Friday assorted links


7. Why not flip the paintings and photos around to face the wall, while you're at it?

+1, and the mirror for good measure

I put some red spines towards the wall because sunlight fades the ink. Some blue spines too.

Sunlight damages the pages too. It would be better to put some UV blocking film on your windows

Number one take away - posting pictures draws comments.

'Is there any argument whatsoever for having the pages of your books, rather than the title spines, facing outwards?'

The picture clearly provides one - but maybe only the pre- or post-literate are able to provide such an obvious answer, and they likely would have no interest commenting here.

Judgemental family/roomates you don't want starting arguments.
Asthetics (some people have different opinions, weird I know.

Relatively easy to come up with reasons why someone else might decide to do this.

Thats the reason I was thinking of too. Embarrassing book titles. “No I am not into Twilight fan fiction!”

Only if you want to be able to find a book sometime.

7. Forcing function to pick up and potentially read more randomly?

Most of your books were purchased from a supermarket but you don't want your friends to know?

Or you got them in bulk from a thrift shop just for the look.

There's actually a company that sells random color-coordinated used books for interior decorating purposes:

Books by the Foot

If your personal library is a research tool and not a decoration it will take much longer to find a specific book.

If you research enough, youll recognize all the books by the pages.

When all your books are by .

As decoration, it looks very nice. I have known plenty of people who would never think of displaying their books anything other than spine-outward because they care more about what people think of them than about the books themselves.

Vanity cuts many, many ways. "Books as decoration" is the least of worries, imo.

I have known plenty of people who would never think of displaying their books anything other than spine-outward because they care more about what people think of them than about the books themselves.

Then you've known plenty of people who should dump you and get better friends - preferably ones not uncharitable or supercilious.

That's a beautiful room, by the way.

That sort of sarcasm is not appreciated here.

I too think it looks nice, and it's no different than keeping books that you can't quite part with, boxed up - and maybe a little easier to deal with silverfish this way. (For which, if any of you booklovers have remedies, I'd be glad to hear.)

Blattanex from Bayer. Active ingredient is imidacloprid - Since it is only used indoors, the fact that it is a neonicotinoid does not disturb me in the least.

There are also silverfish 'hotels' but I have neither a brand name nor active ingredient(s).

Thanks! Will try. The bay leaves aren't doing it.

I don't understand why you have to ask. When I first invite a girl in, I've found from experience that my books - especially the pictorial ones of rape pornography, efficient ways to dismember a corpse, criminals' biographies (my bud Jeff Dahmer, for instance) and various reference manuals on torture - can be off-putting. Fortunately, they pretty much universally accept that the plastic sheeting under their chair is because I'm redecorating. Don't you find the same thing with your one-on-one student conferences? Why would anyone want to advertise their interests/pleasures?

I was gonna go with "If you're Paul Krugman and you want to hide the fact that all your books are by Dr. Seuss" but yours is much more.... disturbing.

What are your thoughts on the quality of Phil Collins's solo work versus what he produced as a member of Genesis?

He works best within the confines of the group.

Sussudio. A personal favorite.

As well as the positive virtue of emphasising form over function, there's the real but negative virtue of reducing the inevitable clash of colours that would occur if the books were reversed.

That clash is what makes book shelves attractive. Imagine shelves of books with uniform size and color.

I don't have to imagine. I was a lawyer.

"That clash is what makes book shelves attractive" Pah! What makes them attractive is buying good ash and rubbing plenty of beeswax into it.

The books themselves are just a gaudy abomination, clashing with each other and with any possible decor.

Also hides the fact many of the books come from shithole publishers

7. Sometimes contrarianism starts conversations, even when it's dumb. Some people really just want the attention more than (in this case) the books.

Had a friend who paid for everything in $2 bills.

Did he buy sheets of uncut bills from thge mint, have them perforated, then bound into books from which he would tear them out? If so, I'm pretty sure we're talking about Steve.

I found a link to the story.

(A) If your field is, say, the economics of Nazi Germany and you neither want to explain this to everyone who enters your home nor cultivate a reputation as a white supremacist; (B) if your books are valuable and your friends are larcenous; (C) if you dislike loaning books, your friends love to borrow, and you want to keep your friends; and you have always admired the elegant simplicity of Rube Goldberg’s solutions.

