Apr 29, 2018

Book life update

I am logged in. It is Sunday, April 29 of the year two thousand and eighteen. I'm writing because I feel guilty for all of the books that I bought today. Well, only guilty out of the senses of obligation of needing to read them. I don't feel guilty for spending the money, but I do feel guilty knowing that I probably won't get to all of them. Buying a book feels like making a commitment to it and to myself that I will invest time and energy into reading it and absorbing what it has to say. There's a couple of books that I've failed to do this with. They pile up on my bookshelf and I feel guilty about them. Guilty about not finding the time to devote to them. Guilty about contemplating the future in which I have the knowledge that they would impart. Guilty about thinking I could buy them and that that would force myself into finding time for them.

I bought a bunch of books today. I went a bit wild in the Urban Studies and Econ section of the bookstore. But it was hard not to! They had all of these books that I've been wanting to read but haven't committed to yet there in one place.

David Graeber's Debt, 5000 years. I would have said no except that I realized that it was written by an anthropologist and I'm interested in debt because I'm hoping that it explains some questions I have about monetary policy. Questions that I think that only reading about history can help answer, not reading theory.

Last Interviews with Jane Jacobs. I haven't read any Jacobs in a while, but I've had this one on my long term reading list. It's just 4 interviews, so it's pretty short. I'm also trying to buy books that I have a high probability of actually reading and interviews are things I always enjoy. The last interview in the book is one of my favorite. It was originally printed in the back of my copy of The Question of Sepratism and I've even gone so far as to illegally transcribe it onto my other blog. Lol.

Some book on BART. Basically a history book of how BART got made. I did a lot of reading when I lived in NYC to prep myself for giving tours of 34th street and really loved how learning about the history of the city changed my relationship with it, made it feel more like a place that I deeply understood and loved. I think I'd like to read more books on the history of SF, and BART seems like a wonderful place to start.

The second book in the Binti sci fi series, Home.  I read the first one, more like a chapbook than a novel and accidentally bought the 3rd one, so I needed the 2nd one. I didn't love the first but feel like I should finish the series up seeing as they're pretty goddamn short.

I really splurged on Michael Lewis's books. Dog Eared Books had both Panic and The Big Short, and I know that I'll read and really enjoy both of them, so I went ahead and indulged.  I really really love the stories that Michael chooses to tell, and I'm 100% confident that I'll actually end up reading these so I don't feel too bad about spending the money on them.

It's a lowkey goal of mine to read most to all of both Michael Lewis's and Hannah Arendt's works. They had a new collection of works and correspondences of Arendt's at the store that I was *sorely* tempted to pick up, Thinking without a Banister. But! I'm in the middle of Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism and have her On Violence at home, and figured that was more than enough to see me through. Also, a short note on collections, I'm not always a fan of reading excerpts and strange collections of notes from authors. There's something to be said about a finished, fully considered and published work.  Notes and one off ideas are nice, but they don't really get to the crux of the piece, you know?

Other books that I've got in my 'reading' stack that I wish I had more time to devote to: Benjamin Graham's Intelligent Investor. Bunny Huang's book on Making Things. Jane Jacob's first book, Constitutional Chaff. Papers for the Lightning network. A short book of Wittenstein's. The Karl Marx book that Kate Losse recommended I read and now I can't remember the name of. Oops.

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