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Submitted by:

Samiya Illias

2009-A

To:

Mr. Zarrar Zubair Faculty: Business Communication Pakistan Institute of Management Dated: May 2009

Literature and the Joys of Reading

Literature and the Joys of Reading

Introduction

It is unfortunate that those who have been taught to read are not able to profit from their

acquired talent to do so………

spending their lives removed from the wonderful and

.. joyous world of the written word……. The world of literature! Such is the definition of the word ‘aliterate 1 ’.

In this report, an effort has been made to explore the various and diverse fields of literature, to identify the appealing aspects of each genre, and introduce the reader to the wonderful world of reading, and the joys and benefits associated with it.

The history of the written word, the libraries of the antiquities, libraries and bookshops around the world, and the importance of books and reading in the development of nations have been touched upon.

A special section traces the history, explores recent trends and identifies issues related to books, publishing and reading in general in Pakistan.

The importance and significance of reading and acquiring knowledge in Islam has briefly been touched upon.

Obviously, this report or any such written material will most probably be read by only those who already are in the habit of reading. It is my hope that after reading it, they are able to help their friends in discovering the wonderful world of reading, and the delights within!

1 A person who is able to read but rarely chooses to do so Cover photo: http://media.photobucket.com/image/books/joyo131/books.jpg

Contents

Literature and The Joys of Reading.............................................................................................................1 The Written Word:...................................................................................................................................1

Reading:..................................................................................................................................................2

Literature:................................................................................................................................................3

History.................................................................................................................................................3

Poetry..................................................................................................................................................4

Prose...................................................................................................................................................5

Essays................................................................................................................................................5

Fiction.................................................................................................................................................5

Other prose literature..........................................................................................................................6

Drama.................................................................................................................................................7

Oral literature......................................................................................................................................8 Other narrative forms..........................................................................................................................8 Genres of literature.............................................................................................................................8 Greatest Works..........................................................................................................................................10

  • 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written................................................................................................10

  • 100 Most Influential Books of the Century.............................................................................................12

Books that Didn't Quite Make It.........................................................................................................15 Libraries around the World........................................................................................................................17 Early history...........................................................................................................................................17

Antiquity............................................................................................................................................17

Libraries in Persian Empire...............................................................................................................17 Libraries in the Hellenic World and Rome.........................................................................................18 Ancient Chinese Libraries.................................................................................................................19 Islamic Libraries................................................................................................................................19 Medieval Christian Libraries..............................................................................................................21 Early Modern Libraries..........................................................................................................................22 Public Libraries..................................................................................................................................22 Types of Libraries..................................................................................................................................23

Organization..........................................................................................................................................25

Library use.............................................................................................................................................25 Famous libraries....................................................................................................................................26 Bookshops and online stores.....................................................................................................................29 Famous bookshops...............................................................................................................................29

Online stores.........................................................................................................................................29 Free eBooks sites..................................................................................................................................29

Book clubs online.......................................................................................................................................30 Esaays on Joys of Reading.......................................................................................................................31

  • 1 Kiran Piracha......................................................................................................................................31

  • 2 George Wedd.....................................................................................................................................32

  • 3 Dowling College Chapter...................................................................................................................38

Reading Habits and Tips...........................................................................................................................43 Reading Tips for Children......................................................................................................................43 Reading Tips for Students.....................................................................................................................43 Reading Tips for Adults.........................................................................................................................44 IQ, EQ and Reading..................................................................................................................................45 Books: comparison between the West and the Muslim World...................................................................46 Books and Publishing in Pakistan..............................................................................................................48 A short history of books in Pakistan......................................................................................................49 Pre-partition era:...............................................................................................................................49 Post-partition era...............................................................................................................................49 Urdu books............................................................................................................................................50 The beginning...................................................................................................................................50

Fiction...............................................................................................................................................50

Poetry................................................................................................................................................51

Children’s literature...........................................................................................................................51

Readership........................................................................................................................................51

Regional books......................................................................................................................................51

Sindhi................................................................................................................................................51

Punjabi..............................................................................................................................................52

Pashto...............................................................................................................................................52

Balochi..............................................................................................................................................53

English books........................................................................................................................................53

Fiction...............................................................................................................................................53

Non-fiction.........................................................................................................................................54

Children’s Books...............................................................................................................................54 Printing and publishing industry.............................................................................................................55 Emerging trends....................................................................................................................................56

eBooks..............................................................................................................................................56

Online book stores............................................................................................................................56 Reading Clubs...................................................................................................................................56 Book fairs..........................................................................................................................................57

Mobile bookshops.............................................................................................................................57

Issues....................................................................................................................................................57

Book piracy and copyright laws in Pakistan......................................................................................57

Plagiarism.........................................................................................................................................59

Incentives for writers.............................................................................................................................59 Decline in reading habits.......................................................................................................................59 Lack of libraries in the country...............................................................................................................59 Quran and Knowledge...............................................................................................................................61

Conclusion.................................................................................................................................................62

Conclusion

Literature and The Joys of Reading

The written words

...........

symbols,

shapes, lines, dots,

..............

all

come together to form

a vivid image in the mind of the reader

__

transporting to realms unknown, beyond

imagination, into wonderland

............

such

is the power, the magic, the joy of reading!

Books, articles, magazines, letters, whitepapers, notes, memos, receipts, accounts,

memoirs, biographies, maps, diagrams, blueprints, outlines, and the list goes on and

on

............

numerous are the uses people have put the written word to

......

in fact it is

indeed difficult to imagine civilized life without written communication!

The Written Word:

The written word is supposed to have originated in Babylon 2 around 4 millennium BC.

Before that, the cave men wrote on walls and rocks to express their feelings, voice their
Before that, the cave
men wrote on walls
and rocks to express
their feelings, voice
their opinions and
explain themselves,
all through pictures.
These pictorial
displays slowly
molded into writing,
the most basic and
earliest know form of
which is Cuneiform,
founded in Babylon,
the first human
settlement in its true
form.
Over the centuries,
writing was

discovered in various parts of the world, namely Egypt, Greece, China, and Japan.

Very soon, the different civilizations had to employ translators who could interpret the

different languages. And soon, the world became quite literary, and we can attest to this

by the fact that scrolls and such have been found from Egyptian pyramids, from Greek

writings, and the blocks of stone used as letters in Cuneiform, and also, the blocks of

compact mud found at Moenjodaro and Taxilla and Harrappa.

2 Image source: http://oneyearbibleimages.com/babylon.jpg

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Reading:

What do we read? We read faces, looks, body

language, the written word and between the lines 3 .

Thus reading is defined as: Reading 4 (process) is the

human cognitive process of decoding symbols or

syntax for the purpose of deriving meaning (reading

comprehension) or constructing meaning. Reading

(derived from "to read") is the process of converting

Reading: What do we read? We read faces, looks, body language, the written word and between

information, usually arranged in syntax, into a usable form.

Reading: What do we read? We read faces, looks, body language, the written word and between

Reading can be a fun activity, as seen from the joy on the faces

of this happy family 5 . Parents and children together can spend

many happy moments enriching their minds while bonding at the

same time.

The 6 joys of reading go way beyond the pages of a book. Where you choose to read,

your surroundings can go a long way toward setting a mood and enhancing the read. I

met this young lady yesterday at the Old City Cemetery and Arboretum, in Lynchburg,

Virginia, enjoying a book while stretched out on a blanket in the grass beneath a willow

by a pond…I have enjoyed a few good reads here myself.

  • 3 Newspaper image source: http://www.treehugger.com/20090219-ethiopia-newspaper-reading.jpg

  • 4 wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading

  • 5 Image source: http://www.cerritos.edu/reading/j0400239.jpg

  • 6 http://dlennis.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/the-joys-of-reading/

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Literature: 7

Literature is the art of written works.

Literally translated, the word means

"acquaintance with letters" (from Latin

littera letter). In Western culture the most

basic written literary types include fiction

and non-fiction.

The word "literature" has different

Literature: Literature is the art of written works. Literally translated, the word means "acquaintance with letters"

meanings depending on who is using it. It could be applied broadly to mean any

symbolic record, encompassing everything from images and sculptures to letters. In a

more narrow sense the term could mean only text composed of letters, or other

examples of symbolic written language (Egyptian hieroglyphs, for example). An even

more narrow interpretation is that texts have a physical form, such as on paper or some

other portable form, to the exclusion of inscriptions or digital media. The Muslim scholar

and philosopher Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (702-765 AD) defined "literature" as follows:

"Literature is the garment which one puts on what he says or writes so that it may

appear more attractive." ….added that literature is a slice of life that has been given

direction and meaning, an artistic interpretation of the world according to the percipient's

point of views. Frequently, the texts that make up literature crossed over these

boundaries. Russian Formalist Roman Jakobson

defines literature as "organized violence committed on

ordinary speech", highlighting literature's deviation

from the day-to-day and conversational structure of

words. Illustrated stories, hypertexts, cave paintings

and inscribed monuments have all at one time or

another pushed the boundaries of "literature."

People may perceive a difference between "literature"

and some popular forms of written work. The terms

Literature: Literature is the art of written works. Literally translated, the word means "acquaintance with letters"

"literary fiction" and "literary merit" often serve to distinguish between individual works.

For example, almost all literate people perceive the works of Charles Dickens as

"literature," whereas some critics look down on the works of Jeffrey Archer as unworthy

of inclusion under the general heading of "English literature." Critics may exclude works

from the classification "literature," for example, on the grounds of a poor standard of

grammar and syntax, of an unbelievable or disjointed story-line, or of inconsistent or

unconvincing characters. Genre fiction (for example: romance, crime, or science fiction)

may also become excluded from consideration as "literature."

History

One of the earliest known literary works is the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic

poem dated around 2700 B.C., which deals with themes of heroism, friendship, loss,

and the quest for eternal life. Different historical periods have emphasized various

characteristics of literature. Early works often had an overt or covert religious or didactic

purpose. Moralizing or prescriptive literature stems from such sources. The exotic

7 [wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature]

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nature of romance flourished from the Middle Ages onwards, whereas the Age of

Reason manufactured nationalistic epics and philosophical tracts. Romanticism

emphasized the popular folk literature and emotive involvement, but gave way in the

19th-century West to a phase of realism and naturalism, investigations into what is real.

The 20th century brought demands for symbolism or psychological insight in the

delineation and development of character.

Poetry

A poem is a composition written in verse (although verse has been equally used for epic

and dramatic fiction). Poems rely heavily on imagery, precise word choice, and

metaphor; they may take the form of measures consisting of patterns of stresses (metric

feet) or of patterns of different-length syllables (as in classical prosody); and they may

or may not utilize rhyme. One cannot readily characterize poetry precisely. Typically

though, poetry as a form of literature makes some significant use of the formal

properties of the words it uses – the properties of the written or spoken form of the

words, independent of their meaning. Meter depends on syllables and on rhythms of

speech; rhyme and alliteration depend on the sounds of words.

