Nothing profound to say about him, except that, years ago, he made me really understand the "Friends, Romans, countrymen" speech in Julius Caesar for the first time. Thanks for that.

I think most of the tributes are going to be left-handed, to put it politely. To hell with that. Here's to the talented fat man.


Reader survey.

Saw this on Sheila's site a couple of days ago and just now got around to lifting it:

1) What is your favorite type of bookstore?
A. A large chain that is well lit, stuffed full of books, and has a café.
B. A dark, rather dusty, used bookstore full of mysterious and vaguely organized books.
C. A local independent bookstore that has books by local authors and coffee.

B. If I'm looking for a specific book I usually don't bother going to a bookstore, I order it online. If I'm browsing, I'd rather browse in a place that might have out of print stuff.

2) What would excite you more?
A. A brand new book by your favorite author.
B. Finding a classic you've been wanting to read.
C. Receiving a free book from a friend in the mail.

B. Most of my favorite authors are dead.

3) What's your favorite format?
A. Novel
B. Short story
C. Poetry

I waver between A and B; my reading stamina is not what it used to be, and a good short story is like a good stiff drink. Then again, sometimes I do like to immerse myself in another world, the deeper the better. Poetry brings up a distant third.

4) Favorite format, part II.
A. Contemporary fiction.
B. Classic novels.
C. Genre (mystery, espionage, etc.)

B, with C close behind.

5) Favorite format, part III (none of the above) Fiction or non?
A. Almost entirely fiction.
B. Almost entirely non-fiction.
C. A mix of both.


6) Does the design and condition of the book matter?
A. Yes, I love a well designed book and keep mine in mint condition.
B. No, the words are what matter.
C. Yes and no, I appreciate good design and treat my books with respect but I am not obsessive about it.


7) On average how many books do you read a month?
A. I am lucky to read one.
B. I am dedicated. I read 4 or 5.
C. I am a fiend. I read 10 or more!

Some months I don't read at all; others I read four or five books simultaneously, keeping them in different rooms and picking them up as the mood strikes. So, um, A to B.

8) Do you prefer to own or borrow?
A. There is a particular joy in owning a book. I have a large library.
B. Why spend money when you can read it for free? I use the public library.
C. Different tools for different job. I do both.


9) Where do you get (the majority) your book news?
A. Newspapers.
B. Magazines.
D. Blogs.

I don't really get "book news", per se. D, I guess, in a way.

10) Are books a professional obsession?
A. Yes, I work in the field (writer, reviewer, publisher, teacher, etc.).
B. No, I do it for fun.
C. Kinda, I write the occasional review but have a regular job outside of books.



The funniest thing about this is the dry "what is it now?" tone of the article. The second funniest is the term "crop artists".

[Via Dean Esmay.]


These are getting more and more time consuming.

Word game via Ben Kepple, who got it from Emily Jones:

1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
2. Book No. 1 -- first sentence.
3. Book No. 2 -- last sentence on page fifty.
4. Book No. 3 -- second sentence on page one hundred.
5. Book No. 4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty.
6. Book No. 5 -- final sentence of the book.
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.

A prince was born to the royal line of England on January 6, 1367, in the abbey of St. Andre at Bordeaux and given the name of Richard. He was allowed only one cup of coffee. He knows more about the Regiment than the Adjutant, and could not make a mistake if he tried. Yet the latter's position was still not as commanding as he wanted it to be. Our story closes here, as the terms on which Richard relinquished his conquests are to be found in every history of the period.

Book titles furnished on request.

Always late.

I think I may be the last conservative on earth to link to Chris Hitchens' takedown of Fahrenheit 911; I figured everyone who reads this would have picked it up elsewhere, but Greg disabused me of that notion.

Meanwhile, I'm working on what might be a series of posts about the two one-act opera premieres I attended Saturday night in Cincinnati, which will be of particular interest to Bernadine. Four words for you, B: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks.