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On reading

October 3, 2011

First: My books, which I mailed to Chicago a few weeks ago,  have (finally) all arrived. The disparate parts of my library have been reunited. This completes my moving-in phase; I’m now in the living-in phase, and will be (in the city at least) for the next five years or more.

Second: Not only has my library been reunited, it has now been cataloged. Taking advantage of the ability of smartphones to recognize barcodes, I’ve used the app Android Book Mobile to make an electronic list of all the books I own. They’re all now listed as “Favorites” on my Google Books page. (Why it puts them as “favorites” I don’t know… but none of the other options make any more sense, I guess.) I don’t know if that’s public or not, but if it is, you can track it down yourself. I was also somewhat disappointed to learn that, while I had believed myself to own 200-300 books, I actually only have 164. Yet I still don’t have enough room for them on my new bookshelves…

Third: And since classes have begun, I’ve already begun to expand my library as I buy books for class. I’m going to try to keep what I write her inspired by my classes but not dictated by them. Thus, there may in the future be posts about Stanley Cavell and philosophy-of-literature; or about David Jones, Hart Crane, Laura Riding, and other English-language modernist poets; or about Guillaume Apollinaire, Czeslaw Milosz, and other European poets; but then again, there may not. Only time can tell.

Fourth and finally: Obviously one doesn’t read just books; if you’re reading this, you also read at least one blog. So I’d like to link to two recent blog posts (well, “recent”) that I found particularly stimulating, though I did not entirely agree with either. One from Findings called “What is a Religion?” tries to define religion and does a decent job. Findings is written by a Singaporean teacher(?) I met online back when I worked on Wesnoth; it’s often confusingly esoteric, but routinely interesting. Another from “Armed and Dangerous” called “Reconsidering sexual oppression” suggests that even some libertarians aren’t entirely happy with the results of the sexual revolution. Armed and Dangerous is written by ESR/Eric Raymond, a well-known FLOSS software advocate/programmer (whom I also ran into online via Wesnoth, but who probably doesn’t remember me); it’s often obnoxious in the way libertarians often are, over-confident in its own rationality, and simply silly in its take on religion, but it’s also quite intelligent and covers topics–software, politics, geek culture–which I at least find interesting.

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