Poetry perhaps pre-dates other forms of literature: early known examples include the

Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (dated from around 2700 B.C.), parts of the Bible, the

surviving works of Homer (the Iliad and the Odyssey), and the Indian epics Ramayana

and Mahabharata. In cultures based primarily on oral traditions the formal

characteristics of poetry often have a mnemonic function, and important texts: legal,

genealogical or moral, for example, may appear first in verse form.

Some poetry uses specific forms: the haiku, the limerick, or the sonnet, for example. A

traditional haiku written in Japanese must have something to do with nature, contain

seventeen onji (syllables), distributed over three lines in groups of five, seven, and five,

and should also have a kigo, a specific word indicating a season. A limerick has five

lines, with a rhyme scheme of AABBA, and line lengths of 3,3,2,2,3 stressed syllables. It

traditionally has a less reverent attitude towards nature. Poetry not adhering to a formal

poetic structure is called "free verse"

Language and tradition dictate some poetic norms: Persian poetry always rhymes,

Greek poetry rarely rhymes, Italian or French poetry often does, English and German

poetry can go either way. Perhaps the most paradigmatic style of English poetry, blank

verse, as exemplified in works by Shakespeare and Milton, consists of unrhymed iambic

pentameters. Some languages prefer longer lines; some shorter ones. Some of these

conventions result from the ease of fitting a specific language's vocabulary and

grammar into certain structures, rather than into others; for example, some languages

contain more rhyming words than others, or typically have longer words. Other

structural conventions come about as the result of historical accidents, where many

speakers of a language associate good poetry with a verse form preferred by a

particular skilled or popular poet.

Works for theatre traditionally took verse form. This has now become rare outside opera

and musicals, although many would argue that the language of drama remains

intrinsically poetic.

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In recent years, digital poetry has arisen that takes advantage of the artistic, publishing,

and synthetic qualities of digital media.

Prose

Prose consists of writing that does not adhere to any particular formal structures (other

than simple grammar); "non-poetic" writing, perhaps. The term sometimes appears

pejoratively, but prosaic writing simply says something without necessarily trying to say

it in a beautiful way, or using beautiful words. Prose writing can of course take beautiful

form; but less by virtue of the formal features of words (rhymes, alliteration, metre) but

rather by style, placement, or inclusion of graphics. But one need not mark the

distinction precisely, and perhaps cannot do so. One area of overlap is "prose poetry",

which attempts to convey using only prose, the aesthetic richness typical of poetry.

Essays

An essay consists of a discussion of a topic from an author's personal point of view,

exemplified by works by Michel de Montaigne or by Charles Lamb.

'Essay' in English derives from the French 'essai', meaning 'attempt'. Thus one can find

open-ended, provocative and/or inconclusive essays. The term "essays" first applied to

the self-reflective musings of Michel de Montaigne, and even today he has a reputation

as the father of this literary form.

Genres related to the essay may include:

the memoir, telling the story of an author's life from the author's personal point of

view

the epistle: usually a formal, didactic, or elegant letter

Fiction

Narrative fiction (narrative prose) generally favours prose for the writing of novels, short

stories, graphic novels, and the like. Singular examples of these exist throughout

history, but they did not develop into systematic and discrete literary forms until

relatively recent centuries. Length often serves to categorize works of prose fiction.

Although limits remain somewhat arbitrary, modern publishing conventions dictate the

following:

A Mini Saga is a short story of exactly 50 words

A Flash fiction is generally defined as a piece of prose under a thousand words.

A short story comprises prose writing of between 1000 and 20,000 words (but

typically more than 5000 words), which may or may not have a narrative arc.

A story containing between 20,000 and 50,000 words falls into the novella

category.

A work of fiction containing more than 50,000 words falls squarely into the realm

of the novel.

A novel consists simply of a long story written in prose, yet the form developed

comparatively recently. Icelandic prose sagas dating from about the 11th century

bridge the gap between traditional national verse epics and the modern

psychological novel. In mainland Europe, the Spaniard Cervantes wrote perhaps

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the first influential novel: Don Quixote, the first part of which was published in

1605 and the second in 1615. Earlier collections of tales, such as the One

Thousand and One Nights, Giovanni Bocaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's The

Canterbury Tales, have comparable forms and would classify as novels if written

today. Other works written in classical Asian and Arabic literature resemble even

more strongly the novel as we now think of it – for example, works such as the

Japanese Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki, the Arabic Hayy ibn Yaqdhan by Ibn

Tufail, the Arabic Theologus Autodidactus by Ibn al-Nafis, and the Chinese

Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong.

Early novels in Europe did not, at the time, count as significant literature, perhaps

because "mere" prose writing seemed easy and unimportant. It has become clear,

however, that prose writing can provide aesthetic pleasure without adhering to poetic

forms. Additionally, the freedom authors gain in not having to concern themselves with

verse structure translates often into a more complex plot or into one richer in precise

detail than one typically finds even in narrative poetry. This freedom also allows an

author to experiment with many different literary and presentation styles – including

poetry – in the scope of a single novel.

Other prose literature

Philosophy, history, journalism, and legal and scientific writings traditionally ranked as

literature. They offer some of the oldest prose writings in existence; novels and prose

stories earned the names "fiction" to distinguish them from factual writing or non-fiction,

which writers historically have crafted in prose.

The "literary" nature of science writing has become less pronounced over the last two

centuries, as advances and specialization have made new scientific research

inaccessible to most audiences; science now appears mostly in journals. Scientific

works of Euclid, Aristotle, Copernicus, and Newton still possess great value; but since

the science in them has largely become outdated, they no longer serve for scientific

instruction, yet they remain too technical to sit well in most programmes of literary study.

Outside of "history of science" programmes students rarely read such works. Many

books "popularizing" science might still deserve the title "literature"; history will tell.

Philosophy, too, has become an increasingly academic discipline. More of its

practitioners lament this situation than occurs with the sciences; nonetheless most new

philosophical work appears in academic journals. Major philosophers through history –

Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, Nietzsche – have become as canonical as any

writers. Some recent philosophy works are argued to merit the title "literature", such as

some of the works by Simon Blackburn; but much of it does not, and some areas, such

as logic, have become extremely technical to a degree similar to that of mathematics.

A great deal of historical writing can still rank as literature, particularly the genre known

as creative non-fiction. So can a great deal of journalism, such as literary journalism.

However these areas have become extremely large, and often have a primarily

utilitarian purpose: to record data or convey immediate information. As a result the

writing in these fields often lacks a literary quality, although it often and in its better

moments has that quality. Major "literary" historians include Herodotus, Thucydides and

Procopius, all of whom count as canonical literary figures.

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Law offers a less clear case. Some writings of Plato and Aristotle 8 , or even the early

parts of the Bible, might count as legal literature. The law tables of Hammurabi of

Babylon might count. Roman civil law as codified in the Corpus Juris Civilis during the

reign of Justinian I of the Byzantine Empire has a reputation as significant literature. The

founding documents of many countries, including the United States Constitution, can

count as literature; however legal writing now rarely exhibits literary merit.

Game design scripts are never seen by the player of a game and only by the

developers and/or publishers to help them understand, visualize and maintain

consistency while collaborating in creating a game, the audience for these pieces is

usually very small. Still, many game scripts contain immersive stories and detailed

worlds making them a hidden literary genre.

Most of these fields, then, through specialization or proliferation, no longer generally

constitute "literature" in the sense under discussion. They may sometimes count as

"literary literature"; more often they produce what one might call "technical literature" or

"professional literature".

Drama

A play or drama offers another classical literary form that has continued to evolve over

the years. It generally comprises chiefly dialogue between characters, and usually aims

at dramatic / theatrical performance (see theatre) rather than at reading. During the

eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, opera developed as a combination of poetry,

drama, and music. Nearly all drama took verse form until comparatively recently.

Shakespeare could be considered drama. Romeo and Juliet, for example, is a classic

romantic drama generally accepted as literature.

Greek drama exemplifies the earliest form of drama of which we have substantial

knowledge. Tragedy, as a dramatic genre, developed as a performance associated with

religious and civic festivals, typically enacting or developing upon well-known historical

or mythological themes. Tragedies generally presented very serious themes. With the

advent of newer technologies, scripts written for non-stage media have been added to

this form. War of the Worlds (radio) in 1938 saw the advent of literature written for radio

broadcast, and many works of Drama have been adapted for film or television.

Conversely, television, film, and radio literature have been adapted to printed or

electronic media.

Oral literature

The term oral literature refers not to written, but to oral traditions, which includes

different types of epic, poetry and drama, folktales, ballads, legends, jokes, and other

genres of folklore. It exists in every society, whether literate or not. It is generally studied

by folklorists, or by scholars committed to cultural studies and ethnopoetics, including

linguists, anthropologists, and even sociologists.

Other narrative forms

8 http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/aristotl.htm#H2

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Other narrative forms refers to a literary genre consisting of works which originate in

digital environments.

Films, videos and broadcast soap operas have carved out a niche which often parallels

the functionality of prose fiction.

Graphic novels and comic books present stories told in a combination of sequential

artwork, dialogue and text.

Genres of literature

A literary genre refers to the traditional divisions of literature of various kinds according

to a particular criterion of writing. See the list of literary genres.

List of literary genres

Autobiography, Memoir, Spiritual autobiography

Biography

Diaries and Journals

Electronic literature

Slave narrative

Thoughts, Proverbs

Fiction

Adventure novel

Children's literature

Comic novel

Crime fiction

Detective fiction

Fable, Fairy tale, Folklore

Fantasy (for more details see Fantasy subgenres; fantasy literature)

Gothic fiction (initially synonymous with horror)

Historical fiction

Horror

Medical novel

Mystery fiction

Philosophical novel

Political fiction

Romance novel

Historical romance

Saga, Family Saga

Satire

Science fiction (for more details see Science fiction genre)

Thriller

Conspiracy fiction

Legal thriller

Psychological thriller

Spy fiction/Political thriller

Tragedy

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Greatest Works

The following are but a few lists, compiled by reputable authorities, but is in no way

exhaustive. Many more lists are available online such as at the following website:

http://www.interleaves.org/~rteeter/greatbks.html

100 Most Influential

Books Ever Written 9

..

,list

compiled by

Seymour-Smith, Martin.

1.

The I Ching 10

2.

The Old Testament

3.

The Iliad and The

Odyssey by Homer

4.

The Upanishads

5.

The Way and Its

Power, Lao-tzu

6.

The Avesta

7.

Analects, Confucius

8.

History of the

Peloponnesian War,

Thucydides

9.

Works, Hippocrates

  • 10. Works, Aristotle

  • 11. History, Herodotus

  • 12. The Republic, Plato

  • 13. Elements, Euclid

  • 14. The Dhammapada

  • 15. Aeneid, Virgil

  • 16. On the Nature of

Reality, Lucretius

  • 17. Allegorical Expositions

of the Holy Laws, Philo of

Alexandria

  • 18. The New Testament

  • 19. Lives, Plutarch

  • 20. Annals, from the Death

of the Divine Augustus,

Cornelius Tacitus

Greatest Works The following are but a few lists, compiled by reputable authorities, but is in
  • 21. The Gospel of Truth

  • 22. Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

  • 23. Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Sextus Empiricus

  • 24. Enneads, Plotinus

9 Seymour-Smith, Martin. 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1998. © 1998 Martin Seymour-Smith http://www.interleaves.org/~rteeter/grtinfluential.html 10 Image source: bigsmilinghead.com/?p=13

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25.

