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Title: The Ordering of My Books
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S (author)
Publication Date: 2000
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Abstract: "Readers are travellers; they move across lands belonging to someone else, like nomads poaching their way across fields they did not write, despoiling the wealth of Egypt to enjoy it themselves." --Steven F. Rendall's translation - in his 'The Practice of Everyday Life' (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984), p.174 of the words of Michel de Certeau, 'L'invention du quotidien', vol.1, 'Arts de faire', 1990 ed. (Gallimard, Paris, 1990). To possess a large library which the owner uses hard - whether it has largely been inherited (and so of considerable sentimental value), or acquired over a working life which has involved many changes of direction - of very necessity involves complex problems of appropriate classification, storage and of the related logistical decisions as to which parts should continue to grow and which others will/are likely to remain largely static or even left in dusty corners. In my own case I now have a very considerable collection of books (perhaps 50,000) and of related papers, largely housed in a specially designed building, built in 1988, in the garden of my home in a rural town in northern New South Wales. There are also various other books and papers in storage in Dunedin, New Zealand, while another considerable collection, stored in England's East Anglia was broken into and stolen in 1987. But that overall picture is the end result of many years of slow and costly acquisition, transporting and temporary storages, and the whole process itself needs some recapitulation if the present complex range of subjects is to be understood to have any logical principles to it. Further, it is intended to give some account of the major sources of acquisition, usually booksellers, - those peculiar folk universities in Les Murray's phrase, - the urgers to ownership of and enlightenment from so many purchased or otherwise acquired items in the collection.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Fellows of the Book: A Volume of Essays Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Biblionews, p. 39-48
Publisher: Book Collectors' Society of Australia
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISBN: 0958676135
Field of Research (FOR): 190301 Journalism Studies
160301 Family and Household Studies
190402 Creative Writing (incl Playwriting)
HERDC Category Description: B2 Chapter in a Book - Other
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Series Name: Studies in Australian Bibliophily
Series Number : 5
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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