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Weekend Vanity: A Few Books I'm Hanging Onto
3/2/13 | dagogo redux

Posted on 03/02/2013 1:18:46 PM PST by dagogo redux

I’ve been an avid reader since childhood, and probably several thousand books have come and gone from my shelves over the decades. As with many other accumulated belongings, I’m getting to the age where the end is in sight, even if these perilous times pass, and society does get back on track.

And so, last weekend I loaded many boxes of books into my pickup, and took them to sell for in-house credit at a local used book store. The money/credit was not that important to me - I mostly wanted to circulate the books back to people who might get something from them. The store owner called me that evening after going through it all for many hours. He was rather amazed at the widely eclectic nature of the books, some of which he said he’d been looking for for years, so I quipped, “You ought to see the ones I’m keeping!”

This got me to thinking that it might be of interest to some of you if I spark a discussion by listing the few I’m keeping that might be of general interest to Freepers. Since almost no one here would care or understand, I will not list the core Buddhist and Hindu scriptures and texts I’m hanging onto, nor my professional medical or psychiatric library, nor books on bonsai, chess, writing, nor quirky little odds and ends of various types that are probably of special interest to me alone. I think I’ll leave the SHTF books and manuals off the list for now, too - perhaps some other time.

TOPICS: Books/Literature
KEYWORDS: books; founding; history; philosophy
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So here are a few I’m hanging onto:

A. Classical and Philosophical [Because the translation and editing make such a huge difference in these works, I’ve gone against tradition and placed that info before the actual author and work]

1. Robert Fagles’ translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Sophocles’ Three Theban Plays, and Aeschylus’ Oresteia.

2. The Hackett edition: Plato: Complete Works.

3. The Modern Library edition: The Basic Works of Aristotle.

4. Dumb Ox Books’ edition: St. Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics.

5. Oxford World’s Classics edition: Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics.

6. Classic Club edition: T. W. Higginson’s translation: Epictetus’ Discourses and Enchiridion.

7. Modern Library edition: Gregory Hays’ translation: Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

8. Oxford World’s Classics edition: P. G. Walsh’s translation: Cicero’s On Obligations (De Officiis).

9. Loeb Classic Library edition [In original Latin, and English translation by J. E. King]: Cireco’s Tusculan Disputations.

10. Modern Library two volume edition: Plutarch’s Lives.

B. Our American Heritage

1. George Washington: Writings. The Library of America.

2. The Adams-Jefferson Letters. University of North Carolina Press.

3. Notes of the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Reported by James Madison. Ohio University Press.

4. The Business of May Next: James Madison and the Founding. William Lee Miller, University Press of Virginia.

5. Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution. Richard Beeman. Random House.

6. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. Edwin Meese III, Matthew Spalding, David Forte. Regnery Publishing and the Heritage Foundation.

7. How to Read the Federalist Papers. Anthony Peacock. The Heritage Foundation; First Principles Series.

8. The 5000 Year Leap: The 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World. W. Cleon Skousen. National Center for Constitutional Studies.

9. A Patriot’s History of the United States. Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen. Sentinel/ Penguin Group.

C. Nostalgia and Pure Pleasure

1. Boy Scout Handbook: A Handbook of Training for Citizenship Through Scouting. Sixth Edition, Second Printing, 1960. Boy Scouts of America. [Complete with ads at the back for - among other manly interests - Marlin, Winchester, Savage/Stevens, Remington, and Mossberg rifles, as well as Daisy BB rifles.]

2. The Family of Man. Created by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art. 1955.

3. Siddhartha. Herman Hesse. Tr. by Hilda Rosner. New Directions Paperback. Printed 1957.

4. The Poetry of Robert Frost. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1969.

5. Howl and Other Poems. Allen Ginsberg. City Lights Books, 1956 & 1959.

6. The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play. Wallace Stevens. Vintage Books Edition. 1972.

7. A Natural History of Western Trees. Donald Culross Peattie. Bonanza Books. 1953.

8. On the Loose. Jerry & Renny Russell. Sierra Club-Ballantine Books. 1967.

9. Tao Te Ching. Lao Tsu. Tr. by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. Vintage Books. 1972.

10. Four Quartets. T.S. Eliot. Harcourt, Inc. 1943.

11. The Tokyo-Montana Express. Richard Brautigan. Dell. 1980.

12. The Hand of God: Thoughts and Images Reflecting the Spirit of The Universe. Edited by Michael Reagan. Templeton Foundation Press. 1999.

