December 29, 2009

Some daily links

I get a free blog/newsletter thingy sent to my Kindle when I bother to turn the thing on. I haven't been using it as much lately since my parents get the newspaper and I have been getting my books at the library. Since I am out of town, I am back to reading the Seattle Times on it each morning and reading other Kindle fare.

The blog thingy is called "Amazon Daily" and it has several recurring articles as well as some good links to outside stuff. There is usually a lot of chaff to skip over, but a couple interesting articles popped up in the past day. One is on trying to decide which books to hang on to, and which to sell to Half Price Books or the like. After recently going through my bookcases to thin the herd, I was still left with far too many books. I will also leaving San Diego with at least three more books than I arrived with, so the struggle continues.

The article interviews six authors on their perspective on Books You Can Live Without. A couple good quotes from the article:

  • If I’m being honest, some of it is on my shelf because I like the idea of it being on my shelf.
  • After all, is a gentleman’s library of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves anything more than a vanity?
  • Get rid of a book? No way. Every one is a brick keeping the building standing. Books are my life.
  • Marquez’s “A Hundred Years of Solitude” makes the scrap heap, because it would take precisely that combination of circumstances before I could be bothered to finish it.
  • Ask yourself the following hard question and answer honestly: If I live to be 100, will I read this book again?
There was another interesting "rule of 100" mentioned on Nancy Pearl's book review podcast. She says there are too many good books to read, so you shouldn't plow through one that isn't grabbing you just because you feel you should. Her guideline is to subtract your age from 100, and that is how many pages you should read before deciding to press on or not. Using this formula, younger readers need to give a book more of a chance while older readers need to have their interest captured earlier. This may speak both to reader sophistication and how many reading years left you have to spend.

The other article from Amazon Daily was less heady but still interesting to this child of the 70'/80's. It is in the recurring section of "Car Lust" and is about the Rush song "Red Barchetta". It talks about the song, the short story it was based on, and what the heck a Barchetta is anyway. Great song and an interesting read.

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