3. Agassi was my favorite tennis player, because he played so darn hard to offset his small stature. The contrast between Agassi and Sampras is backwards: Sampras is built like a tennis champion, Agassi is not. Would the world be a better place if everyone was like Agassi (or Tom Brady or Bill Gates or other highly ambitious and super talented people)? I am not arrogant enough to believe I know the answer. I can think of reasons why the world would not be a better place. The author of the linked piece believes people like Agassi are penalized for being such great successes: why should Agassi have to give any of his earnings to other people (including to government via taxes) since Agassi alone is responsible for his own success? Or is he? Tennis, golf, football, every major sport generates billions because of the fans in the seats. No, not the seats at the stadium, but the seats in peoples' homes where they watch sports. Agassi along with any other highly paid sports figure depends on media for the bulk of his or her earnings. Bill Gates can thank the millions of ordinary people who purchase his software for his billions. Of course, it's the market that makes the man; and without order and stability, there is no market, or no stable market; thus, what provides order and stability provides exceptional people like Agassi and Gates the ability to become wealthy. Anarchy would be a great injustice to exceptional people like Agassi, because they would never rise to their potential.

Good points. Frankly the whole piece is a just-so story that cherry picks whatever morals/economic lessons it wants with no attention to Agassi's actual trajectory.

1) There's a considerable gloss over Agassi's relationship with his father. I can imagine the author grabbing any tennis (auto-)biography and being able to make the parental relationship suit his preconceived "moral." There's Agassi's father, who drove his son very hard, but turned him over to the Bollettieri Academy. But if the subject was Venus and Serena Williams, he'd celebrate the father who was foresighted enough to see his daughters through and NOT rely of the "so-called experts" like Bollettieri. And Pete Sampras has a pretty typical relationship with his father, and that seemed to work. No lesson here that isn't cherry-picked.

2) It's hard to rest on the platitude that Sampras and Agassi brought out the best in each other and note that Agassi's career had several dips in it. A more assessment would note the major theme in the book: that Agassi didn't love tennis the way he supposed to given his genius for it. He didn't always want to grind. [His letter to his son represented hard-won wisdom that he didn't possess--or care to put into practice--for much of his career.]

Further, and related, he was a classic case of too much, too soon. He had the endorsement deals and screaming fans before making any major final. A more accurate statement would be that Sampras met several of Agassi's career surges and held his spot at the #1 player. Agassi was opportunistic. He won one of his eight majors when Sampras was out with injury, and four of the eight after Sampras has won 12 of his 14. It is likely not a coincidence that Agassi was so successful late in his career because of some of his performance dips during what was supposed to be his prime. Agassi's career is much more human-scale than a prefab economic fable recognizes.

There is much more that the piece misshapes to suit its own pre-ordained thesis, but hopefully this is sufficient at present.

It's a piece of JOURNALISM, not a major work of analysis, give it a break! And it's reasonably informative. I thought it was good on what the spectators get out of the activity of viewing. And on competition making both competitors better. Is it simplistic, maybe. So's Krugman.

Of course it leaves some things out. And confuses tax with cost.

And besides, two can play at your cynical game: re: your sentence, "he didn't always want to grind", define "grind", define "always". And you complain about Just-So? How much grinding is lots of grinding? Is grinding different for a Courier than a Sampras than an Agassi?

You are probably right about his success coming too soon. I remember thinking that at the time. He got the girls and the endorsements.

If we're playing the definition game, the define "journalism." If it's journalism, it's advocacy journalism, not straight reportage. As such, it's perfectly acceptable to point out that the piece has been shaped to create to tell a story that supports the views being advocated.

But don't take it from me:

If we're playing the definition game, then define "journalism." If it's journalism, it's advocacy journalism, not straight reportage. As such, it's perfectly acceptable to point out that the piece has been shaped to create to tell a story that supports the views being advocated.

But don't take it from me:

So it has come to it: defining the definition of definition and all that. Shame on both of you.

