How many books do you read at once?

A cozy, genteel room to discuss books, authors, and things literary.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

How many books do you read at once?

Post by IcedNote » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:16 am

I can't stand reading more than one book at a time. Don't know why...just always been that way. However, every now and then I'll have one fiction and one non-fiction book going...but that's that!

You?

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Brendan

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Brendan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:38 am

Always a few. At present, Fran O'Rourke's Pseudo-Dionysius and the Metaphysics of Aquinas (which brings in the works of Aquinas and St Denys, plus Rorem's Commentary on the works of St Denys), John Nolland's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew in the NIGTC series, Jay Winnik's The Great Upheaval - the Birth of the Modern World 1788 - 1800, George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones and Hans Urs von Balthasar's The Glory of the Lord - A Theological Aesthetics Volume VII: theology - The New Covenant.

Plus the Bible, various poems and such, of course.

John F
Posts: 19754
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by John F » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:38 am

I don't read much fiction - hardly any, actually - and while I read a lot of non-fiction, it's rarely cover-to-cover continuously from beginning to end. (Quite a few books aren't meant to be read that way, such as collections of essays or poems.) So the apartment is full of books I haven't finished reading, though I may turn out to be finished with them.
John Francis

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Ralph » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:21 am

About a half dozen.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Madame
Posts: 3552
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:56 am

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Madame » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:47 pm

Whew! I was afraid there was something TERRIBLY wrong with me. :shock:

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:47 pm

There were several periods in my younger days when I was reading several things at once, and five years ago I spent about six months researching the various versions of the New Testament, Chapter and Verse, to compare them...their differences in wording...in an attempty to discover how and why there are so many different "flavors" of Christianity here in the U.S. I read primarily non-fiction....biography, history, economics, science and technology related subjects....and generally read one at a time.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26737
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:07 pm

Dennis Spath wrote:There were several periods in my younger days when I was reading several things at once, and five years ago I spent about six months researching the various versions of the New Testament, Chapter and Verse, to compare them...their differences in wording...in an attempty to discover how and why there are so many different "flavors" of Christianity here in the U.S.
A thankless task, no? Read Richmond Lattimore's "neutral" translation of the Gospels and you'll discover that it along with all the more or less faith-based translations say pretty much the same thing. It's just not sufficiently high-falutin' literature to invite a range of differences (the Old Testament is another matter). I once looked at a bunch of translations of John 1:20 because I was sure that "And he [the Baptist] confessed and denied not, but said plainly 'I am not the Christ'" had to be a mis-translation, but they all say pretty much exactly that. Evidently the confusion of meaning goes right back to the evangelist.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:26 am

Thanks much for that suggestion. For those interested in how and when the versions of the Bibles we have today (RC & KJV) were cobbled together over time, the most illuminating and easy to read account I've found as it relates to U.S. Christianity was "The Bible: A History" by Stephen M Miller & Robert V Huber. Students of History will be delighted by their objective and non-sectarian presentation of historical fact, while those of an Evangelical bent who believe "their" Bible is the actual word of God may be scandalized.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by IcedNote » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:37 am

Dennis Spath wrote:Thanks much for that suggestion. For those interested in how and when the versions of the Bibles we have today (RC & KJV) were cobbled together over time, the most illuminating and easy to read account I've found as it relates to U.S. Christianity was "The Bible: A History" by Stephen M Miller & Robert V Huber. Students of History will be delighted by their objective and non-sectarian presentation of historical fact, while those of an Evangelical bent who believe "their" Bible is the actual word of God may be scandalized.
You had me all excited to read that book, but then I saw this review from Publishers Weekly (courtesy of Amazon):

This attractively packaged volume aims to introduce readers to the "remarkable story" of "how the Bible came to be, how it survived, and how it changed the world." Miller (a Protestant) and Huber (a Catholic) present their material topically in two-page spreads containing illustrations and informational text boxes, and make a sincere effort to present an ecumenical narrative using a variety of academic approaches. To their credit, subjects such as modern methods of biblical interpretation, the Bible in movies and other media, and the Bible’s relation to slavery, sexism and abortion are handled in a broadminded way. However, their overall reliance on a faith-based understanding of the Bible’s history (i.e., as the noble struggle to preserve an accurate, authentic version of God’s word against human error and falsification) often leads them to downplay social, economic and political forces. This is most notable in their presentation of missionaries, which ignores the ties between religion and colonialism and only mentions in passing the damage inflicted around the globe as Christianity and European empires expanded side-by-side. Non-Christians (and many Christians) may bristle at the breezy descriptions of good-hearted missionaries bravely carrying God’s word abroad "for the sole purpose of letting others read God’s story for themselves." In addition, the book’s frequent reliance on outdated (and traditionally Protestant) interpretations of church history will likely make some Catholics and Orthodox Christians uneasy. Their portrayal of brave, reform-minded theologians battling the corrupt, monolithic Roman Church is too simplistic even for a general introduction and often rides roughshod over the diversity of Christian beliefs, whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. Nonetheless, Christians—particularly Protestants—looking for an accessible introduction to the composition and transmission of the Bible will find the bulk of this book edifying.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:31 pm

