Friday, July 31, 2009

Truth in Book Advertising

The chat this week on several book blogs has been about where we get most of our books, and whether getting a book as a freebie influences what we say about a book in our review. Marie at Boston Bibliophile has a great post on the subject. I urge you to read it. The comments that follow her post are equally thought provoking. So,to follow the trail, and to assure my readers that I'm not giving positive reviews just because I got the book for free, here's a breakdown of where/how I acquired the books I've reviewed since I started this blog: Since April, I've reviewed 67 books. Of those 42% were from my personal library --I either owned them, bought them, or inherited them. They physically reside with me. 38% came from public libraries. The remaining 19% were freebies--i.e., they were Advanced Review copies, galley proofs, or Early Review copies from LT's program. Anyone who has looked at my reviews here or on LT, knows that I am not afraid to say 'this book is not for me!' and in a couple of cases I've really panned a book I thought wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. So authors and publishers who send me their books to review, (and who have taken the time to investigate my reviews) will know that I don't sugar coat things. I even said I was disappointed in one that won the Pulitzer! I have decided in the future to alter my reviewing policies a bit.
  • First of all, I'm going to be more selective about books that I take to review...if it looks like something I know I won't enjoy, or have serious doubts about, or is a genre I don't normally read, then it's not be fair to the author to have me as a reviewer.
  • I'll only be accepting what I can expect to review within a month of receiving it. I'd love to say within a week, but often the books don't show up when you think they will, and then suddenly, 10 arrive in one week. I feel I have an obligation to do a fair review when I accept a book, and fairness includes timeliness. If my schedule is clogging up, I'm always up-front with the author or publisher about when I expect to be able to get a review done.
  • Although I usually mention it, I'm going to be vigilant about making sure my review includes information about the source of the book.
  • I'm also going to include a recommendation about whether I'd spend my own money on this book if I'm reviewing a freebie.
  • I'm only doing giveaways once a month. If too many others are already sponsoring the same contest, I'm going to pass. They are a lot of work for the blogger (time spent running contests is time NOT spent reading) and the publisher gets a whole lot of free publicity from blog contests, so my being more selective isn't going to hurt anybody.
Book blogging is fun. Reviewing books is fun. Receiving 'free' books is wonderful for all of us. But they're not 'free'--the average 300-500 page book takes about 10-12 hours to read, and about another hour to draft, edit and post a review. While I get to read books I might not have had the funds to buy, or never have heard of, the author and publisher get some feedback and publicity. Honest book bloggers just don't guarantee the publicity will always be totally positive.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

LT Birthday

It's been a year since I joined LibraryThing as a way to track both my collection of volumes and the reading I had done. When I discovered I could also keep books I didn't own yet but wanted to read and I could talk about books with like minded people, i truly had met my match. During the past year I've read 165 books, added 2367 books to my account, joined 15 groups, led an online book discussion (and participated in 4 others), and posted 98 reviews. In case you're curious, here's the list of books read. I'm in the process of constructing a sidebar to track blog reviews, but these titles are linked to mine or other interesting reviews on LT.

I'll start the list with my BEST OF THE YEAR (they may not have been originally published during this time, but they were the best I read during this period:

Non- Fiction:


1.Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

2. In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson

3.Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

4.Marley and Me by John Grogan

5. Free for all: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert.

6.1001 Books You Must read before you die

7.People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.

8. Purrfect Murder - A Rita Mae Brown mystery.

9.The Thirteen American Arguments by Howard Fineman.

10. The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule Thomas Frank

11.Bulls Island by Dorothea Frank

12.The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

13.Suite Francaise

14.Whole Truth David Baldacci

15.700 Sundays Billy Crystal

16.Don't Know Much about History Kenneth Davis

17.Friar and the Cipher Lawrence Goldstone

18.Tales from the Rhapsody Home John Gould

19.R is for Ricochet Sue Grafton

20. T is for Trespass Sue Grafton

21. Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

23.Constant Princess Philippa Gregory

24. Boleyn Inheritance Philippa Gregory

25.Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

26.Man in the Middle Brian Haig.

