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The Love of Books


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#1 Hugo Holbling

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 01:57 PM

I just bought Men vs. The Man, being the correspondence between Robert Rives La Monte and H.L. Mencken. It's the original 1910 first (and only, i think) edition, cloth bound and in great condition. It cost $159, so i can only assume the sellers didn't appreciate its worth. It was the only book of Mencken's i didn't own, having read all the others several times. I had been trying to find a (relatively) affordable copy for some four years.

I guess this makes me a bibliophile.
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#2 tkanhere

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:58 PM

Hey Hugo,

Hehe, I guess it does! :D

Of course, thats not such a bad thing. Last year, I read the abridged version of the Decline and Fall of the Roman empire, and I loved it. The subject matter was inherently fascinating, and I've always enjoyed non-fiction by the arrogant english authors of antiquity.

A few months ago, I managed to track down an unabridged edition of the Decline and Fall written in the 1900s, and I happily paid about $100 for it. It was suprisingly hard to track down the full unabridged edition, for some reason. The books are great, and it even have illustrations of certain key events (impression based, but nonetheless, very nicely done).


Anyway, congratulations on your purchase. I hope reading the book makes it worthy of the chase.

#3 Hugo Holbling

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 08:15 PM

I'm sure it will, but the thing about being a bibliophile is that there is something inherently satisfying about holding a beautiful book - regardless of whether the content is worth reading. This can be because of the quality of manufacture, the plates, the binding (an expertly bound tome is a world away from the all-too-common paperback), the quality of the paper or printing, and so on, or because of the significance of the work itself (as in your Gibbon case, i suppose). I have the Dibner Library 1978 version of Galileo's Operations of the Geometric and Military Compass, for example, which i suspect few people know exists - let alone have read. I also have Stolzenberg's The Great Art of Knowing: The Baroque Encyclopedia of Athanasius Kircher, full of wonderful plates and revealing the depth of Kircher's thought. I could go on... There is just a feeling of quiet pleasure at having these sitting on the shelves, i suppose, even if they turned out to be dull on inspection (they didn't).
"In everything that he'd ever thought about the world and about his life in it he'd been wrong." - Cities of the Plain

#4 Da Fire

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:26 AM

I have a 1st edition 1924 of Mahatma Gandhi by Romain Rolland translated by Catherine D. Groth.  It was written during his revolution and is unfinished, meaning there are editions written after this one, although I do not have it or them.  It is in pretty good shape and I take good care of it.  I have a 1944 copy of the Tao Te Ching by Witter Bynner called The Way of Life according to Laotzu (I think it is a second edition).  These are my most valuables books.  But not my favorites that I have.



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#5 mosaic

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 03:05 PM

I think I'm on my way to becoming a  bibliophile and, to think, I didnt even like reading books. I have numerous book all over the house that I have not had a chance to read. What encourages me to get to them is this quote by Schopenhauer:

"Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents."

Hopefully, I dont make this mistake. My most prized possesion right now is Saving the Appearances by Owen Barfield. I can imagine paying as much as  150 for his book on Coleridge,  What Coleridge Thought which is oddly my favorite.

#6 tkanhere

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 02:01 AM

Hugo Holbling said:

There is just a feeling of quiet pleasure at having these sitting on the shelves, i suppose, even if they turned out to be dull on inspection (they didn't).

In that case, I am a bibliophile in potentia. At the present moment, the pittance that I live on doesnt particularly lend itself towards expensive purchases of any kind, be it books, or repairing my cars air conditioner :).

However, if this situation were to change, I would most certainly be acquiring books based on thier extrinsic beauty, and rarity.

#7 Philosophy

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 05:59 AM

Hugo Holbling said:

I guess this makes me a bibliophile.

I love to be a bibliophile. I am proud to sometimes glance at my vast book collection in my library, having read all of the books.

By the way, there is a difference between a bibliophile and a bookworm. A bibliophile may not read any book that he bought but consider them very precious while a bookworm is addicted to "cram" books for snack, breakfast, lunch, and dinner but may not care much about the look of books.

I am both a bibliophile and a bookworm.  :oops:

#8 DaveT

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 01:00 AM

I'm a bookworm, but not a bibliophile. I'm currently reading a copy of Les Misérables that I stuffed in a small bag crammed full of other stuff for a flight (and return) to Paris, and over which I spilt half a can of beer.

I bet Paul wants to murder me now. :evil:
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#9 Peter

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:18 AM

I'm neither a bibliophile nor a bookworm (why a latin-greek mongrel for one and chunky anglosaxon goodness for t'other?) More a philistine, me. I have cases full of paperbacks in deplorable condition, but haven't read a novel in years (decades, possibly). I do like listening to good poetry, though.

Edited by Peter, 09 February 2011 - 11:19 AM.


#10 The Heretic

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 02:34 PM

I'm neither, for I am a bibliobibuli:

There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing. -Mencken

:glug:

#11 Tzela Vieed

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:22 PM

View PostPhilosophy, on 20 March 2005 - 05:59 AM, said:

By the way, there is a difference between a bibliophile and a bookworm. A bibliophile may not read any book that he bought but consider them very precious while a bookworm is addicted to "cram" books for snack, breakfast, lunch, and dinner but may not care much about the look of books.

