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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jeff Pealman Blog: This week’s SI.com column …

The World According to Catcher Garb in the Rykodisc CD-R…or something.

It’s my take on bad teams always signing bad players. Here’s the link.

Thanks.

PS: A side note: I was thinking this morning about Pudge Rodrizguez. A bunch of years ago I visited Pudge’s house in Miami. He was friendly and nice and sorta dull, but two things stand out: First, he had a ton of books in his library—stuff like biographies of FDR and Lincoln; profiles of great debates, etc. I picked up one of the books to read through it—and the pages were empty. One hundred percent empty. All the books. They were merely for show, brought in by some interior decorator. Second, in his backyard he had an enormous bronze statue of … Pudge Rodriguez. In catching garb.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2009 at 01:39 PM | 298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: books, history

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   1. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 23, 2009 at 02:47 PM (#3420634)
Why did Pearlman keep that story to himself all these years? Is this how sportswriters operate? They save information like this for all this time, just waiting for the perfect blog post to reveal it in? Is something happening to Jeff Pearlman today that we won't be able to find out about until he decides to write about it in S.I. six years from now?
   2. Hack Wilson Posted: December 23, 2009 at 02:51 PM (#3420636)
Pudge Rodrizguez...in his backyard he had an enormous bronze statue of … Pudge Rodriguez. In catching garb.


This is what I want for Christmas.
   3. DetroitMichael Posted: December 23, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3420639)
Any posters of Pudge as a centaur in the bedroom?
   4. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3420640)
Why did Pearlman keep that story to himself all these years? Is this how sportswriters operate? They save information like this for all this time, just waiting for the perfect blog post to reveal it in?


Well, probably. I imagine he didn't have a good way to work in the weird stuff about Rodriguez into a previous article. I mean, what kind of article would you fit a little nugget like that in there? Or maybe it was in a previous article but was cut out by an editor as superfluous, which it probably is. Perfect for a chatty blog post.
   5. Tim Marchman Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:14 PM (#3420648)
I used to do interior design work with books and the funny thing about this story is that blank books are much more expensive than printed ones, which are sold by the foot and are sometimes sold by weight for just this purpose. After all any decent used bookshop will be filled with unread Father's Day type books whereas blank books in the dimensions of a hardback book are quite rare. Actually if Pudge has a library full he probably took a decent chunk out of our national reserves of such books.

By the way, if you're wondering there is very little more soul crushing than dealing with rich people who want to buy thousands of dollars worth of books chosen strictly by color and volume.
   6. Chip Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3420649)
The statue has been widely discussed.
   7. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3420654)
The statue has been widely discussed.
And photographed. It's kind of strange. I never realized that it seems to be bigger than life sized.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3420658)
I used to do interior design work with books and the funny thing about this story is that blank books are much more expensive than printed ones, which are sold by the foot and are sometimes sold by weight for just this purpose. After all any decent used bookshop will be filled with unread Father's Day type books whereas blank books in the dimensions of a hardback book are quite rare. Actually if Pudge has a library full he probably took a decent chunk out of our national reserves of such books.

The National Lampoon once had an absolutely hilarious ad parody for something like the "Bookends of the Month Club," or "Great Bookends of the Western World," where every month you'd be sent a two foot wide row of phony book ends a la Pudge. The pitch was aimed at those who never finish any book they start, but still want to impress their neighbors with their good taste in literature, apparently just like Pudge.

By the way, if you're wondering there is very little more soul crushing than dealing with rich people who want to buy thousands of dollars worth of books chosen strictly by color and volume.

Better than that was an American University film teacher / mystery book ghostwriter I knew in the 80's who once commissioned me to get him 500 hardback books at two bucks apiece---"no dust jackets---dust jackets look tacky"---in order to fill two bookcases in a suite at the Watergate Hotel that he was renting to entertain some visiting Hollywood moguls.

At the end of the evening, he hauled them all into the dumpster. I wasn't too surprised that this guy wound up dying broke.
   9. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3420662)
Why did Pearlman keep that story to himself all these years? Is this how sportswriters operate?

This is how pretty much ALL members of the media operate. They hide at least as much as they divulge, and probably more in many cases.
   10. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:34 PM (#3420663)
I mean, what kind of article would you fit a little nugget like that in there?

