Monday, June 15, 2020

On Focused Book Procurement

As part of my work around actively monitoring and using my spending as a tool, I have accelerated my book buying plan for the remainder of the year as well as begun to clearly define what I intend to acquire going forward.

First things First:  It turns out that the Uber Large Major Book Seller is not the only location to purchase books.  I reference you to this article 15 Best Online Bookstores for Cheap New And Used Books for a list (not noted, but one I use frequently because they have both online and brick and mortar stores is Half Price Books).  One great thing about all of these is that if you sign up, you get coupons (I just made and order where I got three books for the price of two of them and free shipping).  You might have to switch between sellers as you search because they all seems to specialize somewhat but the chase is part of the fun, at least for me.  The Uber Large Major Book Seller has now become my shopping list respository, nothing more.

As to the second part of the plan...

I have always been a voracious reader over many subjects:  History  (Japanese, Asian, Ottoman Empire, Roman, Greek, Celtic, Early and Medieval Europe, English, militaria as put forward in Osprey Publishing), Agriculture, Literature (mostly pre-20th Century), Theology, Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy, and some specialized subjects (weight training, bladed weapon training) that fall into no other category.  But now, I as look to future, I realize I have in some cases I have maxed out  the amount I am going to get from certain categories of works (for example, I have ~ 20 books that deal in whole or in part with Sparta and the Spartan regime and the pre-Alexandrian Age of Greece.  It is likely more books will not teach me more).  For others - agricultural books, for example - I should be able to run a farm of any type (almost any livestock, market gardening, field crops, specialty crops) based purely on what I have so.  So I need to focus my purchasing and reading.

My focus is now turning largely to The Classics.

By The Classics, I refer to the greats of the Ancient World:  the Greek Philosophers, the Latin Writers, the Early Church Fathers.  Thoughts and writings that we are rapidly losing our contact with because the history is "old" and not relevant to today's world (it is, really; people just do not see it that way).

The Loeb Classical Library was the brain child of James Loeb (1867-1933), a German American Banker and Philanthropist.  There are a total of 544 volumes.  The books are recognizable as they are true "pocket book sized" as well as the fact they have both the original Greek (Green) or Latin (Red) on one side and the English translation on the other (perfect for budding language practitioners in dead languages or just to have the original texts to work with).

I have many of the works covered in translated Penguin editions, (which, I might add, are great for introductions to these works - get the older translations) but am at the point of my life that the original language makes a difference to me as well.

Understand that I should not ever anticipate or plan to acquire all volumes:  There is little burning need in me to acquire the Greek and Latin Playwrights and there are some minor philosophers I have no interest in.  That said, there are worlds within worlds that remain to be discovered (instead of reading people quoting the works, it is better to go back to the works themselves).

I will be honest:  I write better and think better when I read more.  I write better and think better when I read challenging and thought provoking works, not distillation of what people think those works say.  I am enough of a mature adult that I can actively think for myself, not be talked down to or lectured.

Yes, I will always keep my eye out for a good or unusual buy:  there are still Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors of yore whose works I enjoy and do not have, occasional history or agricultural works that pique my interest, and my study of Japanese History and Swordsmanship will continue until I die.  But the my focus is shifting now.

Troubled times called for deep, well research and well reasoned responses.  We have lost this ability in our current age.  To the extent that I can, I will become better at it.


  1. From one bibliophile to another, thanks for the links!

    1. Leigh, you are so welcome! I have to tell you I have not had this much fun looking for books in years! It is like a scavenger hunt for something I like.

  2. ๐Ÿฐ❤️๐Ÿ™


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