Friday, June 23, 2017

Book of Books

I just read Pamela Paul's My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues. From the blurb:
Imagine keeping a record of every book you’ve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.

Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk – reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.
I enjoyed the book, though I would have liked to find out even more about Bob and I would have been satisfied to know somewhat less about Pamela. But it is a package deal, I guess.

Her practice reminds me of Walter Benjamin who also had a book in which he listed every book he ever read in its entirety. I find the practice intriguing and have emulated it half-heartedly, as you can see here.

1 comment:

Stephen Zeoli said...

I do the same. The list started about 40 years ago in an old composition notebook. One of the first things I did with my first computer (one of those "portable" Compaq computers with two floppy drives and a tiny monitor) was install a flat-file database and transferred the information from the paper notebook to the database. That data, morphed numerous times via CSV files, has gone from computer to computer. And it has grown -- slowly, because I am a picky and slow reader. But it is one of my most prized "possessions."