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Your Well Read Life

June 7, 2007

I recently finished a book by Steve Leveen called “The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life“. I mainly picked it up because I’m always looking for tips on how to retain more of what I read, which is not an easy task these days. Between newspapers, blogs, coursework, and books for enjoyment, there’s a lot to take in.

Anyway, Mr. Leveen also mentions that we should all have a Library of Candidates – a good supply of books on hand, so if you ever get “hungry” for a book, it’s there waiting for you. Now I have some really good libraries near me, so unless I’m snowed in, or everything is closed, this isn’t a major problem for me. But yet I still go to a good amount of library booksales and regularly scour Amazon for subjects I’m interested in. For me, it’s usually something on sports or U.S. history. I’m never quite sure what I’m looking for, but usually I know it when I find it.

Are any of you like this ? Do you accumulate books that you may or may not get around to reading, just so that you always have something to skim or read a bit from ? Is there something staring back at you from the shelf that you’ve been waiting to read forever ?

What’s in your “Library of Candidates” ?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mandy permalink
    June 7, 2007 8:30 pm

    Oh yes, I have a collection of books I’ve tagged as “to read” though I always manage to accumulate more and more of them. I’m finding that my “to read” books are an ecclectic mix of teen-lit, chick lit, fiction, and quite a bit of nonfiction and biographies. At some point I’ll have to stop getting books at the library and start reading the ones I’ve already got!

  2. June 8, 2007 7:52 am

    Not sure why I acquire them just so I’ll always have something to read; but accumulate I do.

    I do have books that have been waiting years to be read, unfortunately. I’m making a more concerted effort this year to read more books in and around all the articles I read. These are on my “Library of Candidates” shelf for this year:

    Eli Hirsch – Dividing Reality
    Herodotus – The Histories
    Nicholas Ostler – Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
    Alexandr Solzhenitsyn – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    Alain Renaut – The Era of the Individual: A Contribution to a History of Subjectivity
    Hofstadter- Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
    Elio Frattaroli – Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain: Becoming Conscious in an Unconscious World
    Tocqueville – Democracy in America
    David Riesman – The Lonely Crowd
    Todorov – Hope and Memory: Lessons from the 2oth Century
    Ellul – The Technological Bluff
    Buschman – Dismantling the Public Sphere
    Erik Davis – TechGnosis: myth, magic + mysticism in the age of information
    The Information Society Reader (Routledge Student Readers) ed. Frank Webster
    Brown & Duguid – The Social Life of Information
    Dumas – The Three Musketeers

    Clearly, I won’t to get to all of them.

  3. June 9, 2007 9:54 pm

    Mandy and Mark,

    I’m sure I’ll probably keep on accumulating as well. I wonder how many more books I could read if I spent less time looking for new ones….

    Thanks so much for visiting !

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