Confessions, Augustine of Hippo

  • 26. The Koran

  • 27. Guide for the Perplexed, Moses Maimonides

  • 28. The Kabbalah

  • 29. Summa Theologicae, Thomas Aquinas

  • 30. The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

  • 31. In Praise of Folly, Desiderius Erasmus

  • 32. The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

  • 33. On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Martin Luther

  • 34. Gargantua and Pantagruel, François Rabelais

  • 35. Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin

  • 36. On the Revolution of the Celestial Orbs, Nicolaus Copernicus

  • 37. Essays, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

  • 38. Don Quixote, Parts I and II, Miguel de Cervantes

  • 39. The Harmony of the World, Johannes Kepler

  • 40. Novum Organum, Francis Bacon

  • 41. The First Folio [Works], William Shakespeare

  • 42. Dialogue Concerning Two New Chief World Systems, Galileo Galilei

  • 43. Discourse on Method, René Descartes

  • 44. Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

  • 45. Works, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

  • 46. Pensées, Blaise Pascal

  • 47. Ethics, Baruch de Spinoza

  • 48. Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan

  • 49. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Isaac Newton

  • 50. Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke

  • 51. The Principles of Human Knowledge, George Berkeley

  • 52. The New Science, Giambattista Vico

  • 53. A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume

  • 54. The Encyclopedia, Denis Diderot, ed.

  • 55. A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson

  • 56. Candide, François-Marie de Voltaire

  • 57. Common Sense, Thomas Paine

  • 58. An Enquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith

  • 59. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon

  • 60. Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant

  • 61. Confessions, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • 62. Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke

  • 63. Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft

  • 64. An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, William Godwin

  • 65. An Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Robert Malthus

  • 66. Phenomenology of Spirit, George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  • 67. The World as Will and Idea, Arthur Schopenhauer

  • 68. Course in the Positivist Philosophy, Auguste Comte

  • 69. On War, Carl Marie von Clausewitz

  • 70. Either/Or, Søren Kierkegaard

  • 71. The Manifesto of the Communist Party, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

  • 72. "Civil Disobedience," Henry David Thoreau

  • 73. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Charles Darwin

  • 74. On Liberty, John Stuart Mill

  • 75. First Principles, Herbert Spencer

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  • 76. "Experiments with Plant Hybrids," Gregor Mendel

  • 77. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

  • 78. Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, James Clerk Maxwell

  • 79. Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche

  • 80. The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud

  • 81. Pragmatism, William James

  • 82. Relativity, Albert Einstein

  • 83. The Mind and Society, Vilfredo Pareto

  • 84. Psychological Types, Carl Gustav Jung

  • 85. I and Thou, Martin Buber

  • 86. The Trial, Franz Kafka

  • 87. The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Karl Popper

  • 88. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, John Maynard Keynes

  • 89. Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre

  • 90. The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich von Hayek

  • 91. The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

  • 92. Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener

  • 93. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

  • 94. Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff

  • 95. Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein

  • 96. Syntactic Structures, Noam Chomsky

  • 97. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, T. S. Kuhn

  • 98. The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan

  • 99. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung [The Little Red Book], Mao Zedong

100. Beyond Freedom and Dignity, B. F. Skinner

100 Most Influential Books of the Century 11

Boston Public Library Booklists for Adults

  • 1. Adler, Alfred. Study of Organ Inferiority and Its Psychical Compensation 12 : A Contribution to Clinical Medicine. 1917

  • 2. Adorno, Theodor. Philosophy of Modern Music. 1973

  • 3. Agee, James. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. 1941

  • 4. Baldwin, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain. 1953

  • 5. Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. 1949

  • 6. Beck, Simone, Bertholle, Louise and Child, Julia. Art of French Cooking.

  • 7. Benedict, Ruth. Patterns of Culture. 1934

  • 8. Bernays, Edward. The Engineering of Consent. 1955

  • 9. Boston Women's Health Book Collective. Our Bodies Our Selves; A Book by and for Women. 1973

10.Buber, Martin. I and Thou. 1923

76. "Experiments with Plant Hybrids," Gregor Mendel 77. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy 78. Treatise on

11.Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. 1962

12.Camus, Albert. The Stranger. 1946

13.Carnegie, Dale. How to Win Friends and Influence People. 1936

11 Compiled by Dawn Cook, General Library, Adult Reader and Information Services, Boston Public Library, May 2000 http://www.bpl.org/research/AdultBooklists/influential.htm 12 Image source: http://images.filedby.com/bookimg/0548/9780548198605.jpg

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14.Carson, Rachael. Silent Spring. 1962

15.Chekhov, Anton. The Cherry Orchard. 1904

16.Chomsky, Noam. Syntactic Structures. 1957

17.Clark, Arthur. 2001: A Space Odyssey. 1960

18.Comfort, Alex. The Joy of Sex: A Cordon Bleu Guide to Lovemaking. 1972

19.Conrad, Joseph. The Heart of Darkness. 1902

20.Denby, Edwin. Looking at Dance. 1949

21.Dewey, John. The School and the Child: Being Selections from the Educational

Essays of John Dewey. 1907

22.Dobzhansky, Theodosius. Genetics and the Origin of the Species. 1937

23.Einstein, Albert. Relativity: The Special and General Theory. 1917

24.Eliot, T.S. Prufrock and Other Observations. 1917

25.Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925

26.Frank, Anne. The Diary of Anne Frank. 1947

27.Frankl, Victor. Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. 1962

28.Frazer, James G. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. 1890-1915

29.Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. 1913

30.Freyre, Gilberto. The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of

Brazilian Civilization. 1933

31.Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. 1963

32.Gandhi, Mohandas K. Satyagraha in South Africa. 1928

33.Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1967

34.Ginsberg, Allen. Howl and Other Poems. 1956

35.Goodall, Jane. In the Shadow of Man. 1971

36.Gorky, Maksim. Creatures that Once Were Men. 1905

37.Gray, John. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: A Practical Guide for

Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationship.

1992

38.Greenberg, Clement. Art and Culture: Critical Essays. 1961

39.Haley, Alex. Roots: The Saga of an American Family. 1976

40.Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. 1962, English Translation

41.Heisenberg, Werner. Uncertainty Principle. 1927

42.Heller, Joseph. Catch 22. 1961

43.Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. 1926

44.Hesse, Hermann. Steppenwolf. 1927

45.Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. 1925-26

46.Ho, Chi Minh. Reflections from Captivity. 1978

47.James, William. Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking. 1907

48.John XXIII, Pope. Encyclicals of Pope John XXIII. 1965

49.Joyce, James. Ulysses. 1922

50.Jung, C.G. Psychology of the Unconscious: A Study of the Transformations and

Symbolisms of the Libido, a Contribution to the Evolution of Thought. 1916

51.Kafka, Franz. The Trial. 1925

52.Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. 1957

53.Keynes, John M. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. 1936

54.Kinsey, Alfred C. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. 1948

55.Koestler, Arthur. Darkness at Noon. 1940

56.Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 1962

57.Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley's Lover. 1928

58.Lessing, Doris. The Golden Notebook. 1962

59.LÈvi-Strauss, Claude. The Raw and the Cooked. 1969

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60.Lewis, Sinclair. Babbitt. 1922

61.Lorenz, Konrad. On Aggression. 1966

62.Malraux, AndrÈ. Man's Fate. 1934

63.Mann, Thomas. The Magic Mountain. 1924

64.Mao, Tse-tung. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung. 1966

65.Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 1954.

66.Mead, Margaret. Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive

Youth for Western Civilization. 1928

67.Merton, Thomas. Seven Story Mountain. 1948

68.Mills, C. Wright. The Power Elite. 1956

69.Morgan, Thomas Hunt. A Critique of the Theory of Evolution. 1916

70.Montessori, Maria. The Montessori Method. 1912

71.Nabokov, Vladimir V. Lolita. 1955

72.Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four, A Novel. 1949

73.Pavlov, I. Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Psychological Activity of

the Cerebral Cortex. 1927

74.Piaget, Jean. Judgement and Reasoning in the Child. 1924

75.Pirandello, Luigi. Six Characters in Search of an Author. 1921

76.Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past. 1913

77.Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. 1957

78.Reed, John. Ten Days That Shook the World. 1919

79.Reich, Wilhelm. Function of the Orgasm: Sex-economic Problems of Biological

Energy. 1973

80.Remarque, Rainer Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. 1928

81.Riis, Jacob. How the Other Half Lives.

82.Sagan, Carl. Intelligent Life in the Universe. 1963

83.Salinger, J.D. Catcher in the Rye. 1951

84.Sanger, Mary. Happiness in Marriage. 1926

85.Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological

Ontology. 1943

86.Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. 1906

87.Skinner, B.F. Beyond Freedom and Dignity. 1971

88.Solzhenitsyn, Aleksander. The Gulag Archipelago. 1974-78

89.Spengler, Oswald. Decline of the West. 1918-22

90.Spock, Benjamin. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. 1946

91.Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. 1939

92.Surgeon General's Office. Smoking and Health: A Report of the Surgeon

General. 1979

93.Tarbell, Ida. The History of the Standard Oil Company. 1904

94.Von Neumann, John. Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. 1944

95.W., Bill. AA Big Book. 1939

96.Watson, James D. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the

Structure of DNA. 1969

97.Watson, John. Behaviorism. 1925

98.Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics. 1948

99.Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own. 1929

100.Wright, Richard. Native Son. 1940

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Books that Didn't Quite Make It

  • 1. Albee, Edward. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. 1962

  • 2. Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. 1970

  • 3. Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. 1900

  • 4. Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. 1952

  • 5. Boas, Franz. The Mind of Primitive Man.

  • 6. Brown, Claude. Manchild in the Promised Land.

  • 7. Brecht, Berthold. Mother Courage and her Children.

  • 8. Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. 1970

  • 9. Buck, Pearl. Good Earth. 1931

10.C‚pek, Karel. R.U.R

..

1920

11.Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood.

12.Celine, Louis-Ferdinand. Journey to the End of Night.

13.Chomsky, Noam. Problems of Knowledge and Freedom. 1971

14.Christie, Agatha. Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

15.cummings, e.e. Enormous Room.

16.Eco, Umberto. A Theory of Semiotics. 1976

17.Empson, William. Seven Types of Ambiguity.

18.Fossey, Dian. Gorillas in the Mist.

19.Gibbs, W. Elementary Principles in Statistical Mechanics.

20.Hall, Radclyffe. Well of Loneliness. 1928

21.Hammett, Dashiell. Maltese Falcon.

22.James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human

Nature. 1902

23.James, Henry. The Golden Bowl. 1904

24.Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life.

25.Keynes, John M. The Economic Consequences of the

Peace 13 . 1919

26.Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. 1960

27.Lukas, J.A. Common Ground.

28.Metalious, G. Peyton Place. 1956

29.Milne, A.A. Winnie-the-Pooh. 1926

30.Nin, Anais. The Diary of Anais Nin. 1966

31.O. Henry. Four Million.