27. Third Angel by Alice Hoffman

28. Comfort Food Kate Jacobs

29. Friday Night Knitting Club Kate Jacobs

30. Children of Men P.D. James

31. Careless in Red Elizabeth George

32. Mermaid's Chair Sue Monk Kidd

33. Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd

34.Bootlegger's Daughter Margaret Maron

35.Eats, Shoots, and Leaves Lynne Truss

36.Remember ME? Sophie Kinsella

37. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive Alexander McCall Smith

38. Senator's Wife Sue Miller

39.What Happened Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception Scott McClellan

40. Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts Richard Peck

41.Three cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time Greg Mortensen

42.Julie and Julia:365 days,524 recipes Julie Powell

43.The Water's Lovely Ruth Rendell

44.When you Are engulfed in Flames David Sedaris

45.Innocent Traitor Alison Weir

46.The Bush Tragedy Jacob Weisberg

47. Best Defense Barbara Wilhelm

48.In the Land of Invisible Women Quanta Ahmed

49.Life on Wheels, the A to Z Guide to Living Fully with Mobility Issues by Gary Karp

50.Crocodile on the Sandbank Elizabeth Peters

51. Camel Club by David Baldacci

52.The Collectors by David Baldacci

53. Sweet Potato Queens Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner

54. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith.

55. 1st to Die James Patterson

56. 2nd Chance James Patterson

57. 3rd Degree James Patterson

58. 4th of July James Patterson

59. Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert.

60. Off Season Anne Rivers Siddons

61.Chocolate Chip Murder Mystery Joann Fluke

62.Pawing through the Past Rita Mae Brown

63.Shakespeare: World as Stage Bill Bryson

64.Bestseller! Jane Daniel

65.Prince Mammoth Pumpkin James Adams

66.The Gift of Story Clarissa Estes Pinkus

67.Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun Myriam Cyr

68.Sonnets from the Portuguese Elizabeth Barrett Browning

69.The Coffee Trader David Liss

70.America's Hidden History Kenneth C. Davis

71. Hard Row Margaret Maron

72. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader Ann Fadiman

73. The Spellman Files Lisa Lutz

74. Plato and a Platypus walk into a Bar Thomas Cathcart

75. Ella Minnow Pea Mark Dunn

76. A Few Quick ones P.G. Wodehouse

77. The Blackford Oakes Reader William F. Buckley, Jr.

78.Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett

79. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith

80.Comforts of a Muddy Saturday Alexander McCall Smith

81. Ship Fever Andrea Barret

82. Geography of Bliss Eric Weiner

83. Corduroy Mansions Alexander McCall Smith

84. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin

85. 16 Lighthouse Road Debbie Macomber

86. Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind who changed the bible and why Bart Erhman

87. The Shape of Water Andrea Camilleri

88. Sixpence House Paul Collins

89. The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovannino Guareschi

90. One Man's Meat E.B. White

91.Year of Living Biblically A.J. Jacobs

92.Christ the Lord: the Road to Cana Anne Rice

93.Being Catholic Now Kerry Kennedy

94.Sarah: A Novel Marek Halter

95.Dating Jesus Susan Campbell

96.Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis

97.Suffer the Little children Donna Leon

98.Blood from a Stone Donna Leon

99.Stupid American History a stupid ER book

100.Heart and Soul Maeve Binchy

101.The Lady Elizabeth Alison Weir

102. The Inferno Dante

103. Amazing Grace Kathleen Norris

104. The Shack Wm. P Young

105. So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson

106. Here Lies the Librarian Richard Peck

107. The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon Stephen King

108. Bad Blood Linda Fairstein

109. The New 50 Simple Things Kids can Do to Save the Earth

110.There is a Season Joan Chittister

111. Delectable Mountains by Earlene Fowler.

112. NIGHT by Elie Wiesel

113. Mysteries of the Middle Ages the Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe by Thomas Cahill

114.Summer in Tuscany by Elizabeth Adler

115. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

116. The Other Queen Philippa Gregory.

117. Longitude Dava Sobel

118. New England Tales Sarah Orne Jewett

119. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Edward Fitzgerald

120. Scarecrow and his Servant Philip Pullman

121. Lethal Legacy Linda Fairstein

122. Last Night at the Lobster Stewart O'Nan

123. Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature through Peace and War at West Point Elizabeth Samet

124. The Frozen Thames Helen Humphreys

125.Girl of His Dreams Donna Leon

126. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay Nancy Mitford.

