My overstuffed (virtual) bookshelf — 2

Just check this:



Yes, as of this morning that is 1,481 titles, 1,480 of them free.

Rebuilding a library of “lost” books going back – personally this is, not in terms of the date of publication of the book – to my days as a teenage Calvinist who was given a copy of Calvin’s Institutes for his 21st birthday but lost or sold it sometime before 1980…

But now:


And by way of contrast:


First published by Gayles Books in 2011

Smashwords Edition

ISBN 978-0-9547693-5-2

ebook ISBN 978-0-9547693-6-9

copyright Alan Keslian 2011

We should use observation and reason to develop our understanding of the world around us, testing our ideas out when practicable. We should question beliefs based on superstition, supposed messages from a god or gods, or traditions, especially those which conflict with rational understanding.

The vast extent of scientific knowledge, and the mathematics frequently entailed, may seem daunting. A single individual does not have the mental capacity to fully understand the whole of known science. Yet a familiarity with the basics of the scientific method – an enquiring mind, intelligent observation, deduction and testing ideas out – will be of value to everyone.

Some people nevertheless find science too challenging, and seek refuge in a simpler world of straightforward absolute certainties. Religious people who regard a holy text or the word of a prophet to be literally and absolutely true claim there is no need to think further. Indeed they usually regard questioning their accepted dogma as sinful. Very few, though, turn away from the benefits that have come about through scientific thought. Much of the modern world, including all of our electrical devices, many home comforts, modern medicine, and the ability to travel quickly over long distances, is a result of scientific advances. They are very seldom spurned as contrary to religious beliefs, even though they were not mentioned in the religious texts. There is great inconsistency among the “absolute truths” put forward in different religions. Those who adhere rigidly to religious dogma man shut the door on honest enquiry and understanding…

And then there are things which are just plain interesting, such as:


But here I am with more to say and no space to do so this time.

Until next time, have a look at:

The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer. Some 78% of those ages 16 and older say they read a book in the past 12 months. Those readers report they have read an average (or mean number) of 17 books in the past year and 8 books as a median (midpoint) number.

Those who read e-books report they have read more books in all formats. They reported an average of 24 books in the previous 12 months and had a median of 13 books. Those who do not read e-books say they averaged 15 books in the previous year and the median was 6 books.

For device owners, those who own e-book readers also stand out. They say they have read an average of 24 books in the previous year (vs. 16 books by those who do not own that device). They report having read a median of 12 books (vs. 7 books by those who do not own the device).

Interestingly, there were not major differences between tablet owners and non-owners when it came to the volume of books they say they had read in the previous 12 months.

Overall, those who reported reading the most books in the past year include: women compared with men; whites compared with minorities; well-educated Americans compared with less-educated Americans; and those age 65 and older compared with younger age groups.