Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Month: March, 2014

676: Papermaking by Dard Hunter


676: Hunter, Dard. Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft. New York: Dover Publications, 1974. 584 pp. ISBN 0-486-23619-6.

Dewey Breakdown:
• 600: Technology
• 670: Manufacturing
• 676: Pulp and paper technology

Dard Hunter’s Papermaking is the landmark text on the practice and history of turning wood pulp into a woven, writable surface. He traces the history of paper from its invention by the Chinese eunuch Ts’ai Lun in 105 CE to the current industry of worldwide production and consumption. Hunter is probably the only person to make a career out of hunting every available source on the history of paper and this book represents the culmination of all that research. He covers the science of choosing the right plant material, the history of printing presses and their use of paper materials, and the progression of industrial machines used in the making of paper products. Also included is the history of paper watermarking and its role in company identification, forgeries, and counterfeiting. While the text can be a little dry and tedious, there are plenty of illustrations to move the reader through the history. If you ever had a question about the world history of papermaking, this book will answer them without fail.

963: Chameleon Days by Tom Bascom


963.06092: Bascom, Tom. Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia. New York: Mariner, 2006. 236 p. ISBN 978-0-618-65869-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

• 900: History and Geography
• 960: History of Africa
• 963: History of Ethiopia and Eritrea
• 963.06: History of Ethiopia from 1941 to 1974
• +092: Biography

In 1964, the Bascom family moved from Kansas to Ethiopia. Tom Bascom’s father was a doctor and a religious man, and so, felt a calling to help struggling folks in Africa with both medicine and faith. At the time, little Tommy was just three years old and had to adjust to a completely new set of circumstances. Bascom’s Chameleon Days is a grand look at the both the small scale details of living in Ethiopia as a American and the social and religious landscape of the country under Haile Selassie.

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315: On an Average Day in Japan by Tom Heymann


315.7: Heymann, Tom. On An Average Day in Japan. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992. 206 pp. ISBN 0-449-90607-8.

Dewey Construction:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 310: General statistics
  • 315: General statistics of Asia
  • 315.7: General statistics of Japan

This is another one of Tom Heymann’s collections of demographic statistics. Only a few special writers have ever made statistics/demographics interesting. Tom Heymann isn’t one of them. On An Average Day in Japan is a dated collection of demographics about the Japanese people and what happens on the average day. Each page has a quick set of stats on consumerism, medical behavior, births and deaths, addiction, news media, etc. Most of the figures given are then contrasted with the same general measure for the American population. Read it if you have to; skip it of you don’t.

836: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke


836.912: Rilke, Rainer Maria. Letters to a Young Poet. Translated by M.D. Herter Morton. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1962. 123 pp. ISBN 0-393-00158-X.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 830: Literatures of Germanic languages
  • 836: German letters
  • 836.9: 1900 to present
  • 836.91: 1900-1990
  • 836.912: 1900-1945

In 1902, 19-year-old cadet Franz Kappus wrote to Rainer Maria Rilke for his thoughts on some poems he had written. Rilke was known for a few acclaimed books of poetry and was beginning to really hone his craft. Kappus wanted genuine criticism and was trying to decide between a career in the army or a life as a writer. The ten letters he saved and subsequently published as Letters to a Young Poet are some of the most genuine and honest assessments of the field of poetry and the duty of the poet.

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720: Gaudi by Juan-Eduardo Cirlot


720.92: Cirlot, Juan-Eduardo. Gaudi: An Introduction to His Architecture. N.P.: Triangle Postal, 2001. 210 pp. ISBN 84-89815-94-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts
  • 720: Architecture
  • +092: Biography

Antoni Gaudi i Cornet (1852 – 1926) was perhaps one of the most inventive architects of all time. His works were Seussian before Seuss was Seussian. The building he conceived, drafted, and had built have to be seen to be believed. From the Neo-gothic windows on the Palacio Episcopal de Astorga to the bulbous terraces on the Casa Mila, his innovations and additions to the field gave people a new interest in how buildings were made. His most significant work, the Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, won’t be finished for another 12 to 14 years. Juan-Eduardo Cirlot’s Gaudi is a splendid look at the life, philosophy, and leaps of intuition that Gaudi experienced as one of the foremost designers of his time.

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