C’mon, Chris wrote 70% interesting stuff about tennis — he’s knowledgeable and smart — and 30% uncharitable snark. My playing the definition game was directed at the latter, and it wasn’t off base. Matt makes a similar point about the piece’s more effectively. Anyway nvmd, I learned from the piece and from Chris’s and Matt’s (spot on) comments so let’s leave it.

I think you're taking a rhetorical device too seriously Charbes.

Thor, I appreciate where you're coming from and I'll certainly admit to an aggressive denunciation. However, I don't think there's any snark in there. I'm glad you found the tennis stuff in my post interesting. I would submit that they more you know about tennis (insert your areas of expertise), the more obviously flawed the article (insert that which annoys you) is. I may have been overheated (mileage will vary), but I really tried not to be gratuitous.

I grant that Matt is more charitable. I suspect that he is reacting to the article on its own terms while I'm reacting having read Agassi's book and having followed his career closely in real time. If I were only a casual tennis fan, I would have found the article a lot less shoddy.

I'd strongly recommend Agassi's autobiography. The article flattened his trajectory in a way I (as was evident) found grotesque (def. as "comically distorted"). His is not a Horatio Alger story. It's one of overcoming and sublimation. Tennis fans were frustrated more than once in the 90s by Agassi just losing his will (seriously, you don't dabble with crystal meth if Sampras is bringing the best out of you). In terms of rivalries, McEnroe/Borg and every permutation of Federer/Nadal/DJokovic dwarfs it (as well as Evert/Navratilova).

BUT, Agassi has really had an incredible post-career. He has truly done some wonderful things. He has more varied material than most athletes and he tells a good story.

I found some of the analogies interesting, and was with the author until he wrote, "Agassi’s quote is also a reminder of the certain fraud that is Keynesian economics." And then I was thinking, oh, this is polemic...huh. And while Agassi no doubt deserves credit for marshalling his immense talents and strengths as much as he does, I find it...misleading to draw a line from Agassi's success to imply, at least as I read it, that all "success" is earned and righteous. There's a sort of prosperity gospel lurking in there somewhere. And the writer sorts of glosses over the fact the Agassi 1) has a father that was so dedicated to the goal of Tennis. And 2) that Agassi receives free tuition at the tennis academy. He mentions those facts, but I did not think he found a convincing way to tie them into his larger argument. Those facts sort of hang...not taking away per se, but not really contributing to his argument either. Why does he mention them? And what about other talented kids that didn't have driven fathers? Who didn't receive free tuition? And I still do not quite understand why so many people champion helping poor or less privleged people when it is done by successful market participants, but seethe with rage if government were to somehow achieve similar ends. As one case in point, I dont understand why government assistance e.g. food stamps, is often frowned upon by the same people who will donate to their local church's food shelf program. Is the recipient morally compromised by food stamps, but not by church donations?

Isn't the reason that charity is voluntary and government is not, and that government is inherently less efficient because it has to raise its money through taxation, with the accompanying dead-weight loss, not to mention layers of bureaucracy and limited incentives to constrain costs. But mainly, the voluntariness as opposed to coercion.

7. My toddler is in favor of random insertion directions. Then again, she can't read. When she wants to look at a particular book, she pulls all of them off the shelf and then picks through the pile until she finds the one she wants.

My years spent in an elementary school library demonstrated to me that small children favor the pages-out insertion. I thought this was contrary to sense. But, it's really not: if most are right-handed, the book will be held pages-side in the right hand, and it's an easy motion to wedge it back in, pages-out. Besides which, they have decisively rejected the book and will themselves never need to see the spine again.

Now, Hazel Meade, what do you think of the trend in kiddie room decor, of having book rails where the books are displayed as on a store or library wall? I think the point is to brighten the room with the attractive cover art, but I dislike the notion of curating books even for tots.

Well it would prevent the books from winding up in a pile on the floor, because the tot can tell which book is which without having to read the spine .but you are pretty limited in the number of books you can offer that way.

Makes me wonder what her decision criteria are.

Mine too.