That makes, sense, yeah. But I guess I think of Pearlman as the kind of gossipy d-bag who can't wait to tell everyone that Pudge's bookshelves are filled with blank books.
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3420666)
How do you guys display your books? I have mine all over and I've read 95% of the ones on the shelves. I will freely admit to being kinda proud of all the books I've read when I see them stacked up on the shelves. Also, when I go to someone's house or apartment for a party I usually will get around to checking out their books. Man, I'm pretty douchey about books, I guess, although sometimes seeing what tbooks they've read is a good conversation starter.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:40 PM (#3420667)
PS: A side note: I was thinking this morning about Pudge Rodrizguez. A bunch of years ago I visited Pudge’s house in Miami. He was friendly and nice and sorta dull, but two things stand out: First, he had a ton of books in his library—stuff like biographies of FDR and Lincoln; profiles of great debates, etc. I picked up one of the books to read through it—and the pages were empty. One hundred percent empty. All the books. They were merely for show, brought in by some interior decorator.


I can understand (though don't recommend) acquiring many of the great classics in order to fool others that you actually read them all, but books with empty pages makes no sense to me.
   13. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3420669)
How do you guys display your books? I have mine all over and I've read 95% of the ones on the shelves. I will freely admit to being kinda proud of all the books I've read when I see them stacked up on the shelves. Also, when I go to someone's house or apartment for a party I usually will get around to checking out their books. Man, I'm pretty douchey about books, I guess, although sometimes seeing what tbooks they've read is a good conversation starter.
Is there a non-shelf way to display them, if you own any real number of books? That's not a snarky question, I mean, you could just have them lying around in piles, I suppose. But if you have anything like the number of books I do--and good Christ, I have a lot, having just moved it was shocking how many I had to carry--that's wildily impractical. (Unless you like the prospect of wandering around piles of books day and night.)

I also check out people's books when I visit, and judge accordingly.
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3420671)
How do you guys display your books? I have mine all over and I've read 95% of the ones on the shelves.


I have a huge bookcase for all of my sports books (baseball books take half of it). I have two others for non-fiction (mostly history) and the other two for fiction (a good chunk of that portion of my library is horror and science fiction, but I have many classics, too).
   15. DL from MN Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3420678)
I don't get the books with empty pages. If people are impressed by the books there's a good chance they'll wander over and open one.
   16. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:51 PM (#3420679)
How do you guys display your books?


Primarily on the massive quantity of bookshelves spread throughout the house, although there are a couple piles around that are largely composed of things that I'm currently reading. Basically, every six months or so, I buy another shelf, and load all the stuff that was piled on the floor (or desk, or table) into the shelf, with some attempt to sort them by category, and then start the process again.

At some point, I should really sit down and figure out how much I've spent on my library, but I'm scared that it would work out to be something similar to what I spent on the down payment for my house (and I wasn't one of those people who only put 5% down).
   17. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 23, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3420683)
I have mine all over and I've read 95% of the ones on the shelves. I will freely admit to being kinda proud of all the books I've read when I see them stacked up on the shelves.


I wish I could display more of my books, but I live in a pretty small place at the moment. I have boxes and boxes of them still in storage, but I've read most of them. Of the books currently on my shelves, I've probably read 70%, which I feel like is a good number. Most of my actual reading books come from the library, but occasionally I'll read something from my shelves if it sticks out at me one day. It just seems odd sometimes to surround yourself with books you've already read, unless they're reference books or something. What's the point? I rarely go back to novels I've read. It's weird, I enjoy having those books around, but in some ways it's like people who keep all their old hair or fingernails around and just can't bear to let it go.

I also check out people's books when I visit, and judge accordingly.


I do too, but given that I like to have a good number of books I haven't actually read yet, I wonder what people think of my taste.
   18. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3420691)
At the moment, my comics TPBs occupy 4 bookshelves (with a fair amount of overflow) in my living room. The paranormal/UFO books are stacked haphazardly on a small shelf in the hallway, while on the facing wall is another small shelf on which is stacked a motley collection of books on movies & music, with another couple of stacks of whatever. The 3rd bedroom is more or less lined with cinderblock-&-particle-board shelves stuffed with sf, horror, sports (mostly baseball), music, mysteries, true crime, general nonfiction & non-genre fiction. The floor is crowded with piles of books on radical politics in general & anarchism in particular, history, nonfiction, etc. etc. etc.

*sigh*
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3420694)
It just seems odd sometimes to surround yourself with books you've already read, unless they're reference books or something. What's the point? I rarely go back to novels I've read. It's weird, I enjoy having those books around, but in some ways it's like people who keep all their old hair or fingernails around and just can't bear to let it go.

That's a line of reasoning that Seinfeld used to use, but if you've enjoyed the books the first time around, who's to say that you might not enjoy them again?

