The books are burning …

ElShaddai has tagged me with a new meme which seems appropriate for 1st April:

Books are scarce in the world. They are illegal in some provinces. They are not easily replaced if not impossible to replace if lost in many if not most circumstances. If you can replace a book or buy one it is usually through the black market at astronomical costs that you cannot afford. Yet you have been able to maintain one of the best collections in the world. If your entire library was about to burn up (think of the firefighters in Fahrenheit 451 invading your home) and you could only have one* book to take with you other than the bible, what would that be and why?

Simple Rules
Answer the question. Offer one quote that resonates with you. Tag five people whose response is of genuine interest to you and inform him or her that they have been tagged. Cheers!

*And it cannot be an entire series of something, that’s cheating.

Nathan Stitt has already chosen The Lord of the Rings. I shall cry “Foul!” about this because it is really three books bound together as one, and because I didn’t get the chance to choose it myself. Well, I could do, because the rules don’t say I can’t copy others’ good choices, and my edition is not the same as his but a cheap paperback. So I will try to be a bit more creative.

Let’s look at the scenario. It is not the “Desert Island Discs” one for which I might want to choose a big book which I could reread again and again as I waited, bored, for rescue. Anyway on the desert island I would also have the Bible and Shakespeare, and there is enough there to dispel boredom.

In the world of this meme there is unlikely to be boredom as I would surely be politically active trying to overthrow this repressive government – or in jail where I probably wouldn’t be allowed to take the book. And, as Doug suggested, the complete works of Shakespeare might also be disqualified as “an entire series of something”. (Would I be allowed only part of the complete works as a series which is not entire?)

So my choice would have to be something valuable, perhaps even irreplaceable, rather than something I would actually want to read all the time. That makes for a difficult choice. I might have to choose something like ӘРӘБ ВӘ ФАРС СӨЗЛӘРИ ЛҮҒӘТИ simply for its rarity, and its irreplaceability for my Bible translation work which could otherwise continue mostly with the texts in my computer, but as this is a monolingual dictionary in a language few of my readers will understand there is not much point in me providing a quote from it.

So where does this leave me? If I am to post tonight I will do so without actually naming a book or quoting anything. But I do just have time to tag a few people: the blogger formerly known as Lingamish; Suzanne McCarthy, who can’t choose KJV or a Latin Bible translation; Eddie Arthur, but I won’t let him choose his own dissertation; Henry Neufeld, and I suppose I shouldn’t let him take a book he publishes; and in honour of a post Confessions of a Jaded Reader which is on his RSS feed but no longer on his blog, Tim Chesterton. I hope they are all reading this blog and so will know that they have been tagged.

0 thoughts on “The books are burning …

  1. Pingback: Robert Mugabe to teach political science at Yale « Lingamish

  2. Pingback: Robert Mugabe to teach political science at Yale « Lingamish

  3. And sorry about the double post. I had serious Internet connection difficulties this morning that were causing some havoc.

  4. Lingalinga, as I’m sure you’re not the only person to wonder (and as you have dropped the former suffix to your name which I could not use in this context) I will tell you that the book I mentioned is a dictionary of Arabic and Persian words used in classical Azerbaijani works, with glosses (rather than definitions) in modern(-ish) Azerbaijani (in Cyrillic script, not the now current Latin script). It is indispensable for understanding the rare words I sometimes find in translation drafts – mostly words I need to weed out.

  5. I wondered if anyone would notice how quickly that post came down.

    I wrote it in a black mood and then recovered!

    BTW, ‘Lord of the Rings’ is not three books. Tolkien wrote it as one book and then the publisher split it into three because they were nervous about publishing such a huge book in one volume.

    Sorry, Peter, but I don’t do tags – there’s potentially no end to it, and I do have another life…

    However, I have absolutely no difficult yin responding that the book I would rescue from a burning library would be my oldest photograph album.

  6. I don’t think there’s a single book on my bookshelves, either at home or at my church office, which is not replaceable (either new or used from a second-hand book service), which is why I went with the photo albums. However, if I were to be pushed, I would probably go for Donald Coggan’s ‘Stewards of Grace’, a very fine (and very short) book about preaching written in 1958 and now long out of print. I have an autographed hardback copy, and for the esteem in which I hold the author I would probably try to save it.

    Which reminds me, I haven’t read that book in a while. Tim to refresh my memory…

  7. Thanks, Tim. I don’t blame you for not doing tags, and for taking down black mood posts (maybe there are some I should take down). But, while you can persuade me to allow The Lord of the Rings, I do think that photograph albums, also Lingalinga’s choice, are cheating.

  8. If pushed, and if photo albums are cheating, I’d go for my autographed copy of Donald Coggan’s ‘Stewards of Grace’, a very fine little book about preaching published in 1958 and now long out of print.

  9. Pingback: Like a book saved from the burning. | Kouya Chronicle

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