Given his/her overly simplistic description of the Miller-Huber collaboration, I'm led to wonder whether the reviewer actually read the book, or had instead a personal "scholarly" axe to grind regarding style and/or content. Yes, this History of the Bible is directed exclusively at an American audience and ignores other Protestant-Catholic colonialism issues worldwide....which IMO is it's most advantageous feature given our cultural inheritance of Christian Faith traditions in the U.S.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

Guitarist
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Davis, CA

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Guitarist » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:11 pm

Often four! The three that I'm teaching to my different high school classes and one for pleasure. (That's not to say that I don't derive pleasure from the books that I teach!)

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:44 am

Guitarist wrote:Often four! The three that I'm teaching to my different high school classes and one for pleasure. (That's not to say that I don't derive pleasure from the books that I teach!)
Question: Do you have a choice of the textbooks you may use in your classes, or are they mandated for your use by the local or State School Administrators??
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

Guitarist
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Davis, CA

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Guitarist » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:59 am

Dennis Spath wrote:
Guitarist wrote:Often four! The three that I'm teaching to my different high school classes and one for pleasure. (That's not to say that I don't derive pleasure from the books that I teach!)
Question: Do you have a choice of the textbooks you may use in your classes, or are they mandated for your use by the local or State School Administrators??
The English department selects the books (they must go through a lengthy approval process--the school board makes the final determination ). Each class has far more choices than could be reasonably covered in a year, so the teachers have a fair amount of latitude in selecting them. Four books from each class level are selected as "core," and each teacher must teach those; the rest are free options.

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:30 pm

You must be teaching in a far more enlightened State'Environment than a saw being discussed on C-Span a few days ago....with regard to what Teachers of History and Biology had to deal with in some States.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

Guitarist
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Davis, CA

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Guitarist » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:50 pm

Dennis Spath wrote:You must be teaching in a far more enlightened State'Environment than a saw being discussed on C-Span a few days ago....with regard to what Teachers of History and Biology had to deal with in some States.
Absolutely! Here are my reading lists:

American Literature:

Black Boy
The Great Gatsby
Slaughterhouse-Five
Their Eyes Were Watching God
The Old Man and the Sea
Huckleberry Finn
The Color Purple
Inherit the Wind
The Crucible

Short Stories by Faulkner, Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, and others

English 10

The Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
The Illustrated Man
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies
Oedipus
Macbeth
Cyrano de Bergerac
In the Time of the Butterflies


AP English Lit

King Lear
Heart of Darkness
Crime & Punishment
Catch-22
Metamorphosis
The Stranger
Native Son
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
1984
Hamlet
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead


As you can see, a few titles are rather controversial, especially The Color Purple--I am very surprised but pleased to be able to teach it!

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:25 pm

Unfortunately there is a quite high percentage of College Grads who've yet to read your High School AP List!
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by IcedNote » Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:52 pm

Dennis Spath wrote:Unfortunately there is a quite high percentage of College Grads who've yet to read your High School AP List!
Count me as one of them!

I read a lot (granted it's mostly nonfiction)...but I've just never been a fan of "the classics." I don't know why, but whenever I'm browsing for books, I'd much rather give a new author a shot than go for the tried'n'true. Maybe that'll change one day. :)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Guitarist
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Davis, CA

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Guitarist » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:56 pm

IcedNote wrote:
Dennis Spath wrote:Unfortunately there is a quite high percentage of College Grads who've yet to read your High School AP List!
Count me as one of them!

I read a lot (granted it's mostly nonfiction)...but I've just never been a fan of "the classics." I don't know why, but whenever I'm browsing for books, I'd much rather give a new author a shot than go for the tried'n'true. Maybe that'll change one day. :)

-G
Maybe you should audit my class. :D

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by IcedNote » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:22 am

Guitarist wrote:Maybe you should audit my class. :D
Nah...I don't like to knowingly lower people's opinions of me. :P

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26737
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:23 am

IcedNote wrote:
Guitarist wrote:Maybe you should audit my class. :D
Nah...I don't like to knowingly lower people's opinions of me. :P

-G
Or vice versa? :wink:

Don't feel bad, Garrett. I'm also always hit or miss for any given reading list. But I still scored 100% on E.D. Hirsch's Cultural Literacy. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

D
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by D » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:32 pm

If I'm reading a book and a second book is calling out to me, I will share my reading time with both, switching off between them. If there's a third book screaming my name, well then we will make it a threesome.