1 posted on 03/02/2013 1:18:52 PM PST by dagogo redux
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To: dagogo redux
Good for you.

I too once had a ginormous library. But I realized that I would never read about 90% of my novels and other books again.

So I got rid of them. Kept the ones that I do look at again.

But I got rid of encyclopedias and dictionaries. They took up way too much space, and with the internet, I can get the freshest information on any subject they might cover.

2 posted on 03/02/2013 1:25:08 PM PST by boop ("You don't look so bad, here's another")
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To: dagogo redux

I’m keeping all my Greek and Roman stuff, classic pulp paperbacks, illustrated first edition children’s books, and so on.

3 posted on 03/02/2013 1:26:11 PM PST by Argus
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To: boop

I always wanted an Encyclopedia Britannica but they were always just too expensive. In the last 20 years I have acquired several complete sets which were either dirt cheap or given away.

They are just stacked up in a storage room but I am glad I have them anyway. Every now and then I will go to the real effort to find something in one of them.

You are correct of course. With the internet you can research about anything mostly for free.

4 posted on 03/02/2013 1:40:25 PM PST by yarddog (Per Ardua Ad Alta.)
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To: dagogo redux

With failing vision, I parted with 99% of my books and am relying on Nook That way I can enlarge the font and manage to read for enjoyment again. Since I am downsizing now that would have had to happen anyway.
Perhaps, if I live too much longer, I will have to switch to an audio book service.
We adjust.

5 posted on 03/02/2013 1:45:43 PM PST by ruesrose (The Anchor Holds)
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To: dagogo redux

I hope you have a Bible, and read it. In the end it will be the only book that matters.

6 posted on 03/02/2013 2:03:56 PM PST by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: dagogo redux
I am hanging onto my old Human Events and National Reviews.

Just cuz.

7 posted on 03/02/2013 2:11:41 PM PST by Slyfox (Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness -G Wash.)
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To: dagogo redux

I’ve over 15,000 volumes of which at least 1/2 are reference, textbooks, or history. I may some day be able to part with some of those that are fiction, but there will always be volumes that have more meaning than just their words due to their ties to a part of my past.

Books are my guilty pleasure if I start to part with them it will either be out of my control or because I know my time is at an end.

But my 20K comics that’s another matter all together :)

8 posted on 03/02/2013 2:16:50 PM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: dagogo redux

Isn’t it funny how we think of our books when we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel? I’m mulling over the same chore. So many books, so little time. I have, over time, given away a ton of books and still can’t find room for the ones I “can’t bear to part with.” I have kept my books on Theology from seminary. I still have the full Kittle set on the Greek, and all the reference books on Hebrew. I have practically no fiction books. I covet your number 4 & 9 & 12. I would also love to have the ones on Plato and Aristotle. Reading is life to me. If I ever lose the ability to read just bury me.

9 posted on 03/02/2013 3:44:44 PM PST by WVNan
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To: beethovenfan

Beat me by thaaaat much. I would also add at least one research Bible and a daily devotional such as “My Utmost for His Highest”. Other good reference books can even be found in thrift stores. They’re mine, too.

Also love native American research, 19th century history and, of course, westerns and western explorer novels.

Guess I’m just too stupid and dull for some of those “works” noted.

10 posted on 03/02/2013 4:11:55 PM PST by wizr (We are "one Nation, under God " or "one nation, trod under ". Keep the Faith.)
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To: dagogo redux

A couple years ago, I picked up a 52 volume set of Great Books of the Western World, copyright 1952, from a garage sale for $20! I don’t think they had ever even been OPENED, much less read. Don’t know if I’ll ever read them, but I want to. If I spent as much time reading them, as I do on Free Republic, I could probably be 1/3 of the way through.

The set includes authors from Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Aquinas, Shakespeare, Milton, ADAM SMITH (YEAH), and even Marx and Engels. The one that I wish it had also is The Road to Serfdom, but I’m keeping my eye out! I find it difficult to get rid of books....