And once you dispose of them, what do you replace the books with? Empty bookcases? Blank walls? Pictures of flowers? Concert posters? Everyone generally surrounds themselves with things that they like, and books are simply one of many such objects.
   20. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3420695)
I only have one bookshelf, but it's filled to the gills. The shelves themselves are deep enough that I can fit two rows per shelf. I look quite the smarty-pants when a girl is in my bedroom and pulls a random book off my shelf to reveal...more books behind the books!

I also have a couple boxes of books in my closet, and I admit to being selective with what I display on my shelf and what stays in the closet. I will judge you on your bookshelf, just as I'd expect you to judge mine, especially if I let those old Michael Critchon paperbacks see the light of day.
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3420699)
At some point, I should really sit down and figure out how much I've spent on my library,

Maybe it's just the former bookseller in me, but my answer to that would be simple: Would you rather die surrounded by books that have given you pleasure over the years, or would you rather die with another few thousand bucks in your bank account for your kids to fight over?
   22. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3420700)
That's a line of reasoning that Seinfeld used to use, but if you've enjoyed the books the first time around, who's to say that you might not enjoy them again?

I re-read a lot, so I like to have the books around. Also, being surrounded by books just feels like home to me.
   23. Tricky Dick Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3420702)
Pearlman is just upset that a blank copy of his book isn't on the shelf.
   24. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3420703)
if you've enjoyed the books the first time around, who's to say that you might not enjoy them again?


Sure, you might enjoy them again, but I think it's pretty rare that people read the same books several times. There are just so many other books out there. Although, most guys stay with the same woman for many years, even though there are lots of women out there. Maybe that's why I'm not married yet.

And once you dispose of them, what do you replace the books with? Empty bookcases? Blank walls? Pictures of flowers? Concert posters? Everyone generally surrounds themselves with things that they like, and books are simply one of many such objects.


It's not the idea of surrounding yourself with books that seems odd to me, it's surrounding yourself with books you've already read. Why aren't we more forward-looking and surround ourselves with stuff we haven't read yet?
   25. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3420704)
Pearlman is just upset that a blank copy of his book isn't on the shelf.

A blank Pearlman book is the only kind worth having!
   26. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3420705)
That's a line of reasoning that Seinfeld used to use, but if you've enjoyed the books the first time around, who's to say that you might not enjoy them again?


There is literally no chance that I'm going to read a book again less than a decade after reading it the first time, unless the experience of reading it was some sort of groundbreaking epiphany. There are too many other books to read!

Most of the books on my shelves are reference books (or can be used as reference books), or are collections of short pieces, or are books I haven't read yet. Except for the small category that is my baseball book collection. I don't understand people who want to actually own, say, Elmore Leonard's "Killshot", rather than getting it from the library, or buying the paperback for $1 and then giving it away after reading it.
   27. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3420709)
The dumbass doesn't get that these are all the books that Pudge is going to write when he retires.
   28. Cris E Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3420710)
I'm not only drawn to what books are there, but how (or if) they're arranged. I was casually looking through a shelf at a friend's house a couple years after college and found Deliverance right next to Three Men in a Boat. (It wasn't intentional, but it was kind of funny.)
   29. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3420712)
There is literally no chance that I'm going to read a book again less than a decade after reading it the first time, unless the experience of reading it was some sort of groundbreaking epiphany. There are too many other books to read!
I find The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to be worth a regular reading.
   30. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3420713)
In the Lounge, we refer to Pudge's collection as Opinion Raising Books or ORBs for short. But he's cheating using the blank ones. As far as rereading books goes, I seem to reread Bill James often.

I've gone away from buying books if I can access them in a library. I have roughly 8 full bookcases. But i don't rearead that many of them because there's always something new that I want to read. Here's some recent reads.
   31. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3420714)
Maybe it's just the former bookseller in me, but my answer to that would be simple: Would you rather die surrounded by books that have given you pleasure over the years, or would you rather die with another few thousand bucks in your bank account for your kids to fight over?


Hey, I'm not saying I'm unhappy with the books (I'm not, and I'm continuing to accumulate them at an unhealthy rate), but rather that I have this strange urge to work out what all those $10, $20, and $50 purchases have added up to over the years.

And if your store had been located in the same area as me, you would have never considered closing it.
   32. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:22 PM (#3420724)
I find The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to be worth a regular reading.


So do I, and Terry Pratchett falls into a similar category. I'm also fond of periodic re-readings of assorted Rex Stout stuff. Basically, they're all just books that I can pick up and enjoy in 15 or 20 minute chunks, when I'm not in the mood for whatever new things that Eco, Rushdie, Irving, or whoever have written lately.
   33. Dolf Lucky Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3420730)
Also, when I go to someone's house or apartment for a party I usually will get around to checking out their books.