Also, I understand this justification: "Neutrals-loving lit nerds are drawn to the calming color scheme". True, American books tend to be very brightly colored, and they use all colors of the rainbow. In other countries, especially France, most adult books are white, or some soft beige/yellowish variant of white. See the images there:

This makes, for a French eye, any American bookshelf looks like a toddler bookshelf.

This was supposed to be an answered to Hazel's message above. "Mine too" refers to my toddler.

Amazingly racist comment, Jay.

West Virginia is mostly white. White trash, actually, but white.

For left, it is glorious and appropriate to hate white people. See. It worked for Hillary.

Most people I know in Louisiana are better off than those in IL, NJ or NY.

Everything that is disagreeable to the fundamentally transformed herd (gnus come to mind, but lemmings are more like them) is racism.

If President Trump were an effete intellectual he could have used the words "violent, economically downtrodden, dysfunctional states" instead of "shit holes." Shit hole works for me.

Either way, effing, left-wing scumbags (redundant) would call him a racist b/c those failed states are overwhelmingly populated and misruled by black and brown people.

Aside from that, Jay's comment is non sequitur, false equivalence, and rousingly stupid.

Now more than ever, Trump 202!

"Most people I know in Louisiana are better off than those in IL, NJ or NY. "
Non random sample size N = ?????

"Everything that is disagreeable to the fundamentally transformed herd (gnus come to mind, but lemmings are more like them) is racism."
At no point did I mention race. So don't pretend like race means a thing to me. If he called the white Eastern European countries shitholes (like Slovenia) I would have a similar reaction.

"If President Trump were an effete intellectual he could have used the words “violent, economically downtrodden, dysfunctional states”"
Ok so what Trump means is why are we letting people immigrate here from violent, economically downtrodden, dysfunctional states. If such a stupid statement doesn't make your brain hurt I don't know what will.

"Either way, effing, left-wing scumbags"
I don't frequently agree with the Obama / Clintons of the world so you are clearly lost.

"I don’t frequently agree with the Obama / Clintons of the world so you are clearly lost."


Virginia sure got a good deal for losing the War between the States.

Since when was life expectancy the indicator of third worldness? Go look up the per capita gdp of Haiti, it's average iq score and crime rate and tell me they even remotely compare in a billion years.

"I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." - R. Burgundy

The Constitution protects freedom of movement within the US. It does not protect freedom of immigration.

And states have often dissuaded or even expelled unwanted migrants, such as Okies in California. San Francisco was giving free bus tickets to homeless people to leave the city.

Yes, the Oakies. But is wasn't the state. The LE that tried to turn away the oakies were Los Angeles police and they were sent to the border by the mayor of Los Angeles.

Copyright issues (? -- or some other legality issue) if/when this image is used in the public domain for advertisement or some other purpose?

Or, the individual does not want to be judged by the cover!

7. It is a way of keeping track. Each time I finish coloring in one of my books, I reverse it on the shelf.

This is the best response.


The prices in that London restaurant don't justify the click bait title of "extreme peak load pricing".

Isn't this just a ploy to get some press coverage for a restaurant? Like that one in China that listed all their prices as math equations? How long will it be before we hear about a restaurant in Silicon Valley posting their prices in binary or hexadecimal?

7. About six years ago, when taking my nephew home, we passed the horse stables. He stared at the stables as we passed. I offered him this worldly advice: when he is older, don't date a girl who is into decorating, and if he meets a girl who is into both decorating and horses, run as fast as you can.

I already knew that about horses -- what a money pit. I'll have to think about decorating.

Does that advice apply to Belgian draft horses, too? Happily, I only know men that own and work them.

About time you make sense Rayward.

7. At El Escorial the books in the library are shelved this way, however the titles are written on the page ends. I remember being told this was based on letting the books “breathe” but it was clearly a 17th or 18th century idea.

This is the best image I could find quickly

Yes, I saw this on TV a few years ago, and the reason that was given is the one you cite. I don't think it makes much sense, because there would be airspace behind your books if the spines are aligned to the front of the shelf.

Even if you shove them all the way in, if your cover is larger than your pages, there is still space

7. Counter signalling? E.g., I like books, but I don't buy them to show off why I'm so smart. Rather, I'm so smart, I don't have to show you the titles.