11 posted on 03/02/2013 4:23:08 PM PST by Mama Shawna
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To: dagogo redux

12 posted on 03/02/2013 4:29:39 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim


Smoke from a Thousand Campfires, by Paul Dougherty

Up Front, Bill Mauldin

Back Home, Bill Mauldin

The Brass Ring, Bill Mauldin

Many Uncle Wiggly books, Howard Garis

Spiked Boots, Robert E. Pike

There are a LOT more, but those are the first to come to mind.

13 posted on 03/02/2013 4:40:13 PM PST by Mogger (Independence, better fuel economy and performance with American made synthetic oil.)
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To: WVNan; All

Thanks for your answers.

Sounds like many have faced the same task.

One of my earliest memories was my mother taking me for the first time to the local library. What a seed she planted!

I suppose enlargeable e-books and audiobooks and such might suffice when I can no longer manage the real thing, but books almost take on the aspect of old friends for me, or a new one I’m anxious to meet. The weight and physical substance of a tangible book, its palpable textures, it’s dry, serene odors, the refined look of the paper and the print and the page layout, the auditory treat of an opening binding or the rustling of a turned page or the unique thump of it closing - these things, far beyond the words themselves, give a book a life all its own. I think the lure of those pleasures - as much as the writings themselves - is one reason we hang on to so many books we’ll never read or never read again.

Young people have often missed this subtle joy in their fascination with flashier stimulation, but I don’t envy them at all. I also think they sadly miss the indefinable something about a book that helps transform mere information to knowledge, and knowledge to wisdom.

14 posted on 03/02/2013 5:21:02 PM PST by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: dagogo redux

“avid reader since childhood”: one of the top 4 or 5 blessings a person can have!

‘4. The Business of May Next’ most helpful book on the Founding IMO. Can’t recommend it enough. Still haven’t read ‘A Patriot’s History of the United States’ though, of course, I know the author to be worthy.

Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, another good choice.
Surprised not to see Herodotus’ Histories on there. Fascinating that Man has changed none- zero, zilch- since his time!

15 posted on 03/02/2013 5:26:02 PM PST by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: WVNan

I agree with you nan.

Reading has been my passion and comfort. My books were weeded recently and my beloved “daughter of the heart” an equally passionate reader gets whatever she wants.

None of my children love to read anymore.

16 posted on 03/02/2013 5:37:47 PM PST by Chickensoup (200 million unarmed people killed in the 20th century by Leftist Totalitarian Fascists)
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To: mrsmith

It was someone here, in fact - maybe you? - who recommended The Business of May Next to me. Madison’s “Notes” is more like the original scripture to me, almost sacred, but May Next is the key that unlocks the whole process.

I never enjoyed Herodotus as much as I felt I ought to, but I may simply have had a bad translation - I think getting a really good translation is key to the old classics unless one is truly conversant in the Greek or Latin oneself. This is one of my complaints about the Great Books collection that someone mentioned here: yes, those ARE the great books, but the translations and the horrible, horrible publishing - typesetting/font, page layout, paper, etc - made them into a chore to slog through.

I have a quote about the Meditations that I’ve always liked - I think comes from Clifton Fadiman in his “Lifetime Reading Plan”:

“Through the years the Golden Book of Marcus Aurelius, as it has been called, has been read by vast numbers of ordinary men and women. They have thought of it not as a classic but as a wellspring of consolation and inspiration. It is one of the few books that seem to have helped men directly and immediately to live better, to bear with greater dignity and fortitude the burden of being merely human. Aristotle one studies. Marcus Aurelius men take to their hearts.”

17 posted on 03/02/2013 6:15:33 PM PST by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: dagogo redux; 506trooper; aberaussie; Alberta's Child; AQGeiger; arbee4bush; Ax; Brasil; Burn24; ...

Ye Olde Book Club Ping

18 posted on 03/02/2013 7:42:06 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: dagogo redux; 506trooper; aberaussie; Alberta's Child; AQGeiger; arbee4bush; Ax; Brasil; Burn24; ...

Ye Olde Book Club Ping

19 posted on 03/02/2013 7:42:58 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: dagogo redux
Just picked up a copy of Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror" about the 14th century.

Picked up a couple of detective novels at the same time.

I have a Kindle which is handy at times but we have an excellent, excellent used book store which I will never tire of and the number of books on my personal library shelf continues to expand despite the e-book revolution.

20 posted on 03/02/2013 8:59:21 PM PST by what's up
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