Timothy Sandefur has tagged me to answer some questions about books. Here are my answers:
1. Total number of books I’ve owned. I have no idea. At this point, I have boxes full of books, probably numbering somewhere close to 2000. And I’ve never sold any books at garage sales or to second hand stores or anything, or for that matter thrown them out, so that must be pretty close to the number of books I’ve owned.
2. Last book I bought. Hmmm. It’s either Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett, or Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I forget the order in which I bought them, but it was within a few days of each other.
3. Last book I read. This is actually a more difficult question to answer than it might seem. Like most people I know, I typically have multiple books going at the same time. Along with the two books above that I recently bought, I’ve also been rereading Finding Darwin’s God by Ken Miller.
4. Five books that mean a lot to me.
A Mencken Chrestomathy by HL Mencken. A book I seem to return to again and again, and have for nearly 20 years.
On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. A brilliant exposition of the necessity of freedom.
Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm. And why people fear it.
United States by Gore Vidal. A massive collection (over 1300 pages) of essays written over the course of 50 years, most of them before Vidal went off into conspiracy mongering.
Broca’s Brain by Carl Sagan.
I’m supposed to pass it on to 5 people, but I’d rather just let people pick up on it if they feel so inspired.