32.Peale, Norman V. Power of Positive Thinking.

33.Plath, Sylvia. Ariel. 1965

34.Potter, Beatrix. Tale of Peter Rabbit.

35.Rilke, Rainer M. Sonnets to Orpheus.

Books that Didn't Quite Make It 1. Albee, Edward. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. 1962 2.

36.Ruben, David. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex but were

Afraid to Ask. 1969

37.Shilts, Randy. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS

Epidemic. 1987

38.Skinner, B.F. Science and Human Behavior. 1953

39.Stein, Gertrude. Making of Americans.

40.Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre. Phenomenon of Man.

41.Tuchman, Barbara. Guns of August. 1962

42.Tzara, Trista. Seven Dada Manifestos and Lamisteries.

43.Von Braun, Werner. The Mars Project. 1953

44.Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse Five.

13 http://www.prometheusbooks.com/images/endoflassezfaire.jpg

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45.Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982

46.X, Malcolm. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 1965

47.Yeats, W.B. Wild Swans at Coole.

48.Zangvill, Israel. The Melting Pot. 1909

Compiled by Dawn Cook, General Library, Adult Reader and Information Services,

Boston Public Library, May 2000

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Libraries around the World 14

Early history

Antiquity

The first two libraries were composed for the most part, of published records, a

particular type of library called archives. Archaeological findings from the ancient city-

states of Sumer have revealed temple rooms full of clay tablets in cuneiform script.

These archives were made up almost completely of the records of commercial

transactions or inventories, with only a few documents touching theological matters,

historical records or legends. Things were much the same in the government and

temple records on papyrus of Ancient Egypt.

The earliest discovered private archives were kept at Ugarit; besides correspondence

and inventories, texts of myths may have been standardized practice-texts for teaching

new scribes. There is also evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 B.C. and those at

Nineveh about 700 B.C. showing a library classification system.

Over 30,000 clay tablets from the Library of Ashurbanipal have been discovered at

Ninevah [2], providing archaeologists with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian literary,

religious and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma Elish , also

known as the Epic of Creation,[3] which depicts a traditional Babylonian view of

creation, the Epic of Gilgamesh[4], a large selection of “omen texts” including Enuma

Anu Enlil which “contained omens dealing with the moon, its visibility, eclipses, and

conjunction with planets and fixed stars, the sun, its corona, spots, and eclipses, the

weather, namely lightning, thunder, and clouds, and the planets and their visibility,

appearance, and stations.”[5], and astronomic/astrological texts, as well as standard

lists used by scribes and scholars such as word lists, bilingual vocabularies, lists of

signs and synonyms, and lists of medical diagnoses.

Libraries in Persian Empire

During the Achaemenid Persian Empire (558–330 BC) the religious and scientific books

of Persia since Zoroaster, were archived in the libraries of "Ganj-i-hapigan" in Takht-i-

Suleiman and "Dez-i-Napesht" in Persepolis.[6] These books were probably in the fields

of philosophy, astronomy, alchemy and medical sciences, the fields in which Magus of

Persia were master in. After the invasion of Persia by Alexander the Great all these

books were burned. It has been mentioned in the book Arda Viraf that :

"He came to Persia with severe cruelty and war and devastation

...

and destroyed the

metropolis and empire, and made them desolate

...

all the avesta and zand, written upon

prepared cow-skins and with gold ink, was deposited in the archives

...

up."

he burned them

14 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libraries

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Libraries in the Hellenic World and Rome

Private or personal libraries made up of non-fiction and fiction books (as opposed to the

state or institutional records kept in archives) appeared in classical Greece in the 5th

century BC. The celebrated book collectors of Hellenistic Antiquity were listed in the late

second century in Deipnosophistae

Polycrates of Samos and Pisistratus who was tyrant of Athens, and Euclides who was

himself also an Athenian and Nicorrates of Samos and even the kings of Pergamos,

and Euripides the poet and Aristotle the philosopher, and Nelius his librarian; from

whom they say our countryman[10] Ptolemæus, surnamed Philadelphus, bought them

all, and transported them, with all those which he had collected at Athens and at

Rhodes to his own beautiful Alexandria.

All these libraries were Greek; the cultivated Hellenized diners in Deipnosophistae pass

over the libraries of Rome in silence. By the time of Augustus there were public libraries

near the forums of Rome: there were libraries in the Porticus Octaviae near the Theatre

of Marcellus, in the temple of Apollo Palatinus, and in the Biblioteca Ulpiana in the

Forum of Trajan. The state archives were kept in a structure on the slope between the

Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill.

Private libraries appeared during the late republic: Seneca inveighed against libraries

fitted out for show by non-reading owners who scarcely read their titles in the course of

a lifetime, but displayed the scrolls in bookcases (armaria) of citrus wood inlaid with

ivory that ran right to the ceiling: "by now, like bathrooms and hot water, a library is got

up as standard equipment for a fine house (domus).[12] Libraries were amenities suited

to a villa, such as Cicero's at Tusculum, Maecenas's several villas, or Livy the

Younger's, all described in surving letters. At the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum,

apparently the villa of Caesar's father-in-law, the Greek library has been partly

preserved in volcanic ash; archaeologists speculate that a Latin library, kept separate

from the Greek one, may await discovery at the site.

In the West, the first public libraries were established under the Roman Empire as each

succeeding emperor strove to open one or many which outshone that of his

predecessor. Unlike the Greek libraries, readers had direct access to the scrolls, which

were kept on shelves built into the walls of a large room. Reading or copying was

normally done in the room itself. The surviving records give only a few instances of

lending features. As a rule Roman public libraries were bilingual: they had a Latin room

and a Greek room. Most of the large Roman baths were also cultural centers, built from

the start with a library, with the usual two room arrangement for Greek and Latin texts.

Libraries were filled with parchment scrolls as at Library of Pergamum and on papyrus

scrolls as at Alexandria: export of prepared writing materials was a staple of commerce.

There were a few institutional or royal libraries which were open to an educated public

(like the Library of Alexandria, once the largest library in the ancient world), but on the

whole collections were private. In those rare cases where it was possible for a scholar

to consult library books there seems to have been no direct access to the stacks. In all

recorded cases the books were kept in a relatively small room where the staff went to

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get them for the readers, who had to consult them in an adjoining hall or covered

walkway.

In the sixth century, at the very close of the Classical period, the great libraries of the

Mediterranean world remained those of Constantinople and Alexandria. Cassiodorus,

minister to Theodoric, established a monastery at Vivarium in the heel of Italy with a

library where he attempted to bring Greek learning to Latin readers and preserve texts

both sacred and secular for future generations. As its unofficial librarian, Cassiodorus

not only collected as many manuscripts as he could, he also wrote treatises aimed at

instructing his monks in the proper uses of reading and methods for copying texts

accurately. In the end, however, the library at Vivarium was dispersed and lost within a

century.

Through Origen and especially the scholarly presbyter Pamphilus of Caesarea, an avid

collector of books of Scripture, the theological school of Caesarea won a reputation for

having the most extensive ecclesiastical library of the time, containing more than 30,000

manuscripts: Gregory Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Jerome and others came to study

there.

With education firmly in Christian hands, however, many of the works of classical

antiquity were no longer considered useful. Old texts were washed off the valuable

parchment and papyrus, which were reused, forming palimpsests. As scrolls gave way

to the new book-form, the codex, which was universally used for Christian literature, old

manuscript scrolls were cut apart and used to stiffen leather bindings.

Ancient Chinese Libraries

Little is known about early Chinese libraries[citation needed], save what is written about

the imperial library which began with the Qin Dynasty. One of the curators of the

imperial library in the Han Dynasty is believed to have been the first to establish a

library classification system and the first book notation system. At this time the library

catalog was written on scrolls of fine silk and stored in silk bags.

Islamic Libraries

In Persia many libraries were established by the Zoroastrian elite and the Persian

Kings. Among the first ones was a royal library in Isfahan. One of the most important

public libraries established around 667 AD in south-western Iran was the Library of

Gundishapur. It was a part of a bigger scientific complex located at the Academy of

Gundishapur. Upon the rise of Islam, libraries in newly Islamic lands knew a brief period

of expansion in the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily and Spain. Like the Christian

libraries, they mostly contained books which were made of paper, and took a codex or

modern form instead of scrolls; they could be found in mosques, private homes, and

universities. In Aleppo, for example the largest and probably the oldest mosque library,

the Sufiya, located at the city's Grand Umayyad Mosque, contained a large book

collection of which 10,000 volumes were reportedly bequeathed by the city's most

famous ruler, Prince Sayf al-Dawla. Some mosques sponsored public libraries. Ibn al-

Nadim's bibliography Fihrist demonstrates the devotion of medieval Muslim scholars to

books and reliable sources; it contains a description of thousands of books circulating in

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the Islamic world circa 1000, including an entire section for books about the doctrines of

other religions. Unfortunately, modern Islamic libraries for the most part do not hold

these antique books; many were lost, destroyed by Mongols, or removed to European

libraries and museums during the colonial period.

By the 8th century first Iranians and then Arabs had imported the craft of papermaking

from China, with a paper mill already at work in Baghdad in 794. By the 9th century

completely public libraries started to appear in many Islamic cities. They were called

"halls of Science" or dar al-'ilm. They were each endowed by Islamic sects with the

purpose of representing their tenets as well as promoting the dissemination of secular

knowledge. The 9th century Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil of Iraq, even ordered the

construction of a ‘zawiyat qurra literally an enclosure for readers which was `lavishly

furnished and equipped.' In Shiraz Adhud al-Daula (d. 983) set up a library, described

by the medieval historian, al-Muqaddasi, as`a complex of buildings surrounded by

gardens with lakes and waterways. The buildings were topped with domes, and

comprised an upper and a lower story with a total, according to the chief official, of 360

rooms

....

In each department, catalogues were placed on a shelf

...

the rooms were

furnished with carpets

...

'.

The libraries often employed translators and copyists in large

numbers, in order to render into Arabic the bulk of the available Persian, Greek, Roman

and Sanskrit non-fiction and the classics of literature. This flowering of Islamic learning

ceased centuries later when learning began declining in the Islamic world, after many of

these libraries were destroyed by Mongol invasions. Others were victim of wars and

religious strife in the Islamic world. However, a few examples of these medieval

libraries, such as the libraries of Chinguetti in West Africa, remain intact and relatively

unchanged even today. Another ancient library from this period which is still operational

and expanding is the Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi in the Iranian city of

Mashhad, which has been operating for more than six centuries.

A number of distinct features of the modern library were introduced in the Islamic world,

where libraries not only served as a collection of manuscripts as was the case in ancient

libraries, but also as a public library and lending library, a centre for the instruction and

spread of sciences and ideas, a place for meetings and discussions, and sometimes as

a lodging for scholars or boarding school for pupils. The concept of the library catalogue

was also introduced in medieval Islamic libraries, where books were organized into

specific genres and categories.

The contents of these Islamic libraries were copied by Christian monks in

Muslim/Christian border areas, particularly Spain and Sicily. From there they eventually

made their way into other parts of Christian Europe. These copies joined works that had

been preserved directly by Christian monks from Greek and Roman originals, as well as

copies Western Christian monks made of Byzantine works. The resulting conglomerate

libraries are the basis of every modern library today.

