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Author Topic: books and how you acquire them  (Read 1721 times)

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Zafer Kaya

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2013, 02:08:14 PM »

Heh.  I'm not trying to bust your chops on Ayn Rand. 

I'm just saying to me it's understandable that someone who really likes Ayn Rand would tend not to like Dostoyevsky.  There's a lot of existential angst and moping around in those stream-of-consciousness books.  I mean , you know I hate Ayn Rand but even I can't stand a lot of Joyce where like dude walks around filled with existential angst all mopey that no one understands their tender artist hearts.  I'm like "GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING!"

Plus the stream-of-consciousness style is so totally rambling where I have to read like 5 pages about this beautiful piece of seaweed, like move the plot along already.  Whereas Rand does not mince words.  She's about as direct as you can get, even though she does then pointless hammer home the point like ten more times so again it's like move the plot along already.

Also, I think both Rand and Joyce are romantic as hell even though probably both of them hated romanticism.  Rand is all artsy and shit about architecture and is moved by beauty it's just that she treats art as objective, which makes no sense to me.  And Joyce is a total romantic at heart with all his melancholy even though I guess he kind of hates that style.

Anyway, I didn't know you were reading Joseph Conrad.  I just thought you would like him.  Similar themes.  The struggle is internal, and it's the internal/philosophical conflict among and between people that drive the external events depicted in the book whereas your traditional story it's the reverse.  And also like, super-dense and overloaded with symbolism. 

As for Rand, I have no doubt at all that she wanted to be a man in the worst way.  Not physically maybe, but more in the traditional macho stereotype and place and society and all that.  Do you know how her personal story?  She was hugely messed up as a person. 

She was married and then wanted to have an affair with her younger protege, so she basically just forced an open marriage on her husband.  Her protege was also married, but she forced him to divorce.  At one point, Rand's protege began an affair with another women and both he and his ex-wife worked together to keep Rand from finding out because of how batshit insane she was.  But Rand eventually found out and pretty much ruined the dude.  That's how messed up she was.

Bubba McBubba

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2013, 10:57:50 PM »

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Drjohnrock

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2013, 11:30:40 PM »

I love Sirens of Titan.  Definitely my favorite Vonnegut book.   I guess I wouldn't say it's an overlooked book, but I wouldn't classify it as one of Vonnegut's iconic pieces.  When people think of VonnegutI think it is Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse 5 and Breakfast of Champions.

My take on Vonnegut is that he was brilliant, but he explored the same themes over and over.  It kinda cuts both ways.  It takes genius and insane talent to capture all the complexity and emotions and awesomeness in just one book.  OTOH, since he did it again and again, there's no compelling reason to try and read the entire oeuvre. 

It's kinda like any good artist, I guess.  Player Piano to me is rough around the edges and somewhat incomplete.  I feel like his other stuff is better.  OTOH, there's a rawness about it because it's an early attempt and that is also appealing.  So it's like do you like a group's technically best album, or do you like the debut?  You could make an argument either way.  Usually if I am late on a band, I start with the most culturally significant/acclaimed piece first.  And then the earlier stuff just seems like a rough draft and flawed attempt.  But if I get on board early, I always like the first album.  The later, perhaps technically better stuff just seems like polish and not as great as everyone says because the real meat of the philosophy/vision was already laid out prior to that.

Truth to tell, Player Piano wasn't my first Vonnegut novel--that honor goes to Mother Night.  You mentioned, and I agree, that Vonnegut explored the same themes over and over again (damn good themes, though).  Maybe one reason I like Player Piano is that Vonnegut had yet to fall into his comfortable rut. 
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Jen

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 10:53:19 AM »

Amazon: physical and digital.
Library: physical and digital.
HPB: Strictly for hardback. Trying to limit the number of books I buy as Dan said, I hate moving them but I love to read so I like to keep my "precious" favorites nearby. ;)
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Kwyjibo

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2013, 11:06:21 AM »

I'm a slow reader so I don't buy many... when I do I go digital for the most part, but mostly I read stuff that Julie buys and recommends.

