How Do You Organize Your Books?

John Waters famously said — if you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t sleep with them (though he used a word that you won’t often find in this newspaper or on public radio). I respectfully disagree. Rather than accumulate books, I prefer to take a “one in/one out” approach. If a title is wonderful, I give it to a friend. If it isn’t, I put it on the giveaway shelf at work. I have a small number of treasured books at my house, including an autographed copy of “Role Models,” by Waters, but I have no interest in building a personal library of works that I will rarely if ever revisit. — Ari Shapiro

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As Time Goes By

I’ve been publishing some form of A Celebration of Reading since the mid-90s and it represents a lot of reading ,,, a lot of books. I just spent more than an hour revisiting my annual lists of the 20 or so books I found that deserved mention. I’m sure after 25 years some of my old evaluations might no longer hold true but for the most part, even with my dimming gray cells, I can still recall why I enjoyed or was enlightened by most of the texts.

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Milk and Cookies

While reading a somewhat tedious 18th Century English novel, I was reminded that modes of transportation have evolved greatly in the last 200 years. In a time before automobiles or even bicycles, it evidently was common to get around town in a chair balanced on rails and spirited about by two husky gents. Like the rickshaw, this was a common method of transportation for those who could not afford a carriage but still were not about to be seen on foot, leap-frogging over the open sewers of the town.

I stopped to think.

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