Medieval Christian Libraries

With the retrenchment of literacy in the Roman west during the fourth and fifth centuries,

fewer private libraries were maintained, and those in unfortified villas proved to be

among their most combustible contents.

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In the Early Middle Ages, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and before the rise

of the large Western Christian monastery libraries beginning at Montecassino, libraries

were found in scattered places in the Christian Middle East.

Medieval library design reflected the fact that these manuscripts —created via the labor-

intensive process of hand copying— were valuable possessions. Library architecture

developed in response to the need for security. Librarians often chained books to

lecterns, armaria (wooden chests), or shelves, in well-lit rooms. Despite this

protectiveness, many libraries were willing to lend their books if provided with security

deposits (usually money or a book of equal value). Monastic libraries lent and borrowed

books from each other frequently and lending policy was often theologically grounded.

For example, the Franciscan monasteries loaned books to each other without a security

deposit since according to their vow of poverty only the entire order could own property.

In 1212 the council of Paris condemned those monasteries that still forbade loaning

books, reminding them that lending is "one of the chief works of mercy."

Lending meant more than just having another work to read to librarians; while the work

was in their possession, it could be copied, thus enriching the library's own collecion.

The book lent as a counter effort was often copied in the same way, so both libraries

ended up having an additional title.

The early libraries located in monastic cloisters and associated with scriptoria were

collections of lecterns with books chained to them. Shelves built above and between

back-to-back lecterns were the beginning of bookpresses. The chain was attached at

the fore-edge of a book rather than to its spine. Book presses came to be arranged in

carrels (perpendicular to the walls and therefore to the windows) in order to maximize

lighting, with low bookcases in front of the windows. This stall system (fixed bookcases

perpendicular to exterior walls pierced by closely spaced windows) was characteristic of

English institutional libraries. In Continental libraries, bookcases were arranged parallel

to and against the walls. This wall system was first introduced on a large scale in

Spain's El Escorial.

Early Modern Libraries

Johannes Gutenberg's movable type innovation in the 1400s revolutionized

bookmaking. From the 15th century in central and northern Italy, the assiduously

assembled libraries of humanists and their enlightened patrons provided a nucleus

around which an "academy" of scholars congregated in each Italian city of

consequence. Cosimo de Medici in Florence established his own collection, which

formed the basis of the Laurentian Library. In Rome, the papal collections were brought

together by Pope Nicholas V, in separate Greek and Latin libraries, and housed by

Pope Sixtus IV, who consigned the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana to the care of his

librarian, the humanist Bartolomeo Platina in February 1475. In the 16th century Sixtus

V bisected Bramante's Cortile del Belvedere with a cross-wing to house the Apostolic

Library in suitable magnificence. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw other

privately-endowed libraries assembled in Rome: the Vallicelliana, formed from the

books of Saint Filippo Neri, with other distinguished libraries such as that of Cesare

Baronio, the Biblioteca Angelica founded by the Augustinian Angelo Rocca, which was

the only truly public library in Counter-Reformation Rome; the Biblioteca Alessandrina

with which Pope Alexander VII endowed the University of Rome; the Biblioteca

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Casanatense of the Cardinal Girolamo Casanate; and finally the Biblioteca Corsiniana

founded by the bibliophile Clement XII Corsini and his nephew Cardinal Neri Corsini,

still housed in Palazzo Corsini in via della Lungara.

A lot of factors combined to create a "golden age of libraries" between 1600 and 1700:

The quantity of books had gone up, as the cost had gone down, there was a renewal in

the interest of classical literature and culture, nationalism was encouraging nations to

build great libraries, universities were playing a more prominent role in education, and

renaissance thinkers and writers were producing great works. Some of the more

important libraries include the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Library of the British

Museum, the Mazarine Library in Paris, and the National Central Library in Italy, the

Prussian State Library, the M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library of St.

Petersburg, and many more.

Public Libraries

15 The earliest example in England of a library to be endowed for the benefit of users

who were not members of an institution such as a cathedral or college was the Francis

Trigge Chained Library in Grantham, Lincolnshire, established in 1598. The library still

exists and can justifiably claim to be the forerunner of later public library systems.The

beginning of the modern, free, open access libraries really got its start in the U.K. in

1847. Parliament appointed a committee, led by William Ewart, on Public Libraries to

consider the necessity of establishing libraries through the nation: In 1849 their report

noted the poor condition of library service, it recommended the establishment of free

public libraries all over the country, and it led to the Public Libraries Act in 1850, which

allowed all cities with populations exceeding 10,000 to levy taxes for the support of

public libraries. Another important act was the 1870 Public School Law, which increased

literacy, thereby the demand for libraries, so by 1877, more than 75 cities had

established free libraries, and by 1900 the number had reached 300. This finally marks

the start of the public library as we know it. And these acts led to similar laws in other

countries, most notably the U.S.

1876 is a well known year in the history of librarianship. The American Library

Association was formed, as well as The American Library Journal, Melvil Dewey

published his decimal based system of classification, and the United States Bureau of

Education published its report, "Public libraries in the United

States of America; their history, condition, and management."

The American Library Association continues to play a major role

in libraries to this day, and Dewey's classification system,

although under heavy criticism of late, still remains as the

prevailing method of classification used in the United States.

As the number of books in libraries increased, so did the need

for compact storage and access with adequate lighting, giving

birth to the stack system, which involved keeping a library's

collection of books in a space separate from the reading room,

Casanatense of the Cardinal Girolamo Casanate; and finally the Biblioteca Corsiniana founded by the bibliophile Clement

an arrangement which arose in the 19th century. Book stacks quickly evolved into a

fairly standard form in which the cast iron and steel frameworks supporting the

bookshelves also supported the floors, which often were built of translucent blocks to

15 Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libraries

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permit the passage of light (but were not transparent, for reasons of modesty). With the

introduction of electrical lighting, it had a huge impact on how the library operated. Also,

the use of glass floors was largely discontinued, though floors were still often composed

of metal grating to allow air to circulate in multi-story stacks. Ultimately, even more

space was needed, and a method of moving shelves on tracks (compact shelving) was

introduced to cut down on otherwise wasted aisle space.

Library 2.0, a term coined in 2005, is the library's response to the challenge of Google

and an attempt to meet the changing needs and wants of the users by using web 2.0

technology. Some of the aspects of Library 2.0 include, commenting, tagging,

bookmarking, discussions, using social software, plug-ins, and widgets.[22] Inspired by

web 2.0, it is an attempt to make the library a more user driven institution.

Types of Libraries

Smaller libraries can sometimes be found in private homes.

Libraries can be divided into categories by several methods:

by the entity (institution, municipality, or corporate body) that supports or

 

perpetuates them

 
 

academic libraries

corporate libraries

government libraries

historical society libraries

private libraries

public libraries

school libraries

by the type of documents or materials they hold

 
 

data libraries

digital libraries

picture (photograph) libraries

slide libraries

tool libraries

by the subject matter of documents they hold

 
 

architecture libraries

fine arts libraries

law libraries

medical libraries

theological libraries

by the users they serve

 
 

military communities

users who are blind or visually/physically handicapped

 

by traditional professional divisions

 

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Academic libraries — These libraries are located on the campuses of

colleges and universities and serve primarily the students and faculty of

that and other academic institutions. Some academic libraries, especially

those at public institutions, are accessible to members of the general

public in whole or in part.

Public libraries or public lending libraries — These libraries provide service

to the general public and make at least some of their books available for

borrowing, so that readers may use them at home over a period of days or

weeks. Typically, libraries issue library cards to community members

wishing to borrow books. Many public libraries also serve as community

organizations that provide free services and events to the public, such as

reading groups and toddler story time.

Research libraries — These libraries are intended for supporting scholarly

research, and therefore maintain permanent collections and attempt to

provide access to all necessary material. Research libraries are most

often academic libraries or national libraries, but many large special

libraries have research libraries within their special field and a very few of

the largest public libraries also serve as research libraries.

School libraries — Most public and private primary and secondary schools

have libraries designed to support the school's curriculum.

Special libraries — All other libraries fall into this category. Many private

businesses and public organizations, including hospitals, museums,

research laboratories, law firms, and many government departments and

agencies, maintain their own libraries for the use of their employees in

doing specialized research related to their work. Special libraries may or

may not be accessible to some identified part of the general public.

Branches of a large academic or research libraries dealing with particular

subjects are also usually called "special libraries": they are generally

associated with one or more academic departments. Special libraries are

distinguished from special collections, which are branches or parts of a

library intended for rare books, manuscripts, and similar material. [1]

The final method of dividing library types is also the simplest.

Many institutions make a distinction between circulating libraries (where materials are

expected and intended to be loaned to patrons, institutions, or other libraries) and

collecting libraries (where the materials are selected on a basis of their natures or

subject matter). Many modern libraries are a mixture of both, as they contain a general

collection for circulation, and a reference collection which is often more specialized, as

well as restricted to the library premises.

Also, the governments of most major countries support national libraries. Three

noteworthy examples are the U.S. Library of Congress, Canada's Library and Archives

Canada, and the British Library. A typically broad sample of libraries in one state in the

U.S. can be explored at Every Library In Illinois.

Organization

Libraries usually contain long aisles with rows of books.

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Libraries have materials arranged in a specified order according to a library

classification system, so that items may be located quickly and collections may be

browsed efficiently. Some libraries have additional galleries beyond the public ones,

where reference materials are stored. These reference stacks may be open to selected

members of the public. Others require patrons to submit a "stack request," which is a

request for an assistant to retrieve the material from the closed stacks.

Larger libraries are often broken down into departments staffed by both

paraprofessionals and professional librarians.

…….

Library use

The Vietnam Center and Archive, which contains the largest collection of Vietnam War-

related holdings outside the U.S. federal government, catalogs much of its material on

the Internet.

Patrons may not know how to fully use the library's resources. This can be due to some

individuals' unease in approaching a staff member. The greatest impact, though are the

ways in which a library's content is displayed or accessed. An antiquated or clumsy

search system, or a staff unwilling or untrained to engage its patrons will limit a library's

usefulness. In United States public libraries, beginning in the 19th century these

problems drove the emergence of the library instruction movement, which advocated

library user education. One of the early leaders was John Cotton Dana. The basic form

of library instruction is generally known as information literacy.

Libraries inform their users of what materials are available in their collections and how

to access that information. ………………………….

Finland has the highest number of registered book borrowers per capita in the world.

Over half of Finland's population are registered borrowers. In the U.S., public library

users have borrowed roughly 15 books per user per year from 1856 to 1978. From 1978

to 2004, book circulation per user declined approximately 50%. The growth of

audiovisuals circulation, estimated at 25% of total circulation in 2004, accounts for about

half of this decline.

………………………………

Famous libraries

Some of the greatest libraries in the world are research libraries. The most famous ones

include The Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the New York Public Library in

New York City, the National Library of Russia in St Petersburg, the British Library in

London, Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, National Library of Spain in Madrid,

and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C ..