At the Christmas party I was at last weekend, the host's bookshelf contained books by William F. Buckley, Ayn Rand, and Barack Obama. I did not use this info to start any conversations.
   34. Cris E Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3420735)
There is literally no chance that I'm going to read a book again less than a decade after reading it the first time, unless the experience of reading it was some sort of groundbreaking epiphany. There are too many other books to read!

That's not how I read at all. I usually have at least two or three books going at once, and most of the time at least one of them is the equivalent of comfort food. I'll get a weird vibe and think Austin or Tolkien or Glory of their Times and dig it out. I may not finish it on this read or even start at the beginning. I use the library for stuff I don't expect to reach comfort food status, but if it's something I'll want to read again I'll keep an eye open for it used or on sale.

Alas, my wife is the sort who goes through her clothes twice a year and gets rid of anything she hasn't worn in six months, and I have a hundred various t-shirts. But we've been married long enough that she's stopped asking if I have enough baseball books and I stopped receiving catalogs from book sellers. Space limits the display of books to what the kids are reading and whatever fits in the shelf by my bed. Oh well.
   35. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3420737)
How do you guys display your books?

I just spent a couple weeks this past summer looking up all my books Library of Congress Number and sorting them accordingly. I have a collection of short stories about Cricket that apparently the L of C has never heard of, so I am at a loss where to put them.
   36. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3420738)
I read pretty quickly (I just do, I haven't taken a class or anything) so I find I can get through a book within a few days of commuting, unless its an absolute monster. This allows me to both reread books, and buy new ones.

All of which explains, of course, why I have ten million #$%& books to carry. I can only imagine what someone would think of me from my bookshelf, besides that obvious baseball dokery.
   37. JJ1986 Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3420740)
I own Killshot. I got it for a quarter at a library sale, though.
   38. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3420744)
I just spent a couple weeks this past summer looking up all my books Library of Congress Number and sorting them accordingly. I have a collection of short stories about Cricket that apparently the L of C has never heard of, so I am at a loss where to put them.

Man, Greg, I have no idea if you're kidding or not.

My favorite book shelf has all my dinosuar and paleontology books stacked at varying heights with these realistic to-scale dinosaurs interspersed among them. I love that shelf. The brachiosaur takes up a lot of room, though.
   39. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3420745)
You guys should get your head out of the books and try watching a game some time.

Reading is for chumps.
   40. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3420746)
I can only imagine what someone would think of me from my bookshelf, besides that obvious baseball dokery.
Child pornographer.
   41. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3420747)
I just spent a couple weeks this past summer looking up all my books Library of Congress Number and sorting them accordingly. I have a collection of short stories about Cricket that apparently the L of C has never heard of, so I am at a loss where to put them.
It is a commentary on this site--maybe good, maybe bad--that I can't even tell if this a joke or not.
   42. PreservedFish Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3420750)
I have piles of books, everywhere. Under couches and tables, on top of dressers. Soon they may move on top of the refrigerator. The problem has infiltrated my design style. My television sits ontop of a column of Encylopedia Brittanicas.

My wife thinks I am insane, but I can't stomach throwing away or giving away or selling a book that I've read. It's the only thing in life that I'm packrattish about. I backpacked in Asia and by the end of the trip my bag's weight was probably 70% used books, which is an absurdity, but now when I spy those on the shelves I remember the beach/jungle/temple/redlightdistrict where I was reading it.

Another problem with this is that I absolutely prefer paperbacks, because of their ease in carrying (I am the sort that always has a book, and I do most of my reading waiting for elevators and sitting on trains, as opposed to actually hunkering down at home for an hour at a atime), but paperbacks, especially when already bought used, don't have the durability wanted, so some of these books that I'm adamant about keeping are almost in tatters.
   43. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3420751)
Child pornographer.
I said "bookshelf," not "DVD collection."
   44. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3420753)
My best source of books is Toronto's Goodwill HQ which is a 5 minute walk from my house. Since my dad retired he goes there 4 or 5 times a day and picks up books for 25 cents a pop.

You have to sift through a lot of crap, but he's managed to dig up a lot of stuff for me. A first edition Kipling, several Histories of England from the Victorian eras top guys, and my favourite, an all encompassing History of the World written in the 1780s. I'm quite proud of my old books that I haven't read for fear of them falling apart!
   45. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3420755)
I have a collection of short stories about Cricket that apparently the L of C has never heard of, so I am at a loss where to put them.
You could donate them to the Library of Congress...
   46. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3420759)
It is a commentary on this site--maybe good, maybe bad--that I can't even tell if this a joke or not.

Man, Greg, I have no idea if you're kidding or not.

