11 June 2005
Books, schmooks

Well, even I’ve been tagged (by Tim Hall should you want to know) so here goes:

How many books do you own?

Maybe 30.  In my lifetime I have perhaps owned 200, most of which were textbooks.

Here’s the shallow explanation.  I have had to move a fair few times over recent years and often I haven’t had that much space.  On one occasion I had to throw some books away.  I didn’t miss, them.  I couldn’t even tell you what they were.  Since then, I’ve been pretty ruthless about throwing books away when space is getting short.  I cannot recall an occasion when I have regretted it.

But that’s not the whole story.  I never had that many to start off with.  In truth I don’t really like books.  I cannot see the point of fiction.  They say there have been no good books published since 1960.  What they neglect to mention is that there were precious few published before.  God knows I’ve tried.  Dickens, Shakespeare, Hardy, Bronte.  Utter, incomprehensible rubbish one and all.

So, that leaves us with non-fiction books.  I don’t really like them either.  They cost a fortune, they’re filled with padding and when you’re finished with them, then what?  All they do is take up shelfspace.  This is one of the principal reasons why I will take my chances with libraries.

It is one of my great hopes that the internet will finally put paid to the great book con.  So, Amazon are making money hand over fist, today but tomorrow is another day…

Last book read

Plumer, the Soldier’s General by Geoffrey Powell.  Great general, lousy archive (he destroyed all his personal papers).  So, the author has to scrabble around for bits and bobs.  And when he fails he puts in filler.  Oh well.

Last book(s) purchased

Plumer (see above)
All the Kaiser’s Men, Ian Passingham
The Voluntary City, Independent Institute
The Welfare State We’re In, James Bartholomew.

Name five books that mean a lot to you

Let’s change that.  Five books that have meant a lot to me:

Animal Farm, George Orwell
The Guiness Book of Records
Battle Tactics of the Western Front, Paddy Griffith
How I found freedom in an unfree world, Harry Browne
Smiley’s People, John Le Carre

Five people to tag

Like they’ll respond.  Brian Micklethwait, Michael Jennings, Jackie D, Scott Campbell, Andy Wood.

PermalinkFeedback (1)Culture


  1. I’ll respond, but only to say that I spit on this blog-tagging malarkey!

    Anyway, the five books that meant the most to me were the five big books I used to stand on to reach the top of my parent’s cupboard to find my Dad’s girlie-mag stash.

    (Why didn’t I use a chair, you ask? Because that doesn’t fit in with the logic of what is an entirely made-up anecdote).

    Posted by Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny on 13 June 2005 at 04:33pm

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.