Those Crazy Customers

  • Customer: [Calling on the phone] What is your return policy?
  • Me: 14 days with a receipt
  • Customer: What if I've opened it?
  • Me: What do you mean?
  • Customer: What if I've opened the book?
  • Me: [trying very hard not to laugh out loud]
  • Customer: Hello?
  • Me: Sir, how would we know unless you've damaged the book?
  • Customer: Oh.
Gabriel Garcia Márquez is a Columbian novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist. Born March 6th, 1927 known throughout Latin America as Gabo. He is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His most famous work is One Hundred Years of Solitude.

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Gabriel Garcia Márquez is a Columbian novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist. Born March 6th, 1927 known throughout Latin America as Gabo. He is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His most famous work is One Hundred Years of Solitude.

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

I need a little place like this in which to write.

I need a little place like this in which to write.

Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I had clutched at books.
Richard Wright; Black Boy

useyourmanners:

Vonnegut, 1995 (left), and McCarthy, 1975, both self portraits.
More fascinating self-portraiture by famous authors here.

Me too. It’s a nice little habit I’ve developed over the years.

Me too. It’s a nice little habit I’ve developed over the years.

Begging the Question/Raising the Question and Their Misuses

The lack of distinction between the two phrases, that begs the question and that raises the question, is mind numbing. I say mind numbing because it has become so pervasive over the last decade it makes me realize that the general “educated” population lacks an ability to 1) understand the distinction and 2) to reason or think properly.

The phrase, “That begs the question,” is one that indicates a fallacy in reasoning.  The fallacy of petitio principii, or “begging the question”, is committed “when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof”, or more generally denotes when an assumption is used, “in some form of the very proposition to be proved, as a premise from which to deduce it”. Thus, insofar as petitio principii refers to arguing for a conclusion that has already been assumed in the premise, this fallacy consists of “begging” the listener to accept the “question” (proposition) before the labor of logic is undertaken. The fallacy may be committed in various ways. (definition via Wikipedia w/ cited references)

The phrase, “That raises the question,” is a phrase that should be used when something(s) lead(s) to a needed conclusion (a literal question). For example, she never says hello to me any more which raises the question, does she still like me?

These two phrases have entirely different meanings and usages. Yet, I see writers, journalists, newscasters, editors, and every day people use them improperly. I can only surmise that this is done out of pure ignorance or just plain laziness. Logic and reason stand to lose the most if this misconception continues.

[He now steps off his soapbox and walks away]

Do you have any published writing? :) — Asked by Anonymous

Yes, in academic peer reviewed journals and philosophy anthologies. Oh, and some poetry from ages ago. Nothing recent.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

buckeyeballerina:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

Ever since I first read this poem a long, long, time ago, I can’t help but think that the last stanza admits the whole thing is a lie. Re-read it and see if does not seem to indicate such. Why did he “sigh” if he took the road less traveled and it made the difference? Also, why the stutter just before the declaration of which road? A lie? Regardless, I still love the poem. 

So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I’ve learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labelled ‘file and forget’, and I can neither file nor forget.
Ralph Ellison
lareviewofbooks:

Bookstores Unite and Take OverIt’s been said that a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. And as any book lover will tell you, the only thing better than a book is a shelf of books, and the only thing better than that is a room full of bookshelves. But there’s something about the confluence of people in the bookstore space, milling between those shelves — customers and staff — that matters just as much.  As part of our Naked Bookseller Program, LARB is proud to open its tumblr for its first-ever Bookstore Takeover, where an independent book seller gets to tell its story through pictures, film, and, lest we forget, words.
Thanks as always to our current bookstore partners: City Lights (San Francisco, CA), Green Apple (San Francisco, CA), Iconoclast (Ketchum, ID), Readers (Sonoma, CA), Word (Brooklyn, NY), and Skylight Books (our local bookstore in LA, which is helping launch the program today). Through our Naked Booksellers Program, we want to collaborate with bookstores to tell their stories, and help broaden their website’s reach so that fans of a store who may not necessarily even live in the same town can still  support it.Yes people, believe it or not, bookstores have websites, and inside those websites are books you can order.
Read “What We Believe About Bookstores.”

lareviewofbooks:


Bookstores Unite and Take Over


It’s been said that a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. And as any book lover will tell you, the only thing better than a book is a shelf of books, and the only thing better than that is a room full of bookshelves. But there’s something about the confluence of people in the bookstore space, milling between those shelves — customers and staff — that matters just as much.  As part of our Naked Bookseller Program, LARB is proud to open its tumblr for its first-ever Bookstore Takeover, where an independent book seller gets to tell its story through pictures, film, and, lest we forget, words.

Thanks as always to our current bookstore partners: City Lights (San Francisco, CA), Green Apple (San Francisco, CA), Iconoclast (Ketchum, ID), Readers (Sonoma, CA), Word (Brooklyn, NY), and Skylight Books (our local bookstore in LA, which is helping launch the program today).

Through our Naked Booksellers Program, we want to collaborate with bookstores to tell their stories, and help broaden their website’s reach so that fans of a store who may not necessarily even live in the same town can still  support it.Yes people, believe it or not, bookstores have websites, and inside those websites are books you can order.

Read “What We Believe About Bookstores.”

But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.
Khaled Hosseini
book machine
booksdirect:

“Books keep you company when you’re alone. They’re your friends through a rainy day.” - Owl via A. A. Milne

booksdirect:

“Books keep you company when you’re alone. They’re your friends through a rainy day.” - Owl via A. A. Milne

I adore your blog to the core. I'm an aspiring writer.. I've only just finished high school and am starting college soon, studying.. drum roll please.. Business. *sigh* since it's entirely impossible to start a career off as a writer. Especially since I don't even have a degree or anything. Anyway, I was hoping to do it as a part-time thing too. And well, I just wanted to say, your blog is really inspiring, and it's helped me a lot. :) Thanks. x — Asked by procrastinator-extraordinairee

Thank you for your kind remarks about my blog. Don’t be discouraged about getting a business degree. That’s a smart decision. My undergrad degree is a B.A. in English Lit/Theatre (double major). While that degree was fun to get, it’s fairly useless. If I could do it over, I’d get a business degree (or do something in computers). Good luck in school, and always, ALWAYS … write.