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Opening Arguments

Book ends

Of all that humankind has created, books above all are about who we really are: I am what I read. People who insist on treating books as objects to prove to others who they want them to think they are can just stay out of my life:

“It is unacceptable to display any book in a public space of your home if you have not read it.” So runs the “prime directive” for bookshelf etiquette, as issued by a blogger for Time magazine named Matt Seligman. At The American Prospect a couple of weeks ago, Ezra Klein responded in terms that are no less categorical

Posted in: All about me, Books


Cliff Burns
Thu, 02/28/2008 - 10:49am

I like the quote from Borges in which he compares the arrangement of books in one's personal library to a subtle form of literary criticism. I think that's true in my case--there's definitely a hierarchy of books and authors. And I am reluctant to loan my favorite good books--I'll need a DNA sample and your firstborn child left as collateral. An exaggeration...sort of...

Thu, 02/28/2008 - 12:26pm

Years ago, I started a book that was so bad that, after finishing the first chapter, I went outside and threw it in the trash.

You can tell blogs are unedited. Because any editor worth $1.98 would demand you reveal the title. It's like playing shave-and-a-haircut and leaving out the two bits.

Bob G.
Thu, 02/28/2008 - 1:11pm

Nancy's right, Leo...'fess up!

What book was it?
(thinking it was either Tonya Harding's biography, or the History of the Polish Navy).


Thu, 02/28/2008 - 3:45pm

Instead of buying books that convey the kind of person he'd "like to be", how about working on becoming that person?

Leo Morris
Thu, 02/28/2008 - 10:37pm

This one, if memory serves. But I note that Amazon readers gave it 4+ stars out of 5, so maybe you shouldn't trust my judgment.