I have occasional tendencies towards each, although I doubt my appreciation of old and rare books will ever go beyond ogling them in shop windows, even if I do find a place I could put them and the money to buy them with.

The Heretic said:

There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing. -Mencken

…or I may just be one of these in remission.  Wonderful word, by the way.

DaveT said:

I'm currently reading a copy of Les Misérables that I stuffed in a small bag crammed full of other stuff for a flight (and return) to Paris, and over which I spilt half a can of beer.

I once used my copy of The Brothers Karamazov as a doorstop.  Is that worse?
"Au plus eslevé throne du monde, si ne sommes nous assis, que sus nostre cul." --Michel de Montaigne

#12 DaveT

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:50 PM

View PostTzela Vieed, on 12 July 2011 - 05:22 PM, said:

View PostPhilosophy, on 20 March 2005 - 05:59 AM, said:

By the way, there is a difference between a bibliophile and a bookworm. A bibliophile may not read any book that he bought but consider them very precious while a bookworm is addicted to "cram" books for snack, breakfast, lunch, and dinner but may not care much about the look of books.

I have occasional tendencies towards each, although I doubt my appreciation of old and rare books will ever go beyond ogling them in shop windows, even if I do find a place I could put them and the money to buy them with.

The Heretic said:

There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing. -Mencken

…or I may just be one of these in remission.  Wonderful word, by the way.

DaveT said:

I'm currently reading a copy of Les Misérables that I stuffed in a small bag crammed full of other stuff for a flight (and return) to Paris, and over which I spilt half a can of beer.

I once used my copy of The Brothers Karamazov as a doorstop.  Is that worse?

No!  :angry: I damaged a good book AND lost half a can of precious precious bière!

Therefore

I am winnah! :cheers1:

Edited by DaveT, 12 July 2011 - 05:50 PM.

Hola. Mi nombre es Iñigo Montoya. Usted mató a mi padre, prepárate a morir.

#13 Tzela Vieed

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:29 PM

View PostDaveT, on 12 July 2011 - 05:50 PM, said:

No!  :angry: I damaged a good book AND lost half a can of precious precious bière!

Therefore

I am winnah! :cheers1:

All right, I suppose I’ll concede on account of the book being damaged.  But don’t expect me to sympathize about the bière.

Enjoy your ‘victory’!    :first:
"Au plus eslevé throne du monde, si ne sommes nous assis, que sus nostre cul." --Michel de Montaigne

#14 soleo

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:23 PM

:soleo: ...I haven't really damaged any book and I don't think I've ever used one as a doorstop, but with the help of a mate, I've just gone and dumped about 200 books at a local charity store. Hardbacks, softbacks, good-bad, good-good, bad-bad fiction, dictionaries, essays, philosophies, histories, the whole shebang. Among the curiosities was an old edition of Malleus Maleficarum, Levi's Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, a signed edition of Fungus the Bogeyman, and the 2006 edition of Codex Seraphinianus, a must find for anyone interested in an encyclopedia of an unknown world, 'written in one of its languages, an alphabetic writing intended to be meaningless'. Hope by sharing stuff I offer a spring board and voyage to others, as they have done for me and for the sake of humility and our humanity, I feel we really ought not to cling so hard to our possessions.

Edited by soleo, 18 July 2011 - 10:39 PM.

...an uplifting representation of human life as a damn shame...
...only that which has no history can  be defined...

#15 BDS

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:21 PM

I once tore a phone book in half with my bare hands.  Does that count?
The years like great black oxen tread the world, and God the herdsman goads them on behind, and I am broken by their passing feet. -- W.B. Yeats

#16 Tzela Vieed

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 09:13 PM

View Postsoleo, on 18 July 2011 - 10:23 PM, said:

:soleo: ...I haven't really damaged any book and I don't think I've ever used one as a doorstop, but with the help of a mate, I've just gone and dumped about 200 books at a local charity store. Hardbacks, softbacks, good-bad, good-good, bad-bad fiction, dictionaries, essays, philosophies, histories, the whole shebang. Among the curiosities was an old edition of Malleus Maleficarum, Levi's Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, a signed edition of Fungus the Bogeyman, and the 2006 edition of Codex Seraphinianus, a must find for anyone interested in an encyclopedia of an unknown world, 'written in one of its languages, an alphabetic writing intended to be meaningless'. Hope by sharing stuff I offer a spring board and voyage to others, as they have done for me and for the sake of humility and our humanity, I feel we really ought not to cling so hard to our possessions.

Wow!  Sounds like quite a collection.  May it make its way into good hands.

Personally, I think that if there’s anything I‘d hang onto, it’s a good book.  If something is worth reading, it’s worth rereading, and if I want to quote something, or to check some point that I‘m not sure about, or which I‘ve just seen in a new light, it can be very handy to have a copy nearby.  Also, if I recommend a book to someone, I can lend them my copy.


BDS said:

I once tore a phone book in half with my bare hands. Does that count?

If this counts, I’d like to nominate whoever it was who got copious bloodstains on certain pages of my old Linear Algebra textbook.  There had to have been an interesting story there somewhere (at least, I like to think there was).
"Au plus eslevé throne du monde, si ne sommes nous assis, que sus nostre cul." --Michel de Montaigne




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