Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 010s

011: The List of Books by Raphael and McLeish


011: Raphael, Frederic and Kenneth McLeish. The List of Books. New York: Harmony Books, 1981. 154 pp. ISBN 0-517-540177.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 000: Computer science, Knowledge, and General Works
  • 010: Bibliography
  • 011: Bibliographies

Let us say you are building a private library. Let us also say that you want to read in a large variety of subjects but suffer from a crippling inability to either do a lot of research or make wise decisions. Well, Frederic Raphael and Kenneth McLeish, with their List of Books, can come to your rescue. In this slim volume, they collect what they believe to be the best and key books in various fields, summarize them briefly, and organize them for your collecting pleasure. With over 3,000 books in 35 different fields, you would be hard-pressed not to find something here that didn’t pique your interest.

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018: Confessions of a Literary Archaeologist by Carlton Lake

018.20976431:  Lake, Carlton. Confessions of a Literary Archaeologist. New York: New Directions, 1990. 182 pp. ISBN 0-8112-1130-4.

Dewey Construction:

  • 000: General works
  • 010: Bibliography
  • 018: Catalogs arranged by author, main entry, date, or register number
  • 018.2: Classified catalogs of private and family libraries
  • +0976431: City of Austin, Texas, United States

Carlton Lake, after earning his BA from Boston College and an MA from Columbia, started collecting books, letters, and other works by modern French writers and artists. He lived in Paris from 1950 to 1975, learning the business of the local book dealers and immersing himself in the culture of post-war Europe. When he moved back to the US to become the curator of the French collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Collection at UT-Austin, he had amassed a collection of over 200,000 documents and 1,000 works of art. In his Confessions of a Literary Archaeologist, he relays a few stories from his Paris heyday.

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016: Bizarre Books by Russell Ash and Brian Lake

016.082: Ash, Russell & Brian Lake. Bizarre Books: A Compendium of Classic Oddities. New York: Harper Perennial, 2007. 210 pp. ISBN 978-0-06-134665-1.

The 000s in the DDC bring us the catch-all sections–encyclopedias, bibligraphies, magazines, and newspapers. Besides being of great help to literary research, bibliographies can be a lot of fun. Readers everywhere love lists of oddities, including books that might actually be interesting. These collections are also good for pointing me towards books in other Dewey sections that I may have found barren of good reads.

In Bizarre Books, compilers Russell Ash and Brian lake bring us all the weird, wacky, and downright strange titles they’ve seen while working as booksellers. Below are the cream of the crop:

  • The Guide to Owning a Quaker Parrot by Gayle Soucek
  • Build Your Own Titanic by Adam Rose
  • A Study of Hospital Waitingt Lists in Cardiff, 1953-1954 by Fred Grundy
  • How to Cook Husbands by Elizabeth Strong Worthington
  • Little-Known Sisters of Well-Known Men by Sarah J. Pomeroy

This little book will help you realize why no person will ever be able to read everything out there. I was actually surprised to see a book I’ve been thinking about adding to my library (1587, A Year of No Significance). It just goes to show that one man’s weird in another man’s wonderful.