Thursday, July 20, 2006

Raking leaves, page by page

I finally got around to updating my "Books" spreadsheet, which I've maintained since I was 14 or 15. You'll notice FCA's sidebar is much squatter now that the "Recently Read" section has been trimmed down.

It wasn't until I saw the number next to each spreadsheet entry that it struck me: I've read a ton of books this year!

In case you were wondering, I group rows from one summer to another, so there is a cluster between, say, summer 2002 and summer 2003 (as well as, of course, a cluster within each summer). I divide the columns into seven categories: Title, Author, Page #, Rating [1-10], Publication Date, Comments, and, recently, Publisher. (Yes, I'm a total book dweeb.)

It's great finally to get these books offline and entered into the spreadsheet, but now I have a mountain of backtracking to do in order to enter all the info for those categories. For whatever reason, a few months ago I just stopped keeping on top of this spreadsheet, dear though it is to me, and now, like tending fallen leaves, I've got a lot of raking, bagging and tossing to do.

In any case, I figured I'd post my reading for this year (from summer 2005 till summer 2006), if for nothing else than to elicit some responses from those of you who have read the same stuff I have. The count for this year (about 9 months) comes to 96 books, which means I somehow averaged about 2.5 books a week. (I guess reading mutliple books at once over a longer stretch of time really pays off!) What's really bizarre is that, including this year's titles, and the four I've read so far this summer, the total count since I was 13 years old is only about 720 titles. Over fourteen years, this works out to approximately 51 books per year (ie., a book a week). At this rate, assuming I don't go blind or become "bibliolergic", if I live another 50 years, I can expect to read another 2,600 books in my life. So, at the most, I can look forward to having read about 3,500 books when I go to meet my Maker.

Somehow that sounds like an extremely low number; then again, I wonder what the average quantity is for book consumption over a longish human lifetime. Maybe if I go for a master's and a doctorate, I can reach multiple thousands.

And yet, lest I get too carried away with numbers, I repeat (mostly to myself) once more the words of Holy Scripture found in Ecclesiastes (my favorite Old Testament book), chapter 12, verses 11 and 12:

11 The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd. 12 Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

And as St. Paul says in I Corinthians 1:

25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, 28 and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, 29 so that no human being might boast before God. 30 It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, "Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."

May God give me holy wisdom, not merely "wordly wisdom", nor mere "worldly wisdom." May I never read another book if it draws me from His love, or shrouds His glory. Yet, may I never cease to read if it glorifies Him and propels me to Him.

So, God bless it, here they are for this year. (I would have liked to list the authors as well, but it was just too ungainly transferring more than one column from Excel to Blogger.) Feel free to comment.

Das Wesen des Katholizismus

The Little Prince

The Enormous Crocodile

Refuting the Attack on Mary

Finding God's Will for You

Priesthood Today: an appraisal

The Divine Conspiracy: rediscovering our hidden life in god

Upon This Rock: st. peter and the primacy of rome in scripture and the early church

Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a scriptural handbook on the papacy

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: what the rich teach their children that the poor and middle clas don't

Man and the Cosmos: the vision of st. maximus the confessor

The Real Jesus: the misguided quest for the historical jesus and the truth of the traditional gospels

And You Are Christ's: the charism of virginity and the celibate life

Biomimicry: innovation inspired by nature

The Person in the Orthodox Tradition

The Haunting Fetus: abortion, sexuality and the spirit world in taiwan

The Pattern of Atonement

Bible, Church, Tradition: an eastern orthodox view

Worthy is the Lamb: the biblical roots of the mass

Any Friend of God's Is a Friend of Mine

The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI

The Doctors of the Church

Zen Buddhism: Parables, Allegories and Koan Riddles as Told by Zen Masters

The Incorruptibles

The Gnostic Gospels

The Innocence of Father Brown [audio]

A Mind's Matter: An Intellectual Autobiography

Breaking the Da Vinci Code

The Art of War [audio]

Against All Odds: Sisters of Providence Mission in China, 1920-1990

The River at the Center of the World: A Journey up the Yangtze, and Back in Chinese Time

Our Lady and the Church

Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Novelle & Das Märchen

The Iron Man

The Scarlet Letter [audio]

On Their Own Terms: Science in China, 1550-1900

Pope Fiction

Reaching Out: the Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

Leisure: the Basis of Culture

Saint Philip Neri

The Catholic Church at the End of an Age: What is the Holy Spirit Saying

In the Beginning...': A Catholic Understanding of Creation and Fall

The Bone Parade

Kinds of Minds

Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic

Ignatius of Loyola

Wir kommen, wohin wir schauen: Berufung leben heute

Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science -- from the Babylonians to the Maya

Why Do Catholics Do That?

Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy

The Wonder of Guadalupe: The Origin and Cult of the Miraculous Image of the Blessed Virgin in Mexico

Dancing Wu Li Masters: an Overview of the New Physics [audio]

Ecclesia in Asia

Guadalupe and Her Faithful: Latino Catholics in San Antonio, from Colonial Origins to the Present

Means to Message: A Treatise on Truth

A Historical Sketch of Christianity in China

Creation and Scientific Creativity: A Study in the Thought of S.L. Jaki

Benedict XVI: The Man Who Was Ratzinger

The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?

C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason

Newman's Challenge

Airframe

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

Along Came a Spider

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Angels & Demons

TBK Fitness Program

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

Eastern Orthodox Mission Theology Today

The War Against Population: The Economics and Ideology of World Population Control

True Son of Heaven: How Jesus Fulfills the Chinese Culture

The Da Vinci Deception

Church, Papacy and Schism

You Are Peter: An Orthodox Theologian's Reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy

Communio: Church and Papacy in Early Christianity

Dialektik der Säkularisierung: Über Vernunft und Religion

The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction?

Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code

Catholic Church in China

The Da Vinci Legacy

The Origin of Chinese Martial Arts

The Da Vinci Code

Jesus Among Other Gods

Crucifixion

Kerygma and Dogma

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Angels (and Demons) - What Do We Really Know About Them?

The Rape of Nanking

Shopgirl

What Are They Saying About Papal Primacy?

Catholic & Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs

Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? (4th ed.)

Digital Fortress

2 comments:

craig said...

If you were a real book nerd, you would include the ISBN number so they're more easily accessible and the correct version is referenced.

the Cogitator said...

Ah, yes, but why type them when I've already memorized them all? heh heh