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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Fellow Traveller

Sputnik! A new word in a strange language identifying a giant achievement. Sixty-Five years ago I was in Sixth grade squatting in one quarter of the borrowed auditorium of somebody else’s school while my new school was under construction. My coon-skin cap was barely used and now I had to switch to wiggling antennae and beep-beeps to rival the roadrunner?

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The End of Publishing

I’ve told the story before and it’s true: One of my favorite professors at university announced to his class of aspiring young writers that Moby Dick is a novel; all the rest are just entertainments. While I agree with the sentiment of this, I might substitute Madame Bovary for the great white whale.

Yet there’s still a problem. Let’s face it, with few exceptions. all the rest are not really entertaining.

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