Monday, January 20, 2014

My List of Books Read

There is an interesting post by Jamie Todd Rubin on how he has atomated what he calls his reading list. Perhaps it would more appropriately be called the list of "books read," as he list only books he finished reading in their entirety. Walter Benjamin, by the way, kept a paper notebook for this purpose. It is said to have contained the titles for any book he ever read. Rubin has a list of any book he read since 1996.

Rubin's post is meant to be a "case study in the versatility of text files." He lists: One book per line. Records only books he actually finished reading. Captures the title, author, and the date when he finished reading the book. In addition, he uses symbols to indicate whether a book was "particularly good" (*), whether he read it more than once (^), or he read the e-book version (+), or listened to the audio book (@). He also put this file into a public Dropbox folder and on a WordPress page.

I have no interest in publicizing my reading list. Nor am I overly concerned about having it available as a text file, as I keep my reading list in—you guessed it—ConnectedText. As I reported before, I create a topic for every book I buy or borrow in accordance with the following template (filled in with one of my latest purchases).

Kierkegaard, Sören (2000) //The Essential Kierkegaard//. Ed. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton: Princeton University Press
[[$PR:Bought:=20131207]] [[$PR:Read:=20140120]]

It's the properties "Bought" and "Read" that are most interesting in this context. They automatically create meta-pages called "Bought" and "Read" that looks like this:
Topics with property bought
(Chardin 1964)

(Jaspers 1997)

(Ortega 1961)

(Thielicke 1963)

(Ortega 1964)

(Gombrowicz 1966)

(Jaspers 1960)

etc., etc.

"Chardin" leads to the following page:

Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de (1964) //Auswahl Aus Dem Werk//. Tr. L. Häflinger, J. Bader, and K. Schmitz-Moormann//. Olten and Freiburg: Walter Verlag

This is one of the oldest books I had. I got it through some program at the S*** Institute in E***p. I think I got a book by Dag Hammerskjöld the next time; one of the reasons was for this choice was that we had to look for the books on a restricted list.

I read it then, and it sort of influenced me. [[noosphere]]

he is very much opposed to [[dualism]] and [[materialism]] wo der Geist fast als eine "Schimmelbildung" erscheint. He seems more like a vitalist of perhaps better [[Thomism|Thomist]]

Er glaubt, der Maulwurf sei ein Grabwerkzeug, der Vogel ein Fliegwerkzeug

der Mensch veräusserliche das Werkzeug. Ich glaube eher, dass Werkzeuge erst durch den Menschen in die Welt kommen (MK).

There really is very little about the noosphere in this book. It's severely dated


The category "External" means that it is no longer part of my "library." I have given it away. It also tags borrowed books. I find the listing on the category page very useful, as it shows me right away how useful the book was for me.

However, I also have a Python script on this page that looks like this:
<% Python
from gtd import *
It produces this list:
* 19651223 (Chardin 1964) [bought]
 * 19661101 (Jaspers 1997) [bought]
 * 19661121 (Ortega 1961) [bought]
 * 19661124 (Thielicke 1963) [bought]
I find the latter more useful, as it is more compact.

In any case, this represents my list of books I bought and read. I am planning a property "planned" that will also show up in my todos, but it will have to wait for retirement. Nor is the list of older books very complete as yet. I am still working on it.

What about text files? As you know, ConnectedText can save every topic to a text file with a "cbk" extension (unless you have encrypted the project).

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