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:45 pm

D wrote:If I'm reading a book and a second book is calling out to me, I will share my reading time with both, switching off between them. If there's a third book screaming my name, well then we will make it a threesome.
Just curious....is that fiction or nonfiction which so engages you?
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

D
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by D » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:54 pm

It can be either, though I mainly read fiction.

Dennis Spath
Posts: 668
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:59 pm
Location: Tyler, Texas

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Dennis Spath » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:41 am

The reason I asked was my ex-wife's habit of reading Agatha Christie mysteries...just picking one up at random and reading for an hour or two. In the 21 years we were married I'm sure she'd read every one at least five times or more!
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

D
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by D » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:49 am

I've read one of her mysteries. I enjoyed it, although I haven't picked up any more since. Too many books to read! :)

HoustonDavid
Posts: 1222
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by HoustonDavid » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:23 pm

D wrote:If I'm reading a book and a second book is calling out to me, I will share my reading time with both, switching off between them. If there's a third book screaming my name, well then we will make it a threesome.
David, I'm like you, I get an itch for a new book quite frequently, but it's because my
shelf of "books to be read" is down to three or four. Panic will set in, knowing I will soon
be out of new material, and I head for Half Price Bookstore, which is several miles away,
but significantly cheaper than the nearest Barnes & Noble. They have a chain here in
several states (maybe not in Minnesota?) and are an excellent source to renew a reading
library at modest cost; they also buy back those I don't want to keep, which is most.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

D
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by D » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:25 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:
D wrote:If I'm reading a book and a second book is calling out to me, I will share my reading time with both, switching off between them. If there's a third book screaming my name, well then we will make it a threesome.
David, I'm like you, I get an itch for a new book quite frequently, but it's because my
shelf of "books to be read" is down to three or four. Panic will set in, knowing I will soon
be out of new material, and I head for Half Price Bookstore, which is several miles away,
but significantly cheaper than the nearest Barnes & Noble. They have a chain here in
several states (maybe not in Minnesota?) and are an excellent source to renew a reading
library at modest cost; they also buy back those I don't want to keep, which is most.
Yeah, we have them up here too. Lately I've been ordering from the library. Saving up for vacation and running out of room for books.

HoustonDavid
Posts: 1222
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by HoustonDavid » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:50 pm

That brings up a very interesting adjunct to this thread: what is the future of libraries
in these days of Kindle and other E-readers. With thousands of titles at reasonable
prices right at your fingertips....will we make those trips to the library in the cold of
winter or the heat of summer? Will competition drive prices down and make the readers
even more of a temptation? I, for one, am thinking seriously about the investment,
and I have loved books for longer than my memory... :(
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

D
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by D » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:54 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:That brings up a very interesting adjunct to this thread: what is the future of libraries
in these days of Kindle and other E-readers. With thousands of titles at reasonable
prices right at your fingertips....will we make those trips to the library in the cold of
winter or the heat of summer? Will competition drive prices down and make the readers
even more of a temptation? I, for one, am thinking seriously about the investment,
and I have loved books for longer than my memory... :(
The Twin Cities library network has e-books, music downloads and all that other funky stuff.

HoustonDavid
Posts: 1222
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by HoustonDavid » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:01 pm

But don't you still have to go out in the cold of winter and the heat of summer? I must
admit to not visiting a modern library in several years because of the availability of books
on even a modest budget, almost anywhere I go - the supermarket, used book stores,
even donations by my fellow residents who read and leave books in our small building
library. I rarely find the need to go to the public library anymore.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

D
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by D » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:08 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:But don't you still have to go out in the cold of winter and the heat of summer? I must
admit to not visiting a modern library in several years because of the availability of books
on even a modest budget, almost anywhere I go - the supermarket, used book stores,
even donations by my fellow residents who read and leave books in our small building
library. I rarely find the need to go to the public library anymore.
The downloads you can obtain from the comfort of your own home. The books you can order online and pick up at your leisure. I'm only doing this because, as I said, space is running out and we're saving for vacation. Besides, I don't keep many of my books so why pay for them?

absinthe
Posts: 3578
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:13 pm
Location: UK

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by absinthe » Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:11 pm

I've tried reading two books at once. Trouble is my left eye is slightly longer-sighted than the right so I have to hold the books at different distances.

;)

Madame
Posts: 3552
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:56 am

Re: How many books do you read at once?

Post by Madame » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:49 pm

absinthe wrote:I've tried reading two books at once. Trouble is my left eye is slightly longer-sighted than the right so I have to hold the books at different distances.

;)
:P :P :P

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests