Thursday, June 23, 2005

on Reading

I first saw this at BlurbOMat, where I made some comments but wasn't formally invited to contribute. I am flattered to have been tagged by Gina to participate in this Meme...

Number of books I own:
Dozens. Most are tech titles. I am not a geek in the true sense of the word, but rather a cross between Dilbert and his PointyHaired Boss --a tech type that also manages to, uh, manage. I use a bookstore like some people use the Tool Aisle at Sears: I get what I need to solve a problem... I rarely read these books cover to cover, but know where to find what I need to solve a particular problem. This gives me broad experience in a number of areas.
My mother used to visit the local library weekly, and would always come home with more than a couple books. She still does, yet her love of reading never caught on with me. (My dad is also well versed on a broad variety of topics, so I suppose I got that trait from him)

My dislike for reading was a particular problem during the various Lit courses I took in my schooling: too disinterested to read the books, too foolish not to buy Cliff Notes. Reading often puts me to sleep, particularly when works of fiction are involved. Life, I believe, is strange enough; how can fiction compete?

Even with my extended commute, I don't use books on tape/CD.... the level of interest and concentration needed to follow the story is often difficult to maintain. I prefer current events or music, so the radio is always on.

Back to the original point -- the number I own: Most tech books have a definite shelf life, so after a few years they can be donated to a library or church sale. However every year there's more to learn, more to know. So the number, I'd say, is certainly less than 100, but definitely in the 'dozens' range.

Last book I bought:
Essential System Administration - Ælleen Frisch -- yeah, I know this isn't the kind of title you had in mind. I needed a quick and dirty reference book that inclided Linux, HP-UX, and Solaris 9. I thumb through it on an ad hoc basis.

How To Talk to a Liberal (if you must) - Ann Coulter Bought it a month ago, still sits unread.

Last book I read:
Men In Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America - Mark Levin Bought it in February, read it in May. (see? I don't immediately read the stuff I actively seek out). Lots of information on how corrupt the Court has been from time to time throughout our nation's history. I've gained new respect for the Judicial Nomination process, and the importance of a President's selection.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
Five? I don't have any emotional attachment to a book, if thats the intent of this section. In no particular order....

  1. What Would Maciavelli Do? Stanley Bing -- good advice, if taken as intended

  2. The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy -- counting as 1), Tolkien -- Modern-day equivalent to mythology. Good beats evil. And before someone suggests I don't read much because of movies, I am also too lazy to have seen any of these movies as well. I do fondly recall the animated production of the Lord of the Rings, but that was years ago (there was also an animated Return of the King, but the quality of the animation was pale by comparison).

  3. 1984, George Orwell -- I read this (as I said above, allegedly) in high school, but re-read when I was 24 when I could fully comprehend the warnings about an all-providing government.

  4. Zen and the Art of the Internet, Brendan Kehoe -- now very much out of date, I include it not only because it was greatly useful to me in the early days of the Internet, but because I also like the title. Not surprisingly, you can read it online.

  5. If I said the Bible, that would be seen as using one of Gina's selections. Still, I used Zen to reach 4, so I may as well include the Bible here as well.

Book(s) I wished I'd written: Any best seller; I could use the money.

That's my list... Post yours and link back to it here, or just use the Comments.

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