Book-Buying Episode

22:03 Thu 19 Apr 2007. Updated: 15:45 26 Apr 2007
[, , ]

I tend to buy too many books when I go to bookstores. Today Jamie wanted to check out what the Modern Times bookstore had, so I tagged along, clearly a foolish move.

Obviously, I ended up buying a whole pile of books. That might be okay if I were reading steadily, but at the moment I’m not, and there’s already a rather large pile of books at home that I need to read. Despite this, and despite knowing this, I still couldn’t resist buying what I bought. Here’s the list:

Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions, Fredric Jameson. I was talking about Jameson, and this book, with my father recently and mentioned this to Jamie, so when Jamie found it I naturally had to get it. It’s likely to be heavy going, as it’s weighty literary criticism, and might require me to read or re-read the material it discusses in order for me to make sense of it. So it’s probably going to sit on my shelf for quite some time.

Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, Noam Chomsky. I’m quite a Chomsky fan, and have been meaning to read this for a while. I’ll probably read it in the next couple of months.

The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, David Harvey. This is something I wouldn’t have bought without Jamie’s recommendation. When I mentioned I wanted to read Jameson’s Postmodernism, Jamie mentioned this as another perspective, so when I saw it in Modern Times, I grabbed it. Another one that’s likely to sit on my shelf a while.

War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, Chris Hedges. I’ve read a lot about this, Hedges’ attempt to explain war’s corrupting siren song. I’ve read some of his work online and liked it, so clearly I had to buy this. I think I’ll probably read it soon after the Chomsky.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond. I really liked Guns, Germs, and Steel, and consider societal collapse rather topical right now, so it made sense to buy this. This might be the second book on this list that I read.

After the New Economy: The Binge… and the Hangover That Won’t Go Away, Doug Henwood. Jamie recommended this, and it’s on a topic I’m quite interested in. That being said, it will probably linger on the shelf for quite some time, after being considered for selection frequently but failing to get past the “I’m don’t feel like reading that right now” response.

Quimby the Mouse, Chris Ware. Chris Ware is an amazingly talented comic book author/artist. I love his work, although it’s sometimes crushingly depressing. This contains a lot of his earlier work, which mostly isn’t as good as later work but which will provide aid in understanding his ouevre. Most likely the first thing on this list that I finish.

Literary criticism, politics, cultural theory, politics/psychology, archeology/sociology/anthropology, economics, and I have no idea what category to put Quimby the Mouse in.

3 Responses to “Book-Buying Episode”

  1. Helen Says:

    Oooh, let me know how you get on with the Jameson! But also, let me tell you how unimpressed I am by you linking to Amazon as the default sellers of the books. Why not link to your local bookshop? Or to the publishers? Why drive yet more traffic to the bookshop-killing behemoth?

  2. Tadhg Says:

    I likely won’t get to the Jameson for a while, but I’ll let you know how that goes…

    As for the Amazon thing, that’s actually a pretty tough question for me. You’ll note that I bought all those books at an independent local bookstore, and linked to them in the post. And I make an effort to do that most of the time. But sometimes the convenience of Amazon is just too great. Basically, they provide a really good service, and I don’t really want to give up on the idea of ordering stuff online.

    In addition, there’s the informational aspect—Amazon are really the de facto book information service out there. There isn’t a book equivalent of IMDB that has the same depth of information. I often use Amazon to look at book info before buying, even when I don’t end up buying them from Amazon. Maybe Wikipedia or a similar service will eventually have that info, but for the moment I don’t know of a good competing service.

    Anyone else have comments on this?

  3. jamie Says:

    abebooks.com is more extensive then amazon, me thinks, or at least it was back in the day

Leave a Reply