Highlands Blog

Random Book Thoughts

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Posted in Highlands Blog under Uncategorized


I love to read books about reading books. The passion an author has toward their books rekindles my own passion and the joy they get from a new acquisition or re-reading of an old favorite offers a warm handshake across the page as I connect with another soul who I think “gets” me.

There are many way of organizing your books but by color is not one of them. Yes, it looks cool on Pinterest but please resist the temptation. How will you ever remember that Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full has a gray spine? I arrange my books loosely by subject, history being a rather broad one and stick the books about Africa together within that. I want to be the kind of guy who looks up the Library of Congress numbers, labels his books and thus arranges them perfectly in order but to date I have failed to do so.

Electronic books are only useful for reading in dark places but otherwise lack all the charm that a book made of trees and cotton possesses. And you’ll end up dropping it in the toilet anyways.

There are still a few good used bookstores in America but you’ll have to travel to find them. Visit the Strand while in New York City, Daedalus when in Columbia, Maryland and Haslam’s in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Amazon.com and its many vendors have made purchasing used books easy and the prices are unbeatable! You can just about get whatever book you want for under $5 and that includes shipping.

If you want to read more books each year simply place them where you are likely to be in quiet moments like next to the bed, in the car and on the back of the toilet.

The book stays the same but year to year you change and thus an old book becomes new again.

The number of pages you can read in a day roughly translates into the number of books you can read in a year as almost all books are fewer than 365 pages. Hopefully this proves to be inspirational information.

I’ve replaced favorite books originally purchased as trade paperbacks with paper or even hardbacks and have never regretted it.

Laurence Windham gave me a great piece of advice once; “Place the little bits of life that you don’t know what to do with into the fronts of your books and when you visit that book again you will serendipitously rediscover that concert ticket, Christmas card, get-well note.”

I’m more likely to trust the recommendation of thousands over the entreaties of one when it comes to purchasing a book.

I have made more great “finds” simply by buying a book based on its cover art than by any other method.

Opening a book and cracking the spine is a commitment. I am of the “look before you leap” school of reading. I need to trust the author or the host of recommendations before venturing in. There are delightful exceptions to this rule.

I love biographies of great men but would gladly pay more if the author could condense the work from 800 pages down to 400.

Looking at the bibliography in the rear of a favorite book is like a child following a chocolate dropping magical animal down a winding path.

Think I should, but have never read: Moby Dick, War and Peace, Don Quixote.

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