7. Christianity's great contribution to knowledge is the codex. No, not the cotex, the codex. What is a codex? A book (as opposed to a scroll). Placing books on a shelf backwards is a tribute to the scroll, a tribute as to how impossible it was to organize the things.

And, because rayward can never be right about anything, the codex predates Christian adoption of it.

Oddball (from Kelly's Heroes): "Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?"

7. One possible reason other than interior decorators for shelving backwards: preserving the spine a little better. People do tend to grab the middle-top of the spine to drag books out, for hardbacks, and with reverse shelving they might be more gentle.

I don't think this is a good enough reason, by the way. I only have about 2K books in the library, having given a few hundred away the last time I moved (plus a hundred or so in my office and more scattered around the house), but even that small number would make it easy with reverse shelving. I would recognize a few of them by size or age -- the giant Larousse Gastronomique for example -- but I'd grow frustrated trying to find most books.

P.S. Just noticed the only volume shelved backwards in the library is an old Olympia Press paperback of The Pearl. Must've worried about my Mom finding it one day.

...would NOT be easy...


#1 Don't many restaurants already practice a limited form of this, called "happy hour"? Is that a loss-leader, or a form of inverse surge pricing, or both?

re #2 - Why does no one ever ask "why are so many poor people cramming into the cities" and "how to disperse the attractiveness of cities to more places, thus easing congestion and land pressure?"

Every theory discussed here about the structure of society assumes as large a population as possible is a good thing, and that as many people as possible should be crammed into city under discussion.

I see the point was completely missed. X is from a shithole region therefore X should not be allowed to migrate here is inhumane, illogical and downright stupid. If you believe otherwise than you should accept people from rich states in the US (who ultimately subsidize poor states) have every right to reject migration from shithole states. Of course I see most people can see through the stupidity when it is moving from the shithole of Mississippi to Massachusetts.

It is a bit ironic that Trust Fund Baby Trump is calling somewhere a shithole. If he was forced to spend more than a week in most of the places that voted him into office, Trump would look around, compare it to Mar-a-Lago and call the place a shithole - he won't say it out loud because he will want them to vote for him in 2020. But have no delusions rural Mississippi and Alabama, Trump thinks your place is a shithole.

Massachusetts GDP per capita more than twice Mississippi

"moving from the shithole of Mississippi to Massachusetts."

But are people doing that? No. People are leaving states like Massachusetts because of the high taxes and cost of living.

"rich states in the US (who ultimately subsidize poor states)"

States don't pay taxes, people do, and since Trump voters had higher incomes than Clinton voters, the real direction of redistribution is from Trump voters to Clinton voters. This whole theory is based on innumeracy.

No one who read your comment missed anything. What you said wad racist. Shockingly so.


The main US city that did something like a land tax has been Pittsburgh, where people like the late Wallace Oates said it worked reasonably well. Some of the problems with it are practical, such as accurately determining vacant land values in dense downtown areas with thin and volatile markets for vacant land.

It is different. They are American states.

Judgemental family/roomates you don't want starting arguments
Asthetics (some people have different opinions, weird I know.

Relatively easy to come up with reasons why someone else might decide to do this.

#7: Some books have paintings on the pages, which can't be seen if the spine of the book is facing outward. There is a term for this which I forget. Anyway, having the books face in would rob you of the capacity to view those pictures.

You can also have paintings that only appear if you open the pages at an angle, such that a small portion of each page shows. But that's a different topic.

Alternatively, you can do it because you like it that way. Always a valid reason. Not every decision needs a lengthy pro/con list, and if you enjoy shelving books this way, it neither breaks my bones nor picks my pocket, as the saying goes. If you have time to worry about how random strangers put books on shelves, you have an easier life than anyone I know.

#7 Anyone consider that they are just multiple versions of the same book? So no need to be able to tell them apart.

#7 It may be that the color of the pages complements the wall decor better than the color of the spines. Also, it becomes less critical to sort the books by color as most decorators do.

Smells Like Teen Spirit---Auto-tuned

http s:// www .youtube. com /watch ?v=M9MlQU6JOIo

#7. Good grief instragram can be insufferable.

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