Tuesday, February 20, 2007


How can one ever compile a bibliography of one's life?

That was the problem facing me for years. I agonized over the issue of which books had exerted a formative influence on my life, and realised that there were at least a few kinds, which I've listed below.
  • the politically correct and (no doubt) salutory influences

  • the not-so-savoury and yet (you would have to say, unfortunately) influential

  • the one-shot wonders who made their (trivial) mark and faded away

  • the reference books which stayed, continuing to exert their diffuse illumination

Failing to resolve the question of which had exerted the most influence, I surrendered at last to the blandishments of LibraryThing. The mass-import function has sucked up in pretty short order (I was asleep while it trawled the sea, hooking up the ISBNs) about 1500 of my 7500 books. I shall get round to the rest in due time.

For now, rest assured that all books influence my life - some take up an hour and then go away, others keep coming back, and some stay for keeps. Yet there is a clear hierarchy: THE Book (ta Biblion) comes first, and the rest trail behind like junior acolytes and assorted hangers-on.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home