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Abbey library of St. Gallen founded in 612 and now a UNESCO World Heritage

Site.

Ambrosian Library in Milan opened to the public, December 8, 1609.

 

Baghdad's House of Wisdom, founded in 8th century AD.

 

Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) in Paris, 1720.

Bodleian Library at University of Oxford 1602, books collection begin around

 

1252.

Boston Public Library in Boston, 1826.

British Library in London created in 1973 by the British Library Act of 1972

 

(Originally part of the British Museum founded 1753).

 

British Library of Political and Economic Science in London, 1896.

 

Butler Library at Columbia University, 1934

Cambridge University Library at University of Cambridge, 1931.

 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, 1895.

 

Carnegie library Total of 2,509, between 1883 and 1929.

Carolina Rediviva at Uppsala University, 1841.

Dutch Royal Library in The Hague, 1798.

Egypt's Library of Alexandria (founded in 3rd century BC) and modern

 

Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Egypt's library of Cairo, founded in 10th century.

 

Firestone Library at Princeton University, 1948

Fisher Library at the University of Sydney (largest in the Southern Hemisphere),

1908

Franklin Public Library in Franklin, Massachusetts (the first public library in the

 

U.S.; original books donated by Benjamin Franklin in 1731)

 

Free Library of Philadelphia in Philadelphia established February 18, 1891.

 

Garrison Library in Gibraltar, 1793.

Geisel Library of UCSD, part of University of California, San Diego.

 

Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University, 1924.

 

Haskell Free Library and Opera House, which straddles the Canada-US border.

House of Commons Library, Westminster, London. Established 1818.

 

Islamic Spain's library of Cordoba, founded in 9th century.

 

Library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, founded between 669-631 BC.

 

The European Library, 2004

Tripoli's Dar il-'ilm, destroyed in 1109.

ITU Mustafa Inan Library. Established 1795. The largest collection on technical

(science and engineering) materials in Turkey.

Jagiellonian Library at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, 1364.

 

Jenkins Law Library in Philadelphia founded 1802.

 

John Rylands Library in Manchester 1972.

Leiden University Library at Leiden University in Leiden began at 1575 with

 

confiscated monastery books. Officially open in October 31, 1587.

 

Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. 1800.

 

Library of Sir Thomas Browne, 1711

Mitchell Library in Glasgow (one of the largest public references libraries in

 

Europe)

Multnomah County Library in Oregon, largest public library west of the

 

Mississippi River, 1864.

National Library of Australia in Canberra, Australia

 

National Library of Belarus in Minsk, 1922.

National Library of Iran, 1937.

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National Library of Ireland in Dublin, 1877.

National library of Israel (formerly: Jewish National and University Library) in

Jerusalem, Israel, 1892.

National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, 1925.

National Library of Spain in Madrid, 1711.

National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, 1907.

New York Public Library in New York

Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Powell Library at UCLA, part of the UCLA Library.

Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago, one of the largest repositories of

books in the world.

Royal Library in Copenhagen, 1793.

Russian State Library in Moscow, 1862.

Sassanid's ancient Library of Gondishapur around 489.

Seattle Central Library

Staatsbibliothek in Berlin

State Library of New South Wales in Sydney

State Library of Victoria in Melbourne

Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University, 1931.

St. Marys Church, Reigate, Surrey houses the first public lending library in

England. Opened 14 March 1701.

The St. Phillips Church Parsonage Provincial Library, established in 1698 in

Charleston, South Carolina, was the first public lending library in the American

Colonies. See also Benjamin Franklin's free public library in Philadelphia,

Pennsylvania.

Trinity College Library, in Trinity College, Dublin, the largest library in Ireland.

Since 1592.

Vatican Library in Vatican City, 1448 (but existed before).

Wellcome Library in London

Widener Library at Harvard University (Harvard University Library including all

branches has the largest academic collection overall.)

Some libraries devoted to a single subject:

Chess libraries

Esperanto libraries

Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, the world's largest genealogy

library.

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Bookshops and online stores

Famous bookshops

Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht

El Ateneo in Buenos Aires

Livraria Lello in Porto

Secret Headquarters comic bookstore in Los Angeles

Borders in Glasgow

Scarthin's in the Peak District

Posada in Brussels

El Péndulo in Mexico

Keibunsya in Kyoto

Hatchards in London

Online stores

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/

Powells Books

http://powells.com/

Borders Books

http://www.borders.com/

Barnes and Nobles

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

Liberty Books

http://libertybooks.com/

Chapters.indigo.ca

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/

Free eBooks sites

eSnips.com

http://www.esnips.com/

Shareware eBooks.com

www.sharewareebooks.com

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Book clubs online

An online book club is a website or online community where the discussion of books

takes place, including various Web forums, Yahoo! Groups, and email-based reading

groups 16 .

Book clubs online are a great resource. You can discover new titles, get suggestions

from like-minded people, reviews, discussions, analysis, and so much more, all from

the comfort of your home.

Some of the recommended online book clubs are:

SeniorNet

http://discussions.seniornet.org

Utne Reader's Book Club

http://cafeutne.org/cafe/?enter+Literature.Utne_Book_Club

Salon.com Table Talk – Books

http://tabletalk.salon.com/webx?13@114.sxcAajHRfod.0@.ee6ced0

Reader's Paradise Forum

http://glyphs.gardenweb.com/forums/paradise/

Constant Reader Message Board

http://www.constantreader.com/

Shakespeare High Cafeteria

http://www.shakespearehigh.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi

BookWire Discussion Forum

http://bookwiredforum.ipbhost.com/

Bookworms

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Styx/3544/

Book a Month

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/booksamonth

Literary Fiction Lovers

http://www.geocities.com/chrissy3861/

The Bookies

http://www.geocities.com/bookiestoo/

Usenet Book Newsgroup

http://groups.google.com/groups?group=rec.arts.books

Usenet Book Review Newsgroup

http://groups.google.com/groups?group=rec.arts.books.reviews

Shelfari

http://www.shelfari.com

16 http://www.book-clubs-resource.com/online/

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Esaays on Joys of Reading

1 Kiran Piracha

Curling 17 up with a book and a cup of hot coffee on a cold winter night may be sound

like fun to some people out there but those of us who are addicted to reading know just

how wonderful it feels to lose yourself into a whole new world. So we also know exactly

what Gustave Flaubert was trying to say when he exclaimed, "Read in order to live'.

And don't we all want to live and not just exist?

I was exposed to books at a very young age, when my father would clutter this

cupboards and every available space with books ranging in subject anywhere from

management to history to science. It was then only natural that I grew up loving the

printed matter, I read just about anything from newspapers to books to magazines.

Reading is such a passion with me that I am absolutely certain that nothing else would

ever be able to replace it. So is the case with all book-lovers, with varying intensity.

Reading always works its magic, regardless of who you are and what is it that you are

reading, provided it's not trash.

The most wonderful thing that reading offers is a peep into another world. when you

pick up a book and lose yourself into it, its like you have transcended your present

situation. This temporary escape from our routine life is of great significance when it

comes to your mental health. We all have day-to-days tasks to take care of, and many a

times we go to bed all tense and frustrated and sometimes just downright bored with

life. This is when reading comes to our rescue and we should welcome it with open

arms if we truly want to be happy and alive. To be able to forget our problems, or simply

to forget ourselves for sometime, is not only healthy… it is essential too, if one wants to

keep ones sanity intact. Reading offers us a chance to see the world from someone

else's eyes, thus broadening our horizons and opening our minds to new possibilities.

Don't ever forget the words of Sir Richard Steele, who said, "Reading is to mind what

exercise is to the body".

You emerge out of this trance-like situation, fully refreshed, with a clearer vision and

rejuvenated spirit. So the next time you feel as if your mental batteries could do with a

recharge, pick up a good book and immerse yourself into for a good hour or so. And

mind you, this solution comes with a guarantee card.

Whether you read for pleasure or information, you are bound to benefit in one way or

another because fiction and non-fiction both offer something of value and therefore their

company must be cherished. Though non-fiction varies in category from self-help books

to those concerning science and geography, they can do anyone lots of good. When I

was going through a particularly painful adolescence, such non-fiction was what I

sought help from. Therefore I recommend that if you mainly read for fun, you must from

17 http://www.essortment.com/all/joyofreading_rdxc.htm Written by Kiran Piracha - © 2002 Pagewise

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time to time switch to reading of some pure non-fiction too. A good book of famous

quotes or something concerning religion or human psychology is not a bad way to begin

your journey into the world of non-fiction. Do read for knowledge and information too, if

you want to get the most out of reading.

But we must not forget that the merits associated with reading can only be taken

advantage of when we read books of value. Reading trashy stuff, will only rob you of

your precious time, money and energy giving you nothing of importance in return. John

Ruskin aptly remarked, "Life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few, we ought to

waste none of them in reading valueless books".

It's very tragic to see that many people, usually those who are not much into reading

themselves, don't expose their children to the wonderful world of books. As a result,

many kids would either do drugs or get into excessive drinking during their difficult

adolescence. I am sure I would have done the same in my early teens had I been

unaware of the pleasure of reading. Books would not only increase a child's knowledge

of the world in general, it would always develop their imaginative faculties which is so

very essential for the healthy mental growth of a child.

I agree that reading is like an infection which can be caught, not taught, but it is your

responsibility as a parent to expose the kid to germs at least. Chances are they would

catch the disease because their immunity system isn't all that strong at that age. Keep

Galileo's words in mind, "You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him

discover it within himself".

2 George Wedd

BACON 18 said 'Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an

exact man'. (I recall a favourite undergraduate howler: "'Eating maketh a full man"

(Bacon)'.) We are told that the age of the printed word between hard, or even paper,

covers is passing. It has had a long run. Half a millennium of moveable type: well, we

cannot justly complain if it is replaced by something intangible, ethereal and electronic;

just as long as 'the Word' remains. 'In the beginning was the Word', as St John thought-

provokingly says, and so it will remain until some clever man in the West of America

discovers a way to communicate thoughts direct from your skull to mine without

using the tiresome formula of subject-verb-object. Almost all of us can read. England

was largely literate in the sixteenth century, and became nearly completely so when a

Liberal Minister followed up manhood suffrage by saying 'We must educate our

masters'. It is slightly shocking to be approached in the post office by a nervous man

asking help to fill in a form, 'because, you see, I cannot read'. It is a sign of illness.

Although practically all of us can read, not all of us do. There are various degrees of

indifference and aversion.

There was an old lady who was eventually prescribed glasses but would not wear them,

saying 'It's all bloody seeing!' (She died when knocked down by a car.) An aunt of mine

would meet me returning in triumph from W.H. Smith's, having spent my infant pocket-

money on a Penguin (six old pence -- eheu, fugaces) , with the words 'But you've got a

18 George Wedd "The joys of Reading".

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2242/is_1640_281/ai_91971268/

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book already!' I sometimes share a newspaper with a fellow-drinker in the village pub:

he wants nothing but the sports pages at the back, while I want everything but them. His

fingers trace the headlines and the picture captions; then he gives up and his lips cease

to move. He is in a prison, but does not realise it. (So, no doubt, am I, but in a larger,

open, one.)