127. Taste for Death P.D. James

128. The Curious case of Benjamin Button F. Scott Fitzgerald

129. Our Lady of the Artichokes and other Portuguese-American Stories. Katherine Vaz

130. Ants on the Melon Virginia Hamilton Adair

131.The Link Colin Tudge

132.Mint Julep Murder Carolyn Hart

133.Scarecrow Michael Connelly

134.On What Grounds Cleo Coyle

135.Tea Time for the Traditionally Built Alexander McCall Smith

136.Reading Lolita in Tehran Azar Nafisi

137.Losing Mum and Pup Christopher Buckley

138.Morning Poems Robert Bly

139.Lobster Chronicles Linda Greenlaw

140.Cream Puff Murder Joanne Fluke

141.Short and Tall Tales – Lilian Jackson Braun

142.Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World – Vicki Myron

143.Cemetery Dance Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

144.Food of Portugal Jean Anderson

145.Dinner at Mr Jefferson’s Charles Cerami

146.All Other Nights by Dara Horn

147.Executive Privilege – Philip Margolin

148.Little Fingers – Filip Florian

149.Deadly Nightshade Cynthia Riggs

150.The Alchemist Paulo Coelho

151.American Lion Jon Meacham

152.Fatally Flaky Diane Mott Davidson

153. Yellow-Lighted Bookshop Lewis Buzbee

All in all, it's been a very exciting book year. Join me in another one.

999 Challenge Books Category

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop I have a category in my 999 Challenge labeled "Books about books and libraries." To finish up this category, I read this light easy volume tracing the history of booksellers and their relation/interdependence on publishers. Buzbee does a good job of explaining the business model of most of today's American bookstores, and presents a gentle validation for bibliophiles that it's ok not to be able to read every book every written. I didn't read it for a full review, but rather just to feel good about my out of control book buying habit! If you're curious, here are the 9 books I finished to complete this category: 1. Free for all: oddballs, geeks and gangstas in the public library by Dan Borchert 2. Ex Libris Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman 4. So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson 5. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi 6. The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel 7. Dewey the Small-Town Library Cat by Vicki Myron 8. The YellowLighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee 9. Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature throught peace and war at West Point by Elizabeth Samet. It was an eclectic, educational, enjoyable journey around the world of books. I have about 10 more to fit this category that went onto the TBR pile.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Review: Gods Behaving Badly

I have not enjoyed a book this much in years. It is pure laugh out loud fun. I'm sure there are people who will try to analyse it in terms of relations to present day religions, but I didn't try to make a theologic or anthropologic exercise out of it. If you ever studied Greek Mythology, you have enough under-pinnings to just plain love the hilarious antics. This was my weekly audio book, and the narrator was British. I had a great deal of fun with the human heroine named Alice--I kept picturing her as Alice, the ditzy side-kick to Dawn French in the old BBC series "Vicar of Dibley". Neil, her he doesn't realize he is, boyfriend, is such a mouse that you have to love his naivete, especially when he has to interact with gods he's never heard of and doesn't believe in. Apollo is portrayed as a promiscuous pompous ass, and the rivalry between Artemis and Aphrodite is played perfectly. The juxtaposition of the high intelligence of the one, and the extraordinary sex drive of the other is set against the futziness and foibles of a bunch of run-down deities trying to live together in a flat in London. It's a hoot! Put this one on the list of "I need a perk me up" -it won't let you down.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Musings- Online Book Databases

