In secondary schoo I, except in year 11, I received a book prize each year at school, which I chose myself from Cheshire's Bookshop in Elizabeth Street, though I only seem to retain two of these.
Reading more seriously developed as a shared interest with my friend Michael Luxton at Carey whilst reading together at lunchtime in the Schol library.
But seeking competeness was a dire risk to restrain.
Winston Churchill (who I have never otherwise quoted), in his 'Painting as a Pastime'.
I am predominantly autodidactic, dilettantish and eclectic.
He describes how he would assign fragments of narrative to different parts of the building - to the bar, the dining room, or the bedrooms.
Judt depicts the chalet inside his head as a kind of refuge, and his nocturnal visits to it as way of making tolerable the calvary of immobility imposed upon him by his fatal degenerative condition. If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or as it were, fondle them - peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you at least know where they are.
So the ordering of the books on the shelves, within their subject compartments is important, forming a diagram of my mind, generally arranged according to place, rather than topic. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances.
If they cannot enter the circle of your life, do not deny them at least a nod of recognition.
The replacement for the loss of this conversation is in the physical books, particularly if carefully ordered. Now there are many books: perhaps 20,000: certainly here are 6,000 just in the Study.
Carl Andrew, who I admire, used to say he bought a book a day, and that's a fair estimate. My books are a visual, and chronological record of my mind.
- A device used by early modern writers to help them recall and arrange information, by mentally 'walking through a familiar route.' A mnemonic technique known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, relying on memorised spatial relationships to establish, order and recollect content, most often in works on psychology, neurobiology and memory, though it was used in the same way at least as early as 1850 in works on rhetoric, logic and philosophy.
- Charles Moore & Donlyn Lyndon's beautiful Chambers for a Memory Palace presents ways of looking closely and experiencing buildings as a stimulus to thoughtful design of memorable.
Just as my slide collection (and to a lesser extent, my record and cd collection in music) and It is a paralell memory palace. I am aware that Hoarding Disorder, the dark side of acquisition, is now identified as a psychiatric classification, distinct from obsessive-compulsive disorder, in the Diagniostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition, 2013 (or DSM-5).