What do we read, and why? Everyone has his or her own story. I declare my interest. I

am in my seventies. I went to the village school on my fourth birthday, and thanks to the

burning-glass of my mother's concentration on me I could already read. So I have had a

long acquaintance with print. I had poorish eyesight, not diagnosed for a very long time,

which made me a duffer at all games involving balls moving rapidly -- especially cricket,

which involved small, hard balls aimed directly at me, and to which I have a long

aversion. Then, of course, there was the Second World War and its aftermath, when

there was little else to do. Even getting around to see the world was difficult. Buses

were few and usually ran to factories, and at the railway station there were posters

asking 'Is your journey really necessary?' I had a bicycle, but in our hilly district ten

miles was about the perimeter for that. Thank Heaven, there was a library -- a poor one

even by the standards of the time, but there were books, rooms full of them, and I

worked systematically along the shelves. (Actually, the first library I joined had no visible

books; there was a card-index on the wall. You took a card and presented it through a

hatch to an unpleasant man who would interrogate you and, if satisfied, get the book --

slowly -- from some back room. That was in D.H. Lawrence's home town, and I have

wondered sometimes if he used it as a boy and, if so, what the 'librarian' and he made

of each other.)

I therefore read -- and read -- and read. I knew the names of the important, classic,

authors, and the library was old-fashioned enough to have them. This was not, in fact,

as much of a good thing as it sounds. I did not understand half of what I read; not just

romantic love, but much to do with adult affairs of all kinds was beyond a juvenile

appreciation. And, having read them too young with incomprehension, I find they are

spoiled for me. It sounds very grand to have read Bleak House or The Brothers

Karamazov at the age of twelve, but it makes them heavy going now. My mother had a

shelf or two of the better popular novels of the 1920s and 30s, and I read with

enjoyment Jeffrey Farnol and Rafael Sabatini; I wish I could find The Sea Hawk, The

Amateur Gentleman and The Constant Nymph again, but some house move or other

has claimed them. Her odd taste for French (in translation) leads me to say, with

Dorothy Parker,

`I read, and did not cease,

Dumas pere et Dumas fils,

Until I found I did not care

For Dumas fils and Dumas pere'.

My grandmother's bookshelf was made of sterner stuff. When the Prophet Mohammed

enjoined his followers not to dispute with 'the People of the Book', he had Christians

generally in mind (and Jews, too, of course). But the English of a hundred or so years

ago were 'People of the Book' with a vengeance, and the Books in question were the

King James Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, Hymns Ancient and Modern, Pilgrim's

Progress and Foxe's Book of Martyrs. For what it's worth, I do not think you will go far

wrong if you know those well. Foxe is pretty well forgotten now, but his descriptions of

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the grandeur and courage of men and women dying fearfully for their beliefs were burnt

into an impressionable mind. I cannot think of a more stirring passage in English

literature than his description of the trial and condemnation of Dr Rowland Taylor, rector

of Hadleigh in Suffolk, for denying transubstantiation. Dr Taylor was condemned in

London and taken back to Hadleigh to be burned at the stake. As the procession approa

ched Hadleigh, he slipped off his horse 'and leaped and took a frisk or two, as men

commonly do in dancing. Why, master doctor, said the sheriff, what do you now? He

answered, Well, God be praised, good master sheriff, never better, for now I know I am

almost at home. I have but two stiles to go over, and I am even at my Father's house'.

As a student, I read with furious determination. I typed up my lecture notes to fix them

in my mind. As a civil servant, one-third of my working life was given over to reading

and one-third to writing (the rest to discussion).

In those days of strict anonymity, nothing printed carried an author's name. It rankles

ever so slightly, still, that a dozen or more heavyweight publications appeared simply as

'published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office for the Department

...

'. Had I been in

academic life, I would have seen my name on the spines. Still, most of them were

of their time and for their time and would not bear re-reading. For my own leisure

reading, I found that fiction gradually lost its hold on me. One concludes a novel

wondering, Am I any better, or any better-informed? Very rarely; I have simply passed

some time. Time is not to be killed; it is to be used. History -- the account of people who

did not know what was going to happen next (a very un-Marxist view: Marxists always

know what is going to happen next, as the historical dialectic unfolds) -- held its grip. I

would make one exception to this: Thomas Hardy. For some reason, I would generally

finish a Hardy novel feeling better for it. But that is a personal quirk. Trollope I enjoyed,

but really as a side-light on nineteenth-century history. He tells one how people thought

and felt as they moved through that momentous century.

To jump decades, as I approached my retirement I felt singularly ill-read, and in the last

year or two I amused myself by making a list of the minor classics which I would get to

grips with in my retirement. I don't suppose English literature is unique in having a large

stock of really worth-while books, which have played their part but which have passed

from the scene. Here are some I jotted down, and read. Eothen by Kinglake (including a

notable description of Cairo in the plague); Discourses on Painting by Reynolds (a very

straightforward book); Religic Medici by Browne; The Great Rebellion by Clarendon;

Arabia Deserta by Doughty; Eminent Victorians by Strachey; The Idea of a University by

Newman. I would have another go at Strafford by Browning, urged on by the thought

that Strafford was the most eminent member of my old college. I would try to finish any

novel by George Meredith. I would try to understand, and be patient with, any novel by

Henry James -- and not react as a friend does, who says her react ion at about page 50

of any James novel is to think 'when you have decided what you want to tell me, send

me a post-card'. I would try not to admire Kipling quite so much, and to get rid of the

feeling that MacAndrew's Hymn is one of the finest poems in the language. I would try

to see what I am assured is the innate vulgarity of Longfellow and not enjoy Hiawatha --

undeterred by the example of Winston Churchill who in his seventies stunned a dinner-

party by reciting most of King Robert of Sicily, which he said he had learnt for pleasure

at Harrow.

In this category of minor classics are some books and authors who have truly ferocious

secret admirers. John Betjeman is one. He clearly isn't going to be ranked with Milton,

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or even Dryden. However that may be, in any party of reasonably literate people a line

from Betjeman will be recognised, and capped. Another name came up when I was

discussing with a junior Minister -- a nice man, but one I had not thought of as having

any special literary taste -- public transport, of all mundane things, and I said 'We have

come to our coaches, forsooth', instantly drawing from him 'It was not so in Queen

Elizabeth's time, before the civil warres'; and so I recognised a fellow-lover of Aubrey's

Brief Lives. If I had to chose one prose work to survive from the seventeenth century, I

think Aubrey's warm, catty, gossipy book would be it -- and so marvellously improper,

too. His notes on Sir Walter Raleigh -- now, there's something (especially the passage

beginning 'He loved a wench well

...

',

wench, but any passing girl).

by which Aubrey does not mean any special

Then there's the strange passion aroused by The Wrong Box (RLS and Lloyd

Osbourne); a very good book indeed but not one, I would have thought, to have such

admirers. But RLS draws people by the dichotomy of his personality -- lighthearted and

romantic on the surface, and, not too far down, a depressed Calvinism. I don't much

want to know how Turandot would have ended, but I wish heartily to know how Weir of

Hermiston would have turned out.

  • I wish I could remember why I liked Quiller-Couch so much for so long; perhaps one has

to like the 'delectable Duchy' of Cornwall he loved. Now he is in a box I am sure I shall

not re-open, along with the boyhood stories of G. A. Henty. These occupied a glass-

fronted bookcase at my grandmother's. They were treated with reverence, and I was

made to wash my hands before handling them: the reason, I realised much later, was

that they had been given as school prizes to my uncles, who had not returned, poor

boys, from the Western Front, and they were kept as mementoes and evidence that

they had been good scholars. They were wholesome yams with a vengeance, in which

clean-living English lads, patriotic and Protestant, performed brave deeds, doing much

more than their duty. By Pike and Dyke and By England's Aid were about the Dutch

revolt; With Clive in India and No Surrender: a Tale of La Vendee went further afield

(these English lads got about).

School prizes are an ephemeral influence, and the next generation has no use for them.

  • I recall a second-hand bookshop in Norfolk I visited once. The sound of a circular saw

came from a back room, and when the proprietor appeared I asked what literary

function this served. He showed me a large stock of handsome leather-bound Victorian

school prizes. The only customers for these were Americans who wanted the

appearance of a book-lined wall without the nuisance of the books, and the circular saw

was used to remove the spines neatly with about an inch of the pages. I bought books I

did not want to save them from this indignity. In so doing, I acquired great riches --

Macaulay's Essays, Lays of Ancient Rome and his History. Was there ever an historian

like Tom, so vivid, passionate and prejudiced? Could anyone make the past come to life

as he did? Just compare the description of the Roman Empire under the Antonines at

the beginning of Gibbon, which was thought in its day to be good social history, with the

descri ption of England in 1685 which opens Macaulay's narrative. His men and women

live; you would recognise them if they came into the room, and you would admire or

hate them, as he does, the moment they opened their mouths.

Macaulay is such an immediate, day-by-day writer, giving you the impression that he

has just quit Milord Sunderland and run into William Penn (and doesn't think much of

either of them, although for different reasons) that he leaves the same impact on the

mind as a diarist.

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Diaries deserve to be mentioned. They have so many advantages, one of them being

that they break down for easy bed-time reading. A day or two of Kilvert's or Woodford's

life are good with a nightcap. They swerve and plunge and carry you into the writer's

immediate mind. Kilvert, for example, writing in 1870, moves straight from describing

village girls -- he's fond of doing that -- to tell us that 'Metz has fallen, with 150,000 men

and four Marshals of France'. Parsons make the best diarists, Pepys always excepted;

they are literate men, often with not much company in the parish. On Monday or

Tuesday, with last Sunday's sermon safely behind and a day or two before next

Sunday's must be begun, what better occupation to keep the mind exercised than

describing one's doings, family, neighbours and so forth?

The finest of all clerical diarists, without doubt, was the Reverend James Skinner of

Camerton, near Bath, in the diocese of Bath and Wells. From 1800 to 1839 he

attempted to guide an unruly parish -- Camerton was then a coal-mining village -- with

little success. He was paranoid, obsessive, perfectionist, thin-skinned and self-

righteous, and his diary is the long story of a man going mad and taking forty years over

it. He held his parishioners in much contempt. He records a marriage thus: 'It was a

wedding after the Camerton mode. That is to say, the bride was pregnant, the groom

was drunk and the bridesmaid was a thirteen-year-old prostitute from Bath'. He was

called to an accidental death in a pit; a miner has lost his footing and fallen hundreds of

feet down the shaft. Skinner commented 'Sad to say, his last word was an oath'. He

quarrelled with the squiress because her peacock roosted near the rectory. He

quarrelled with the bell-ringers: when they had done their job, why would they not come

into service , but sit smoking on the step of the tower door? One Sunday evening some

years ago, I made my way to Camerton, but misjudged the time and Evensong had

begun. As I walked round the outside of the church, I found the bell-ringers of 1985

doing exactly what Skinner had complained of in 1825. I asked the way to his grave. 'Let

'un bide, can't 'e: let 'un bide' was the slow reply. The best edition of Skinner I know is a

paperback selection by the OUP. It has a moving introduction by Virginia Woolf, who

knew for herself just what torments he suffered. In 1839, it all became too much, and

after forty years of struggling with himself, his God and the world around him, he took a

shotgun into the woods, which is why there is no memorial to him in the churchyard.

