available eBookwise 1150. All of these files are also available in HTML but I'm not sure why you'd want to try to read War and Peace on a PC or a Palm for that matter.

cut for length )


eor: (Default)

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