I am in fact being quite serious. It actually didn't take too much work. Half of them have the L of C number in them, I only had to manually look up around 250 titles on the L of C search catalogue.
   47. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3420760)
I'd say 1/2 my books are in bookshelves, with the other 1/2 in boxes. After I moved last year, I carefully logged each book so I know exactly which book is in which box. I'm guessing 1/2 of my law school books have been donated or trashed, and for whatever reason I still have my Canon Law book on a book shelf. I guess I'm waiting for the right dinner party to debate the merits of Vatican II. I actually had somebody say once, "Wow, there's actually a whole book of law on Canons, nobody even uses Canons anymore, do they?"
   48. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:39 PM (#3420762)
I'm quite proud of my old books that I haven't read for fear of them falling apart!

I like books like this, too. I like to buy random old books and see if they're any good. Usually they are not.
   49. Hack Wilson Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:39 PM (#3420764)
I heard about a book on Jackie Jensen here. Went to a catalog of Illinois libraries found one copy in the State. Requested it from my library, finally got it and noticed it came from a library in Nebraska. My daughter, who does this all time, thought Ohio was the longest distance she got a book from.
   50. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3420765)
Man, Greg, I have no idea if you're kidding or not.

I tried to arrange my collection by the Dewey Decimal System, but there's way too much 796.357, 974, and 330.

Reading is for chumps.

Says one of the guys who reccomended Perfect. I wound up buying it as an office Christmas present.
   51. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3420766)
My favorite book shelf has all my dinosuar and paleontology books stacked at varying heights with these realistic to-scale dinosaurs interspersed among them. I love that shelf. The brachiosaur takes up a lot of room, though.


I'd make fun of you for having a shelf like that, but I've got a shelf at home dedicated entirely to biographies of scientific figures from the middle ages.

Well, that, and dinosaurs are awesome.
   52. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3420767)
I am in fact being quite serious. It actually didn't take too much work. Half of them have the L of C number in them, I only had to manually look up around 250 titles on the L of C search catalogue.

Hell, I'll probably get drunk tonight and end up doing this myself.
   53. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3420769)
I own Killshot. I got it for a quarter at a library sale, though.


When you finish it, send it to me!
   54. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:42 PM (#3420770)
Well, that, and dinosaurs are awesome.

This is the truest thing that will ever be posted on BBTF.
   55. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3420774)
My best source of books is Toronto's Goodwill HQ which is a 5 minute walk from my house. Since my dad retired he goes there 4 or 5 times a day and picks up books for 25 cents a pop.


I used to live around the corner from a place like this when I was in University. The guy just dumped everything randomly on shelves at the back of the place (giving him the room up front for things like displaying his custom made and painted D&D;/Warhammer figures) and sold them for $1 or $2 each - I bought most of Stephen Gould's writings from there.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3420775)
The thought of arranging my books idiosyncratically is making me want to buy some bookshelves.
   57. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3420776)
Hell, I'll probably get drunk tonight and end up doing this myself.
I was discussing this thread with a co-worker a minute ago and she said she was disapointed to learn that this was the kind of company I kept, because she had (inexplicably, I should add) always imagined me as a more interesting person.

I will not be sharing this particular detail with her.
   58. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:47 PM (#3420781)
Is something happening to Jeff Pearlman today that we won't be able to find out about until he decides to write about it in S.I. six years from now?


Yes, it's like stargazing for someone who hates stars and light and stuff.
   59. Ron Johnson Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:48 PM (#3420782)
I mean, you could just have them lying around in piles, I suppose.


I have big piles of books in my storage closet. I've simply got way more books than shelf space -- and I've got a fair amount of shelf space.

I try to arrange the piles by theme. The bookcases are arranged by theme. I've got two bookcases full of baseball books behind my computer. And a pile of books beside it. Gods I'm hopeless.
   60. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:50 PM (#3420785)
My wife thinks I am insane, but I can't stomach throwing away or giving away or selling a book that I've read.


I'm the same way. Still have all my comic books from thirty years ago in a box and couldn't think of parting with them, despite not having read them in years.
   61. LargeBill Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:52 PM (#3420787)
This is what we need. A thread about how we all arrange our book cases. Personally, my sports books are split between biography and reference. Biography is arranged alphabetically by subject and the reference ones are lined up chronologically by season or last year covered. Presidential bio's are arranged by term of office rather than alphabetical.
   62. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3420789)
Gods I'm hopeless.


Not by the standards here. It sounds like most of us have at least some piles lingering around, and more books than space. I've currently got about 40' worth of 6' high bookshelves throughout my house, and I'm going to need to pick up more over the next couple weeks because I'm out of space, despite stacking things two deep wherever possible.