Although I don't normally participate in many of these weekly memes, Cathy at Kittling: Books raises an interesting question for which I have a definite answer:
Do you have an account with an online book database such as LibraryThing, Shelfari or GoodReads? If so, do you have a preference? Do you use it for - your own record keeping? finding new books to read? social networking?
I began my online book adventures one year ago this Thursday by joining LibraryThing(LT). Actually, I had established an account for my deceased father's books so all of his daughters, sons-in-laws, and grandchildren could go online and see what was available and let my mom know who might be interested in receiving what from dad's estate. In doing so, I saw how easy it was to use. Although I have another computer resident database program (Readerware) that I've used for years, and still do keep current, LT offered me a better search engine, and the ability to share my books and info with other online--about the only functionality books that Readerware(RW) didn't have. So.............I rushed back home to Maine, opened my own lifetime account, and began cataloging our own extensive collection. Later, mainly because I'm a very curious person, I began nosing around the groups/talk, and other social aspects. Within weeks, I was hooked. I've peeked at Goodreads and Shelfari, but don't see anything there that LT does not offer. I'm absolutely thrilled with LT and its capabilities, and the people who catalog and post there. Through my online LT friends, I've found literally hundreds of leads to books I would never have read. In fact, I've been preparing a one year anniversary recap for my LT profile, and I'm willing to say that over 50% of the books I've read this past year (there have been almost 200 of them) are LT recommendations. I especially love the challenges and groups and the ability to have on-line discussion groups without having to go to a third site. I tried Virtual Bookshelf on Facebook, but that was awful. I don't particularly like all the fusiness of Facebook anyway, and find it can get personally intrusive and obnoxious. Finally, and this is a biggie for me since I've done database maintenance work for a living, the staff at LT are phenomenal. The database works as advertised, they actually give you warnings of the extremely short down times they have, the staff openly solicits suggestions ---and not only LISTENS TO THEIR CUSTOMERS----they ACTUALLY GIVE US FEEDBACK, and keep us posted on everything going on. They are an incredibly dedicated, hard-working, intelligent and competent bunch. ---no I've never met any of them! Their witty sense of humor shines through and cements an incredible dedication to customer service. I started blogging just recently, more as a writing exercise and to develop Web 2.0 skills that I felt I needed in my work at our town library. When I found out that people would send me free books just as long as I read and reviewed them, I was really hooked!! The world of books and blogging is a fun, interesting, and meaningful way to contribute to the world of knowledge, especially for us chronologically advantaged semi-retirees. Thanks Cathy for asking the question. I look forward to seeing the replies you get.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Salon: July 26

It's been awhile since I've done a weekly update but this seems like a good time to sit back and recap what's been happening. I've had a wonderful week with visitors from Maryland and Virginia. My sister Cheli (of Cheli Can't Live without Books) escorted my granddaughter Kyla up to visit her Tutu and Tampa (when she was little she couldn't say "grandpa" so he became Tampa--it stuck). We all had loads of fun discovering books on Tutu's shelves and in Tutu's attic, going shopping (for books of course), eating ice cream, and visiting General Henry Knox's estate. Cheli returned home to Maryland yesterday, but T&T have another week with Kyla to attend the annual Lobster festival this coming week.It's been amazing to watch a young child who loves to read. She even brought with her a 'reading journal' to write down the books she had read!! Discoveries for this 8 year old this week include Carl Hiaasen's Hoot, Anne of Green Gables, The Little Prince, Dear Dumb Diary, The Prince Mammoth Pumpkin, Dewey the Small town Library Cat (the book actually fell off the shelf and landed at her feet!), and The Scarecrow and His Servant. And yesterday......... Tutu had to sheephishly approach the front desk at the big box bookstore in Portland to ask that we page G-girl so I didn't have to call her parents and say she'd been kidnapped! She'd disappeared into the puppet section. Talk about a moment of panic! So during the week while she was reading and Cheli was redesigning her blog, I was busy trying to catch up on a rapidly growing pile of ARCs that have been arriving almost daily now for the past week. I want to finish non ARCs Dear Fatty and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop to close out 2 of my last 3 categories for the 999 challenge. Gods Behaving Badly is the current audio. I'm thoroughly enjoying all three of them. When they're done however, I'm putting all challenges on hold (none of them has a deadline before the end of the year) to catch up on reviewing ARCs. Oops....there's also the ILL Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu that I have to read. I always feel obligated to return inter-library loans on time, and this one looks way to good to send back unread. Books in the ARC pile appear in the sidebar widget labelled "Waiting to be Reviewed." Cheli took one or two to do for a guest blog appearance later this month, hubbie is going to appear reviewing two, and I'm going to settle in for a lovely bunch of reading. We're going on a two week vacation to Europe the end of August, and while I'd love to drag them with me, I'm not. The luggage weight limit won't allow it, and I know I'll be too involved in sightseeing, wine tasting, and soaking up the cruise atmosphere celebrating a long marriage to worry about reviewing books. I also want to reformat my blog into a three column template (I'm working and testing it now) but the rest of this Sunday is going to be spent reading. I hope your summer Sunday is full of lemondade, sunshine, loving hugs, and good reading.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Favorites from the Past: The Mitford Series

