Posts Tagged ‘E H Carr’
This morning I started making inroads in my anti-library, grabbing E H Carr’s What is History? (1961) as I headed for work. As an undergraduate I read this classic and pithy work on the theory of history, but that was so long ago that it now counts as unread.
Next to Carr sat Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East (2005) – a worthy tome, described by the Boston Globe as a “magisterial report from the shifting front lines of the Middle East”.
Weighing in at almost 1300 pages of text, this muscular slab of a book commands my anti-library, overshadowing its puny neighbours. “Pick me!” it bellowed. My heart quailed. I should read it, I know – it’s been hanging out in the anti-library since January – but sometimes you just want slim books that can be swiftly read and don’t weigh you down as you run for the bus.
Is there a process of natural selection at play here in the anti-library? A law of the jungle, where small and lithe books are read while large and cumbersome tomes remain unopened on the shelves? Time will tell.