Julie on the other hand reads like crazy, to the point that she even reads the trashy romance stuff that is free for the kindle.  She buys an armload of books practically every time we hit HPB or any thrift store.  Also, there is a charity organization that runs a used book sale out of the Towne Mall in Middletown every year... they usually have a deal where you buy a grocery bag for $10 and fill it.  I'll have to remember to post that next time they have it.

Julie's grandmother reads like two books a day and tends to give us all her books that she's read when we go up.  We'll sort through those and keep anything we want to read and take the rest to HPB and convert to more books.  Seems that grandma likes the trashy romances too...
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c-lando

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2013, 11:19:05 AM »

Seems that grandma likes the trashy romances too...
Dude. It's all grandmas read. I SWEAR.
Or books by Robert Schuller.
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va-vacious

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2013, 12:10:07 PM »

My grandmother doesn't read trashy books (I do, though). She reads bestsellers, and some higher level fiction. Has absolutely no interests in classics or anything she's read before. I think her lack of interest in the past has been a factor in living to 93+. I did think it interesting that she read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. We got her a kindle last year, and while she fussed about it, she does read on it.

I'm trying to use the library more, but not having much luck.
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Ella Minnow Pea

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2013, 09:52:24 PM »

I get books from my local independent book store (with a discount). I buy books even when I still have dozens to read at home. I am trying to limit myself to my book club selections and autographed books, though. I also use the library for series books that I don't need to own (Sookie Stackhouse, Maise Dobbs, etc.). I also get loaners from a co-worker.
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also known as rcc94

daytime drinking

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2014, 11:26:01 AM »

I love Sirens of Titan.  Definitely my favorite Vonnegut book.   I guess I wouldn't say it's an overlooked book, but I wouldn't classify it as one of Vonnegut's iconic pieces.  When people think of VonnegutI think it is Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse 5 and Breakfast of Champions.

My take on Vonnegut is that he was brilliant, but he explored the same themes over and over.  It kinda cuts both ways.  It takes genius and insane talent to capture all the complexity and emotions and awesomeness in just one book.  OTOH, since he did it again and again, there's no compelling reason to try and read the entire oeuvre. 

It's kinda like any good artist, I guess.  Player Piano to me is rough around the edges and somewhat incomplete.  I feel like his other stuff is better.  OTOH, there's a rawness about it because it's an early attempt and that is also appealing.  So it's like do you like a group's technically best album, or do you like the debut?  You could make an argument either way.  Usually if I am late on a band, I start with the most culturally significant/acclaimed piece first.  And then the earlier stuff just seems like a rough draft and flawed attempt.  But if I get on board early, I always like the first album.  The later, perhaps technically better stuff just seems like polish and not as great as everyone says because the real meat of the philosophy/vision was already laid out prior to that.

Truth to tell, Player Piano wasn't my first Vonnegut novel--that honor goes to Mother Night.  You mentioned, and I agree, that Vonnegut explored the same themes over and over again (damn good themes, though).  Maybe one reason I like Player Piano is that Vonnegut had yet to fall into his comfortable rut.

mother night was my first as well
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daytime drinking

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2014, 11:09:52 AM »

list your favorite book stores! 

i was in anchorage not three days ago and visited title wave.  it was a memorable experience but i was running low on money
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mik

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2014, 02:52:40 PM »

I usually get my books at used books stores such as HPB. I was out in Portland, OR a couple of weeks ago and went to the downtown location of Powell books - holy cow that place was incredible! I found the next two Orson Scott Card books my son wanted. I would have hung around that store all afternoon if I didn't have other places to go (mostly breweries...)
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daytime drinking

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Re: books and how you acquire them
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2014, 03:49:42 PM »

i remember my only time at powell.  and this was thankfully when i only started to pursue reading as a hobby.  as you said, luckily breweries abounded to distract.  plus this cute girl i met the day prior and i foolishly suggest hanging out in the pearl district.  one of my hangups with traveling is doing any sort of research.  i just pack up and go towards my destination.  maybe that isn't such a bad thing
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