Sunday, November 27, 2005

Words for nerds

Men who read are more attractive, I said yesterday. But they should not visibly read Harry Potter or similar stuff.

Today I found a list of top "geek novels" compiled by Jack Schofield, journalist and Guardian blogger, on the basis of reader recommendations. My source: Lorcan Dempsey' s great blog on library innovation:

The top fifteen were

1. The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams 85% (102)
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell 79% (92)
3. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley 69% (77)
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- Philip Dick 64% (67)
5. Neuromancer -- William Gibson 59% (66)
6. Dune -- Frank Herbert 53% (54)
7. I, Robot -- Isaac Asimov 52% (54)
8. Foundation -- Isaac Asimov 47% (47)
9. The Colour of Magic -- Terry Pratchett 46% (46)
10. Microserfs -- Douglas Coupland 43% (44)
11. Snow Crash -- Neal Stephenson 37% (37)
12. Watchmen -- Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons 38% (37)
13. Cryptonomicon -- Neal Stephenson 36% (36)
14. Consider Phlebas -- Iain M Banks 34% (35)
15. Stranger in a Strange Land -- Robert Heinlein 33% (33)

I must admit that I have read all of them - except Pratchett (too cute) and Banks (very British SF). And all of Harry Potter as well. No hope, then.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Men who read are more attractive

Men who read stand a better chance of attracting women according to a study. Women claim they are more likely to be seduced by a well-read man.

85% of women questioned in a NOP survey for the publisher Penguin said they would be more attracted to a man who talked about literature. But women would be inclined to judge men by the type of books they read. On this rating, reading Harry Potter scored very badly.

(The Times, 7 June 2004)


I knew it! Casanova, of course, became a librarian in Bohemia - at the age of sixty. Pity about Potter though. What type of books should we read?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A new name for the road

Eternity is in love with the productions of time

Today I changed the name of this blog - from Pliny the Younger to Pliny the Librarian. So far, this has been a very occasional blog - with just a few items connected with international incidents in my professional life: a happy trip to Rumania and CIMEC - a fast fandango with the Oslo IFLA. And then silence.

In the meantime, I have grown slightly older and much, much wiser. My other blog, under the name of Plinius, is in Norwegian. I write about the library scene, at home and abroad, for my colleagues, students, friends and anybody else who cares to listen. The mainstay of Plinius is a short article or essay every Sunday - and additional items when I feel like it.

Now the energy level is increasing. IFLA has come and gone - without changing much, as far as I can se. But Web 2.0 is crashing into the Norwegian library scene like a rogue elephant in a vegetable market.

As we start to adapt and adopt, we should engage more with the world scene. Broken English is our global lingua franca. To write is to think: how can I know what I mean unless I read what I have written.

Blogging is social. The world is bigger than Norway. I like to travel. Libraries are ubiquitous. It all adds up: I should write more often in English. Pumping iron tones the body. Pushing ideas tunes the mind. That, at least, is my great white hope.

I aim at once a week. Long er short does not matter. Regularity does.

Ave atque vale
Pliny the Librarian