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spires from Carfax

culling books and memories

Books + Ideas — May 2019

Culling books is a bit like culling memories.

photo photo

The two volume Albert Einstein Philosopher-Scientist set dates back to when I was maybe twelve and browbeat my mother into buying it for me (I think from Abbeys), even though she (rightly) doubted I would actually read it. I only ever read a handful of the essays, even though I later became much more interested in the philosophy of science.

Hellenika: Essays on Greek History and Politics is a random collection of essays, one of those nondescript society annuals. I bought it when I was maybe fifteen, attending the Ancient Greek summer school at Macquarie University — the editor was one of our teachers.

And Unix for Users was lent to me by my friend Ralph Seberry in 1988, when I first got access to the Unix system in the Basser Department of Computer Science (a Vax 11/780 modified to cope with 100+ simultaneous users). In 1984, when it was published, a "Unix user" was someone who probably wanted to know about C system calls!

As you can see from the second photo, it's high time I got around to getting the books out of the shed, otherwise the rats were going to do the culling for me!


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