Time for another Favorite Reads the meme hosted by Alyce at At Home with Books. Sometime during the past week, my blog feeder yielded a review of Home to Holly Hills, by Jan Karon. This book is actually the latest by Karon, but is almost a prequel to her previous books the beloved Fr. Tim, Mitford series. I have read Holly Hills, and the review brought to mind my fondness for the entire series which I read/listened too a couple years ago while I was quite ill. They are not the kind of soupy, gushy Christian feel goods that I normally read, but the gentleness of Tim and Cynthia as they fall in love, raise a foster child, deal with an engaging, delightful, and ever vexing congregation and neighbors in the small poverty-stricken North Carolina mountain town was so calming, validating, and full of warmth, that I fell in love with every character in each book, and could not wait for my husband to get to the library and get the next one as I finished each. I felt like I knew every one of them, and wanted Fr. Tim to come be our pastor. I went to Karon's website today, and note that she has a new book scheduled out but not until Oct 2010. I wonder if it will be something different? And I think I may have to re-read every one of them before then to be ready for whatever comes next. My apologies to the fellow blogger whose excellent review of Home to Holly Hills triggered this memory...I wanted to give you credit by name, but can't trace my steps back right now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giveaway: The Lost Dog

This one looks to be a real page turner. I can't wait for my review copy. Hachette is giving us a copy of The Lost Dog by Michelle deKretser. They catch our interest with this blurb:
Tom Loxley, an Indian-Australian professor, is less concerned with finishing his book on Henry James than with finding his dog, who is lost in the Australian bush. Joining his daily hunt is Nelly Zhang, an artist whose husband disappeared mysteriously years before Tom met her. Although Nelly helps him search for his beloved pet, Tom isn't sure if he should trust this new friend. Tom has preoccupations other than his book and Nelly and his missing dog, mainly concerning his mother, who is suffering from the various indignities of old age. He is constantly drawn from the cerebral to the primitive--by his mother's infirmities, as well as by Nelly's attractions. THE LOST DOG makes brilliant use of the conventions of suspense and atmosphere while leading us to see anew the ever-present conflicts between our bodies and our minds, the present and the past, the primal and the civilized.
About Michelle de Kretser Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Australia when she was fourteen. She was educated in Melbourne and Paris and has worked as an editor and a book reviewer. The Hamilton Case, her second novel, received the Commonwealth Writers Prize (SE Asia and Pacific region), and the Society of Authors’ (U.K.) Encore Award for best second novel of the year. It was also first runner-up for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Award in Fiction, and a New York Times Notable Book. The Lost Dog is her third novel. It was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and received the 2008 Christina Stead Prize for fiction. So these are the rules:
  • Leave a comment here -one comment to a customer : include
  1. your email address,
  2. if you are a follower,
  3. the link if you post the giveaway on your blog,
  • Open to US and Canadian addresses only (sorry no PO Boxes)
  • Comment no later than August 12th. I'll draw on August 13th.