They're accumulating so fast that I'm beginning to suspect they're breeding.
   63. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3420793)
I read real fast, but really only get to read on trips these days. I try to shoot for "life changing" and then leave them with whomever I'm staying with, so I haven't accumulated a book in years.
   64. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3420801)
I was discussing this thread with a co-worker a minute ago and she said she was disapointed to learn that this was the kind of company I kept, because she had (inexplicably, I should add) always imagined me as a more interesting person.

Jeez. It sound like she's the uninteresting one in your office.
   65. Ron Johnson Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:02 PM (#3420802)
The only problem with stacking two deep is that past history suggests I won't remember the logic I used at the time and won't be able to find something I "know" I own.

I have a friend who's a serious record collector. He ended up starting a simple database. Here's what I own -- and where it's stored.

Don't go there Ryan. He was able to get a pretty fair notion of what he'd spent.
   66. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3420806)
Jeez. It sound like she's the uninteresting one in your office.

I've always found it strange that there seems to be a segment of the population that believes being interested in things makes you uninteresting.
   67. Santanaland Diaries Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3420807)
I'd make fun of you for having a shelf like that, but I've got a shelf at home dedicated entirely to biographies of scientific figures from the middle ages.


Any of these you would particularly recommend? I've been doing a lot of science history reading lately, and would like to branch out of the more modern period.
   68. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3420808)
I've simply got way more books than shelf space -- and I've got a fair amount of shelf space.


You should see my office right now. I barely have enough room to walk to the computer. I need AT LEAST three more floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in here.

-- MWE
   69. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3420809)
Jeez. It sound like she's the uninteresting one in your office.
Well, it's all relative. She is also a book collector, she works (part-time, obviously) in publishing and previously worked at the Strand, so she has many, many books. But I think she imagined (again, unaccountably) that I was more interesting than book collecting.

Alas, I failed.
   70. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3420811)
How do you guys display your books? I have mine all over and I've read 95% of the ones on the shelves. I will freely admit to being kinda proud of all the books I've read when I see them stacked up on the shelves. Also, when I go to someone's house or apartment for a party I usually will get around to checking out their books. Man, I'm pretty douchey about books, I guess, although sometimes seeing what tbooks they've read is a good conversation starter.
Awesome, a book-fetish thread!

I'm a younger guy and (at this point) still 'in transit' between my current location and where I'll ultimately end up. As a result I haven't gotten around to unpacking or shelving most of my books. And my god, do I have too many. So to answer RB in NYC's question: yeah, in stacks all over the floor or in corners, or in unpacked boxes. Only my Indo-European philology books, Russian & Roman history books, and David Foster Wallace novels/essays get what's left of my uber-limited shelf space after the lion's share has been consumed by various law books.

And I'm just like you, Shooty, in that if I'm a guest in someone's house I inevitably gravitate towards their bookshelf, examine closely, and start to draw pratty conclusions from there. Know it's wrong, know it's shallow, just can't help myself.

From a serious exploration of the early Christian Church and Roman Catholic theology in the Vazquez thread to book-objectification in the Pearlman one...man I love this site. Merry Christmas you humps.

All of a sudden I wish Andy's bookshop was still open. I'm finally home in DC for a little while, and this thread makes me want to go poke through a great used book stack.
   71. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3420813)
He ended up starting a simple database.

That was a large part of my motivation for my L of C project. I also compiled a database while I was doing it. Mostly because I can't seem to find this great book on the History of the Smile that I KNOW I own. But now it is lost to the mists of my garage I assume.
It's too bad really...it had some great pictures of 17th century Dutch paintings of old men with creepy smiles molesting ducks.
   72. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:07 PM (#3420818)
Any of these you would particularly recommend? I've been doing a lot of science history reading lately, and would like to branch out of the more modern period.


I'll take a look at the shelf later tonight and send you an email via the BTF service. There are a bunch of decent books in there, but I can never remember the specific titles off the top of my head.
   73. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3420822)
It's too bad really...it had some great pictures of 17th century Dutch paintings of old men with creepy smiles molesting ducks.

I cannot put into words how happy it makes me to have you running my fan club.
   74. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:11 PM (#3420824)
I cannot put into words how happy it makes me to have you running my fan club.


I think you need to invent a word which suitably combines the meanings of both "excited" and "alarmed."
   75. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:12 PM (#3420826)
I think you need to invent a word which suitably combines the meanings of both "excited" and "alarmed."
Without any prior knowledge on the matter, I'm betting that this word already exists in German.
   76. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3420832)
Without any prior knowledge on the matter, I'm betting that this word already exists in German
Aufgeregtundalarmiert
   77. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:18 PM (#3420836)
Ah, I have to apologize, it's been so long since I read the book...it's not duck molestation at all, but "Chicken Groping"
apparently the Dutch found it riotously funny.