A contemporary of Skinner, at the other end of Somerset, was the Reverend Mr

Holland, an altogether better balanced character. His diary brings life on the Quantocks

vividly before us. What were those two young men doing, walking on the cliffs, talking,

gesticulating, making notes? Probably French spies, looking at places for a landing (not

so silly a suspicion; the French had indeed made an abortive landing in Wales, while

looking for Ireland, not long before). They were in fact Mr Wordsworth and Mr Coleridge,

deeply suspect for their opinions. Mr Holland didn't like Mrs Coleridge; meeting her in

the street he thought she was a hoyden, 'fit wife for such a Democrat' (not a term of

approval in 1800).

A minor classic which ought to be better known is Victorian Miniature by Owen

Chadwick. Imagine a village in Victorian Norfolk, rather off the beaten track. The squire,

Sir John Boileau, and the vicar, the Reverend Mr Andrew, were both highly literate men

who didn't get on -- and both kept diaries, largely about each other. Professor Chadwick

got hold of both, and wrote a brilliant and sympathetic comparison. Andrew was an

active, proselytising Evangelical; Sir John, though a deep Churchman, was not. Andrew

was called to minister to a condemned man who was hanged in Norwich gaol. He

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composed a sermon about the experience, which made him locally famous. People

came from near and far to hear this address. Sir John disapproved of strangers in his

parish church, and posted his gamekeepers on all the roads into the village on Sundays

to keep interlopers out. No-one except Mr Andrew thought that this was going too far.

My own career as a diarist was of the briefest. For my eighth Christmas I was given a

diary. The entry for January 1 reads 'I am going to keep a dairy ...

'.

There was no further

entry. My mother recovered it, and would bring it out from time to time. It was regarded

as meritorious to take the uppity young down a peg or two.

` ...

et nos mutamur in illis'. So we do; but the vast deposit of Eng. Lit. lies behind us,

around us and before us.

When I hear what students, purporting to study for English degrees, know and do not

know nowadays, I seem to sense huge doors shutting quietly behind us. The Greek

door had closed behind me, but I just squeezed through the Latin door. Middle English

and Chaucer closed just after me (the Anglo-Saxon door never opened, I'm afraid). The

door labelled Shakespeare is kept firmly wedged open by a whole industry devoted to

keeping it so; but the century after him is shutting down. Milton; the Bible; even

Restoration literature; all are going, going, gone

...

It is not just the students; the

instructors themselves regard Paradise Lost with incomprehension, and the very Bible

as a quaint subject for obsessional eccentrics. They do not know what they are missing.

But into the harsher world into which we may be moving, older values may return. In Ian

Hay's The First Hundred Thousand, a captain who has packed for active service before

advises the young subalterns to save a pound or two of the forty pounds of luggage

they are allowed for a couple of books, and strongly recommends Vanity Fair and

Pickwick as likely to be good company in the trenches. I do so agree.

3 Dowling College Chapter

When 19 I was first asked to make this short speech, I was struck by the title “What

Reading Means to Me.” My knee-jerk reaction was “What doesn’t reading mean to

me?” As a professional librarian, I thought of all of our standard platitudes: “Reading is

Life.” “Reading is Fundamental.” “There is no such thing as too many books.” I might

easily have gone on and on along this vein, until I remembered that, for me, it hadn’t

always been that way. Not by a long shot.

My approach to reading as a child was quite different than it is today. I can still

remember clearly how scientific my approach was at the ripe old age of ten. “Dad,” I

would say, “next time you’re at the library, get me a book for my book report.” I did give

him some direction, however. “Remember, it should only be about this big…

more than 100 pages…

..

and

please, make sure it has lots of pictures.”

..

it can’t be

You can only imagine my reaction when he proudly walked in the door once with a copy

of The Call of the Wild. “Dad!” I screamed. “Dad! This is like, huge – OhmyGod – 221

pages??! And, there’s like, practically no pictures. Anywhere! I tooolldd you -” “Dave,”

he responded, only mildly irritated, “it’s Jack London! It’s a classic!” I stared at him. All I

could muster in response was “Daaaaddd!!”

19 Dowling College Chapter - English Honor Society - 14 April 2003

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Prior to this crisis, my only memories of going to the library were when we would drive

my Grandmother there every Saturday afternoon when we took her on errands, right in

between our stops at the bakery and the cobbler shop. I was thankful that my Gramma

only read Westerns, since these were shelved in the coolest section of the library. There

was a big overhang above the Westerns section, right underneath the stairs which led

up to a balcony, and it was a great place to hide in the shadows and throw things or

jump out at people. I definitely loved visiting the library in those days.

My library career began at this same library, just as auspiciously as my reading career.

It was Boy Scout Government Day, 1971, and all the young boys in our town were to be

elected to political posts throughout the community. Naturally, there was great interest

in running for Police Chief, or Fire Chief, or better yet, Principal of your own school,

where you could have all manner of fun sitting in the school office and haranguing your

friends who were stuck in class while you weren’t.

I quickly read through the lists of positions for election and zeroed in on the one slot for

which no one had signed up to run. “Library Director.” That was it. I knew what I was

going to go for. I think in my selection essay, I wrote something like “I believe that

libraries and books hold the future of mankind, and I would like to dedicate my life to

them.” Basically, I wanted the day off from school. As soon as I found out I had won the

election unopposed, I faced only one dilemma. Although the Boy Scouts had efficiently

sent me all the paperwork I needed about running the library for a day, no one had

actually told me where the library was. Lord knows I hadn’t memorized the route

whenever we drove my Grandmother there. In the car, I was always too busy plotting

new ways to harass my sister under the balcony stairs. Fortunately, for me and the Boy

Scouts, my father came through again.

While I did get through that one Boy Scout Government Day somewhat unscathed, I

was amazed to be re-elected to this post the following year, again, unopposed. To

make matters worse, the library actually had the nerve to offer me a paid part-time job in

the library, shelving books as a student page. “Daaaddd!” was all I could say. “How do

you get to the library again? I gotta go back this year, too.”

Now, I mention these anecdotes for one very important reason, to illustrate that there is

hope for all of us. For most of my life, I was what might today be called “Reading

Challenged,” and, if not for the persistence of parents and teachers and librarians, I

would likely have remained that way. In fact, in my life as a reader, I have discovered a

very fundamental paradox. Even though I do believe everyone is a born reader, I do not

believe everyone is born to read. I believe that while most of us possess the ability

innately, we need somebody to jump start us, to take our dormant flint and steel and get

a spark going. We don’t have to “become” readers. We need to “see” reading as the

vital part of life that it is. To me it is a privilege to open someone up to the world of

books, but it can be frustrating since it’s not one of those things you can make happen,

and you never really know you’re doing it once you actually do it. There is some reason

why I kept going back to that library of my youth, and it wasn’t just to throw things at my

sister under the balcony stairs. I was seeing reading in action. I was seeing people

choosing to spend some time between the covers of a book. They weren’t at the

movies, although they may have been going later that day. They weren’t watching TV

or playing sports at that moment, although they certainly may have been earlier that

day. I was seeing people voluntarily bringing books home with them without measuring

thickness between their forefinger and their thumb.

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My grandmother was not able to move around that easily in her final years, but nothing

was going to keep her from her weekly visits to the library. My dad, whom I was

convinced knew nothing about anything, had known who had written The Call of the

Wild. ‘Nancy Drew’ was not one of my sister’s friends from school, yet my sister kept

talking about her. And Dr. Seuss books were not Christmas ornaments that had fallen

off of the tree. They had been left there for a reason. People around me were showing

me books. People around me were living with books. People around me were reading

books, demonstrating their love of reading without drumming it into my head, and in

spite of my efforts to resist, I began to understand why.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Throughout much of my childhood, I was convinced

I did not know how to read. I was a good student, I knew my alphabet and my phonics,

and I even managed, in spite of myself, to get my book reports in on time, although I do

distinctly remember once deciding to settle for a grade of ‘F’ rather than continue

reading My Antonia for even one more day. But what this had to do with that strange

concept called “reading,” however, was beyond me. You see, I knew I knew “HOW to

Read.” I just didn’t think I was “A READER.” Thank goodness others taught me

otherwise.

My father never stopped bringing home those classics, some of which I actually read.

Mrs. Hamilton, my speed reading teacher in high school, kept saying “David, you really

are a good reader. You’re just not a very fast reader.” Mrs. Bragdon, the Children’s

Librarian, started putting aside books just for me, once it became clear to her that I had

indeed figured out how to get to the library. Bedtime stories were the norm, and, thank

goodness, there were still plenty of publishers including pictures in their books.

Once I made that voluntary, unassigned decision to open a book and read, just for its

own sake, I was hooked. Reading became a hobby, then a passion, then a need.

Suddenly, I was saying things like “Oh, I’ve read that,” or, “You know, the book was

much better than the movie,” or, perhaps most surprisingly, “Daaaddd! I wanna go to

the library!”

In reading, I had discovered a way to make dozens of new friends, without having to

actually meet anybody. I became a Hardy Boy, a Happy Hollister, and sometimes even

the third Bobsey Twin. I played with Curious George, the Cat in the Hat, and, when

desperate, even Madeline, or Amelia Bedelia.

Later in life, I became notorious for giving people books as gifts, and, likewise, I became

very easy to shop for. Throughout our house, various doorstops and table leg props and

high chair booster seats began disappearing as I began reading them. My mother,

whose oft-spoken phrase “I don’t know why you kids don’t like to read!” had developed

into something of a mantra, was now wailing and gnashing her teeth. “Would you

please stop bringing books into this house!”

Technically, I’m an adult now, but I still feel like a kid with my love of reading. When I

read, I feel like I’m bingeing on calorie-free ice cream, and nobody can make me stop.

Reading has become a healthy indulgence, a positive form of escape, a chance to be

transported, teleported even, without having to leave your chair or have your cells

reconstructed. It is virtual reality without the safety goggles.

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Reading makes far away places seem close by, and makes nearby places seem far

away. Reading showed me why Narnia’s Kingdom was in a closet, and it helped me

learn how to calibrate my spark plugs. Reading taught me the importance of things like

good nutrition, safe sex, and a Red Sox World Series, and why Rodgers and

Hammerstein had to re-write the South Pacific about a dozen times.

Reading has taught me about hatred, and about love, about fellowship and about

aloneness. It has helped me to care that Rosa Parks would not give up her seat, it

assured me that I wasn’t the only kid who had certain fears, and it continued to prove to

me that no one – absolutely no one – could keep me from finding out about something if

I really wanted to.

Reading has taught me how to think more than teachers have taught me how to think,

but I do credit teachers for showing me the importance of being able to think. And,

reading has also taught me there is absolutely no reason why I couldn’t have been one

of those people who fought in the Revolution, or who traveled in space, or who ran in

the Boston Marathon, or who planted a tree. In short, to paraphrase the popular

expression, “Everything I need to know, I learned by reading.” Well, okay, almost

everything.