Giveaway : The Blue Star

Hachette Books is offering us another great opportunity. This time we're giving away a copy of The Blue Star by Tony Earley. Scott Turow from the New York Time Book Review praised THE BLUE STAR saying, "I galloped through the novel and relished every page….Earley's simple prose is always informed by Jim's good heart….'The Blue Star,' like its hero, is irresistible." Here's how Hachette trumpets the book:
Seven years ago, readers everywhere fell in love with Jim Glass, the precocious ten-year-old at the heart of Tony Earley's bestseller Jim the Boy. Now a teenager, Jim returns in another tender and wise story of young love on the eve of World War Two. Jim Glass has fallen in love, as only a teenage boy can fall in love, with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chrissie is Bucky Bucklaw's girlfriend, and Bucky has joined the Navy on the eve of war. Jim vows to win Chrissie's heart in his absence, but the war makes high school less than a safe haven, and gives a young man's emotions a grown man's gravity. With the uncanny insight into the well-intentioned heart that made Jim the Boy a favorite novel for thousands of readers, Tony Earley has fashioned another nuanced and unforgettable portrait of America in another time--making it again even realer than our own day. This is a timeless and moving story of discovery, loss and growing up, proving why Tony Earley's writing "radiates with a largeness of heart" (Esquire).
About Tony Earley Tony Earley is the author of four books: Here We Are in Paradise, a collection of stories; the novel Jim the Boy; the personal essay collection Somehow Form a Family; and The Blue Star, a novel released in Spring, 2008. A winner of a National Magazine Award for fiction, he was named one of the twenty best writers of his generation by both Granta, in 1996, and The New Yorker in 1999. His fiction and/or nonfiction have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, The New Yorker, The Oxford American, The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South and many other magazines and anthologies. He is a native of western North Carolina and a graduate of Warren Wilson College and The University of Alabama. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and daughter, where he is the Samuel Milton Fleming Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Interview with Tony Earley Read a chapter excerpt So these are the rules:
  • Leave a comment here: one comment to a customer :include
  1. your email address,
  2. if you are a follower,
  3. the link if you post the giveaway on your blog,
  • Open to US and Canadian addresses only (sorry no PO Boxes)
  • Comment no later than August 12th. I'll draw on August 13th.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review: The Library At Night

This is a book that is almost impossible to do justice to in a review. It should be required reading for all bibliophiles, and certainly in library schools. A luscious book about libraries: ancient, modern, imagined, real, paper, stone, virtual, digital, scrolled, rolled, bound, shelved, piled, cataloged, but always there for generations to relish, to wallow in, to dream about and in, to build, to burn, to own, to borrow from, to discover, to remember, to organize or leave alone. Manguel is well read, has lived in (by his count) 6 countries and has books in a myriad of languages. His classical references, along with his easy acceptance of the possibilities of the WEB as a library make this a fascinating read. He examines the library as (a separate chapter for each) Myth, Order, Space, Power, Shadow, Shape, Chance, Workshop, Mind, Island, Survival, Oblivion, Imagination, Identity and Home. There are so many quotes I noted in my notebook, I could almost publish another book. Here are just a few: The Library as Myth:
" Every reader exists to ensure for a certain book a modest immortality. Reading is, in this sense, a ritual of rebirth." pg. 28
The Library as Order - here's one I can really relate to, and am still struggling with - how to arrange the books in one's library:
"For several weeks, I unpacked the hundreds of boxes that had, until then, taken up the whole of the dining-room, carried them into the empty library and then stood bewildered among teetering columns of books that seemed to combine the vertical ambition of Babel with the horizontal greed of Alexandria. For almost three months I sifted through these piles, attempting to create a kind of order, working from early in the morning to very late at night." pg. 41.
The Library as Space:
"It has always been my experience that, whatever groupings I choose for my books, the space in which I plan to lodge them, necessarily reshapes my choice and, more important, in no time proves too small for them and forces me to change my arrangement. pg 66.
The Library as Shadow:
"Every library is exclusionary, since its selection, however vast, leaves outside its walls endless shelves of writing that, for reasons of taste, knowledge, space and time, have not been included." pg. 107.
The Library as Island:
"Our society accepts the book as a given, but the act of reading--once considered useful and important, as well as potentially dangerous and subversive--is now condescendingly accepted as a pastime, a slow pastime that lacks efficency and does not contribute to the common good." p. 223.
The Library as Survival:
"...books can sometimes help us phrase our questions, but they do not necessarily enable us to decipher the answers. Through reported voices and imagined stories, books merely allow us to remember what we have never suffered and have never known." pg. 247.
The Library as Oblivion:
"I have no feeling of guilt regarding the book I have not read and perhaps will never read; I know that my books have unlimited patience. They will wait for me till the end of my days." pg. 254.
and finally the Library as Home:
"As we wander among our books, picking at random a volume from the shelves and leafing through it, the pages either astound us by the difference from our own experience or comfort us with their similitude." pg. 308
This is one read I will return to again and again.