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(Meme) Books

2nd June 2010 (14:40)
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I've seen this meme going around before, and I've always wondered how to judge which is the "closest book to me". There's a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf just behind my left shoulder, and the book closest to my hip isn't the same as the one closest to my shoulder... and if I reach out my hand, it's yet another book that's the closest.

And if they're stacked vertically and one's sticking out a bit, is that the "closest" to me, or should I go for the one on the top of the pile which is easier to grab and therefore 'closest' in the functional rather than geographical sense? And do you count e-books saved to the computer I'm typing this on?

I bet the people who dreamed up this meme didn't consider these questions... 

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).

Anyway, of the various possibilities for closest book to me, one was the London A-Z. I don't think that even has sentences, unless you count street names. So here are the others:


The development and spread of urbanism in the classical period has already been described. Most classical cities were still in the ninth century inhabited places, many had become cathedral towns, almost all served as markets for their local areas. During the five hundred years from the ninth to the fourteenth centuries, existing cities for the most part increased in size and diversified the functions which they performed. Furthermore their ranks were joined by an even greater number of "new" towns. Town foundation became significant during the eleventh century and increased sharply during the twelfth and thirteenth and then, the potentialities for new foundations exhausted, tapered away (Fig. 5.8).
- N J G Pound, 'An Historical Geography of Europe'

"But see? It's that exact thing that's ticking me off. This whole 'Slayers only' attitude. Since when wouldn't I understand? You talk to me about everything! It's like - all of a sudden I'm not cool enough for you because I can't kill things with my bare hands!"
- Nancy Holder, 'The Watcher's Guide Vol. 2'

"Oh. That's a station call sign. Gotta have 'em."
"Why?" mumbled Gretchen. But—perhaps fortunately—Jimmy didn't hear her.
" 'SK-1' is Magdeburg. Chester'll be guarding the sked there. Uh . . . that means he's monitoring the frequency at scheduled times."
- Eric Flint, '1633'


(That last one is an e-book from the Baen Free Library).


I tag the first five people to read this. ;-)

Comments

Posted by: candleanfeather (candleanfeather)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 14:24 (UTC)

Good questionning of the meaning of "closest". :-D Why do I get the feeling now you just like being contrary? Mmm? Ponders.

As for the closest book to me it's a French analogic dictionnary (with two others French dictionnaries and two English ones). But their order can vary along the days when I use them... ;-)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 14:29 (UTC)

Contrary? Moi? I'm hurt!

no, I don't know why British people say "moi" instead of "me" when they're being ironic. It's a thing..


I often have dictionaries on my computer desk but a couple of days ago I took them back over to the bookshelves. That's another type of book that doesn't really have "sentences" you can quote...

Posted by: gillo (gillo)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 14:34 (UTC)
Book Lover

My problem precisely. I sit between two sets of shelves, fractionally closer to the set on my left, which has reference books , dictionaries, four Bibles, genealogy of the royal families of Britain. critical texts on poetry and drama etc. On my right, easily in reach, are the SF&F books, a pile of books on Buffyverse topics etc. On the stool to my right is a random pile of books I have read recently and plan to write up before putting away - three Sherwood Smiths on top. On the desk to my left is a random pile of papers but under those are a play by Tom Stoppard, an autobiography by Yoshi Oida. a textbook on teaching drama, another on stage lighting and one on Photoshop techniques. None of these is the book I'm reading currently, of course - that's in another room. Do you think this meme was written for people without many books?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 14:39 (UTC)

I actually don't have any books on the floor or on a stool next to me right now, which is fairly unusual for me. And under the computer desk, on a shelf, is a pile of computer game boxes; technically, I suppose I should have counted the manuals in those boxes as "books" too? My knee is probably closer to them than my arm is to the bookshelf...

Do you think this meme was written for people without many books?

Quite possibly. :-)

Posted by: gillo (gillo)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 15:06 (UTC)
Book Lover

Mine turned out to be way more obscure than if I'd selected them. Perhaps one ought to tweak the meme - use the lines as prompts for a fic/drabble/artwork!

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 16:12 (UTC)

I've seen this meme going around before, and I've always wondered how to judge which is the "closest book to me". There's a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf just behind my left shoulder, and the book closest to my hip isn't the same as the one closest to my shoulder... and if I reach out my hand, it's yet another book that's the closest.

OMG! I've always had the same problem! That's why I never do this particular meme. Otherwise I'd have to bust out the ruler and start measuring distances (Which is a little silly, so I've been told).

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 16:40 (UTC)

Which is a little silly, so I've been told

'Quirky'. They said 'quirky'. (/Tara)

:-)

Posted by: GingerWall (gingerwall)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 16:42 (UTC)
Willow reading

To keep my head from exploding, I'm going to go with the ruling that books on shelves don't count, only free floating books around the house.

If you're a neat freak and all your books are on the shelf, then pick the one sticking out the furthest since it's the easiest one to grab.

If your books are all exactly flush against each other, then maybe you need some help relaxing and letting go.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 17:09 (UTC)

My books all lie on surfaces rather than floating around. Do you live on the International Space Station? ;-p :D

Posted by: GingerWall (gingerwall)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 17:13 (UTC)
Willow reading

Alas, no, but I constructed miniature hover crafts for all the sentient ones to get around as they please. :)

Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 16:57 (UTC)

Taken. Around my computer, books tend to cluster and congregate in piles. Or maybe 'stacks' is a less pejorative term.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 17:10 (UTC)

'Stacks' of books are usually held underground, tended by pallid librarians who react fiercely to any seekers of knowledge who come in search of them...

Posted by: petzipellepingo (petzipellepingo)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 19:43 (UTC)
bookworm by icon_imp

An Embarrassment Of Riches, James Howard Kunstler

Our host arrived home well before we tied up at his quay and came down to await us with a gig for the ride uphill to the mansion. We had barely time to apologize for our dishelved state when we were led to Ravenel's fine bathhouse behind the main dwelling. Here we happily scrubbed our skins pink and were barbered and shaved by an elderly slave, expert in his office, and finally were treated to the ultimate delight of fresh linen shirts and breeches. I tell you, the aroma of soap had as much intoxicating power to me as the most potent liquor. I felt like a new man.

Thus bathed, barbered, and attired we were conducted to the front portico, where Judge Ravenel, his plump, good-natured wife, Martha, their daughter, Clara, and son-in-law Joseph Hardin, awaited us with a tray of dainty eatables and a pitcher of that region's favorite beverage, the mint julep, a decoction of powerful Kentucky whiskey doctored with a spoonful of sugar syrup and crowned with a sprig of mint leaves.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd June 2010 19:46 (UTC)

Mr Kunstler writes very long sentences. :-)

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