Chicken Gropers
   78. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:19 PM (#3420837)
and previously worked at the Strand

I wonder if we worked together. It was my first job in NYC, and I ended up spending a year and a half there. Us employees got crazy discounts, of which I took advantage.
   79. Repoz Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3420845)
No scumbag sleepovers!...My extra rooms are filled with books, 45's, mags, 45's, records, 45's, comics, 45's, porn, 45's, posters, 45's.
   80. Chico Lind(and the Man) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:29 PM (#3420847)
Since my dad retired he goes there 4 or 5 times a day and picks up books for 25 cents a pop.

Has he considered going once a day, maybe around 3:00 with a crisp five dollar bill? Or is this such a wildly busy goodwill store that he cannot risk missing out? BTW, I picture rows and rows of Louis L'amour. It's not a pretty thought.
   81. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:29 PM (#3420848)
Repoz, did I miss your year-end list of best songs?
   82. DetroitMichael Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:34 PM (#3420856)
I've got a room in the corner of my basement full of bookshelves that hold only baseball books and Teaching Company lectures. We've got children's books in the main baseroom floor and the rest of our books in shelves in the family room. Our library gets thinned out occasionally, but my wife leaves my baseball books alone.

I find that I'm much more likely to want to reread or look something up in my baseball books than is true with most of the rest of our personal library. For example, we save very few fiction books because one seldom re-uses them.
   83. Tim Marchman Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:38 PM (#3420860)
My Strand discount made a ruin of several apartments. Living in Hyde Park is pretty bad, too... my place has built in bookshelves and a built in china cabinet that makes for a really nice place for books you don't want small children getting at, and what's worse I'm around the corner from Powell's. It's awesome in its own right and weird U of C types just leave boxes of good books that the store's buyers don't want (an untouched and nearly complete set of the new run of DeLillo paperbacks, for example) outside for people to rifle through. Even worse, my wife works in a library with eight million volumes, some large percentage of which are breeding in my living room.

The best book storage device is obviously a spinning wire rack.
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:47 PM (#3420875)
All of a sudden I wish Andy's bookshop was still open. I'm finally home in DC for a little while, and this thread makes me want to go poke through a great used book stack.

I kind of miss it myself sometimes, but there's still one very good shop left in the area: Bartleby's, which is at 1132 29th St. in Georgetown, just below M St. Unfortunately that's about it for good used book shops in DC (Second Story is pure crapola), especially if you're looking for baseball books. I sold him my surplus when I closed, and even though it was only what I had left over, that was still better than every other shop in the area combined when it comes to baseball books. And for all other subjects, it's one of the best shops in the country.

BTW if you ever want to accumulate a great book collection at the expense of nearly everything else in your life, open a shop of your own. Nothing beats getting first crack at everything at wholesale prices. Just be sure to sell posters on the side so that you can pay the rent. (smile)

EDIT: Don't let Bartleby's website scare you off. He puts a big table of history paperbacks out in front of the store that beat any online prices when you figure in the cost of the postage.
   85. Ziggy Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:50 PM (#3420882)
I live around the corner from this place: <a href = "http://www.bookthing.org/"> The Book Thing </a>. It's run by a guy named Russell (and an assortment of volunteers) who collects books you don't want, sorts them, and gives them away for free on weekends. Without a doubt it's the best thing about Baltimore.

Oh, and as for book storage: besides those on shelves I usually store an impressive collection of books in a semi-circle around my desk, so that any book especially relevant to what I'm writing will be at hand. And I've read very few of the books I own all the way through, because most of them are for research.
   86. JMPH Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:51 PM (#3420885)
Man, I am jealous of you guys. I've always aspired to read more, but the fact that I am a painfully slow reader (my mind wanders quite a bit) has long stood in the way of this. Maybe I just need to find the right book.

I would like to finish Infinite Jest over my Christmas vacation. That's a hell of a tall order, though.
   87. Ziggy Posted: December 23, 2009 at 05:51 PM (#3420886)
Okay, why didn't the link work? It worked in the preview.
   88. Mark Donelson Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:01 PM (#3420901)
I cannot believe Lassus has not posted anything on this thread yet.
   89. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:03 PM (#3420904)
What is this "arranging" you guys are speaking of?
   90. Repoz Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3420905)
did I miss your year-end list of best songs?

I've been dripping then on FB, but I'll have the complete list up tonight or tomorrow.
   91. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:09 PM (#3420910)
I would like to finish Infinite Jest over my Christmas vacation. That's a hell of a tall order, though.
It took me two passes to get all the way through Infinite Jest. The first time I was only half-attentive, and that's not the way to read DFW. The second time, however, I just TORE through that book, start to finish in a few days. I still think it's one of the most moving books I've ever read, messy and scattershot as it can be at time. It spoke directly to me at a time in my life where I identified with the protagonists and their struggles (not that I was addicted to drugs or anything, thankfully).

The saddest thing about Infinite Jest is how, in retrospect, it is so clearly an emotional autobiography for Wallace in several places.
   92. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3420911)
As for arrangement, except for my baseball books (which have their own little rolling book shelf thing) I have given up organizing them in any meaningful way, because every time I do that I end up with the book I really want at that instant behind 12 rows of other ones.

This is about the only system in my life where I tolerate a meaningful level of anarchy.
   93. billyshears Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:12 PM (#3420914)
I'm going to have to post a note on my bookshelf listing all of the books I've read on my Kindle so that nobody will think less of me.
   94. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3420916)
Am I the only Primate who lacks a collection of baseball books? I have Bill James' Historical Abstract, Tango & Lichtman's The Book (thanks, Dave Pinto!), a Rob Neyer book, and that's it. Ironically enough my dad has shelves full of baseball books (especially Yankees ones...hmmm I think my dad and Andy would have a lot to talk about over coffee...).
   95. RJ in TO Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:17 PM (#3420918)
Am I the only Primate who lacks a collection of baseball books?


Nope. My baseball book collection is only slightly larger than yours, in that it also includes a couple of the BP annuals. It'll increase slightly when Chris Jaffe's book on managers is released.
   96. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3420919)
How can you go wrong with any work that includes sentences like Later images by the printmaker Herman Muller, among others, served to disseminate the lecherous chicken groper further afield.
   97. JMPH Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3420920)
Am I the only Primate who lacks a collection of baseball books? I have Bill James' Historical Abstract, Tango & Lichtman's The Book (thanks, Dave Pinto!), a Rob Neyer book, and that's it.

I've found that my collection has grown a lot through two sources--books I receive as gifts and books I buy when I need something to read on a trip. If not for those two sources, my collection would be a lot like yours. In fact, I think Moneyball is the only baseball book I've gone out of my way to buy without having a trip coming up.
   98. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:26 PM (#3420924)
Am I the only Primate who lacks a collection of baseball books? I have Bill James' Historical Abstract, Tango & Lichtman's The Book (thanks, Dave Pinto!), a Rob Neyer book, and that's it.

Well, you've already got the one book I'd probably keep (the BJNHBA) if I had to reduce my collection to one, and anything by Neyer is worth reading. (I don't have Tango's yet.)

And as for all those books you don't have, j ust remember what Jack Webb once said in Red Nightmare: In America, there's always a tomorrow.

Ironically enough my dad has shelves full of baseball books (especially Yankees ones...hmmm I think my dad and Andy would have a lot to talk about over coffee...).

Probably so, but if we met at one of our houses we'd probably be frisking each other, both on the way in and on the way out.
   99. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:28 PM (#3420926)
I check out other people's bookshelves as well... yet do not have ours set up in such a way that would impress anybody (you'd first see rows of mismatched baseball alamancs).

Office: Five 8' shelves, about 35% of the shelf space is for sports books. Most of that is double stacked. Little of it is organized. Have another 16' or so of book shelves in a bedroom closet, mostly 3rd tier baseball stuff (so, if I'm wondering what Jay Johnstone hit against groundballers type stuff). Have been slowly ditching as much as I'll permit myself to ... it's 2009, I can use the internet for a lot of research + I live near a library. My wife fancies herself a collector of Victorian kid lit, though we don't have enough for that to be true yet. Now that we've two young kids (3, 1), we're buying books for them at an alarming rate (many at a $7/bag sale from said library system). They've each got overstuffed mini-bookshelves too.

I'm a pretty fast reader (though my retention can be doubted), but am terrible about putting a book down. I tend to read novels in two or three sittings, which means I no longer read many novels. (In HS, I would regularly go on 24-, 36-hour reading binges - just me, a stack of books, and a two-liter of soda. I .... didn't have much of a social life.) Trying to stick to easy fluff for now - Infinite Jest (unstarted) is taunting me, though.
   100. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 23, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3420929)
Am I the only Primate who lacks a collection of baseball books?


I devoured baseball books as a kid, but I haven't bought a baseball book in a long time, and don't really read them (I will buy Dag's at some point, even though I've read more than half of it already).
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