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Re: [mythsoc] Book-hurling

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  • David Bratman
    All this polite but dignified declining to take part in anything so shockingly harmful to books as a book toss really seems to me to miss the point. The
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 24, 2009
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      All this polite but dignified declining to take part in anything so shockingly harmful to books as a "book toss" really seems to me to miss the point.

      The point of the book toss isn't to physically harm the book. This isn't a book burning, or even a tossing into a trash can. The point is to literalize the metaphor of throwing a really bad book against the wall. The book remains intact, and one of the rules is that some other participant gets to take it. Really, it's less physically stressful than dropping it into the donation barrel at a public library would be, and it's more honest, because you've told everyone how lousy a book it is.

      You don't have to participate if you don't want to, or if you don't have a book you'd be willing to donate (personally, any book I loathe that much I'd prefer to keep, so that I continue quoting from it as a bad example in the future), but to decline on the grounds that you'd never harm a book implies that the book toss does harm books, and that's not what it's for.
    • bernip
      Please, folks, don t be concerned -- as someone pointed out, the books don t really get damaged (and this year we have no walls, since it s outdoors) and the
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 24, 2009
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        Please, folks, don't be concerned -- as someone pointed out, the books don't
        really get damaged (and this year we have no walls, since it's outdoors) and
        the kind of things that get tossed are the things that I'm amazed get
        published in the first place. For example, I am tossing a book about
        zombies. I can tolerate a lot of, shall we say, less than literary quality
        novels, but even I have my limits, and apparently zombies lie on the other
        side of that. (It is *not* the New York Times best selling _Pride and
        Prejudice and Zombies_, by the way. It's something that I'd be surprised if
        anyone has ever heard of. I bought the book because I liked the books by
        other people in this person's social circle.)

        Berni

        -----Original Message-----
        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        John D Rateliff


        I'm with Doug and Sue on this one. It's not so much that I object to the
        book-toss as that I could never take part in something like that myself.
        But so long as the folks who do it enoy themselves, and so long as other
        folks can skip it if they like, it's just another Mythcon tradition, like
        Golfimbul or The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
        Optional is good at a con.
        --John R.


        On Jun 24, 2009, at 9:51 AM, Doug Kane wrote:
        > I just hope that anyone with the urge to hurl my book has the courtesy
        > not to do so in my presence.
        >
        > _____
        >
        > Sue Bridgwater wrote
        > . . . I simply said I personally could not physically hurt a book.
        > That does not imply that I revere every word on every page of every
        > book ever published. . . . Whatever you choose to do at Mythcon,
        > please enjoy it.
      • bill_pierce_ct
        I could never hurl a book no matter how I feel about it s contents. I don t feel they are magic or quasi-holy . For me, books represent the thoughts of
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 24, 2009
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          I could never hurl a book no matter how I feel about it's contents. I don't feel they are magic or "quasi-holy". For me, books represent the thoughts of their authors, that bit of themselves which should be cherished. Of course, the ethical dilemma is how to deal with books that promote evil or the commodificiation of people? Do we burn them and ban them as the NAZIS did or do we allow them to sit unread because our children know discernment.
          Bill
          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...> wrote:
          >
          > I find all this interesting.  One of my heroes whom you'll all
          > recognized complained about one of his teachers seeming disrespect for the physicality of his books, taking them in hand with his hands dirty from the gardening etc....of course, this hero went on to have whole conversations in the margins of his books. 
          >
          > I work with manuscripts quite a lot.  I wonder if the attitudes we have towards the physicality of the book do not stem from attitudes treating books as a magical or quasi-holy object....a status that in my view anyway, most paperbacks produced by today's publishers do not have. 
          > Anyway, just thinking out loud about the discussion....
          >
          > Larry Swain
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "John D Rateliff"
          > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Book-hurling
          > Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 12:54:55 -0700
          >
          >
          >
          > I'm with Doug and Sue on this one. It's not so much that I object to
          > the book-toss as that I could never take part in something like that
          > myself. But so long as the folks who do it enoy themselves, and so
          > long as other folks can skip it if they like, it's just another
          > Mythcon tradition, like Golfimbul or The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
          > Optional is good at a con.
          > --John R.
          >
          > On Jun 24, 2009, at 9:51 AM, Doug Kane wrote:
          > > I just hope that anyone with the urge to hurl my book has the
          > > courtesy not to do so in my presence.
          > >
          > > _____
          > >
          > > Sue Bridgwater wrote
          > > . . . I simply said I personally could not physically hurt a
          > > book. That does not imply that I revere every word on every page of
          > > every book ever published. . . . Whatever you choose to do at
          > > Mythcon, please enjoy it.
          >
          >
          >
          > --
          > _______________________________________________
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        • Lynn Maudlin
          It is and will probably always be beyond my physical endurance and financial means to attend one - I don t know, Sue - where do you live and how big is your
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 24, 2009
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            "It is and will probably always be beyond my physical endurance and financial means to attend one" - I don't know, Sue - where do you live and how big is your backyard?? {grin}

            -- Lynn, steward for Mythcons --


            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Sue Bridgwater <suebridgwater@...> wrote:
            >
            > I think the US expression for what I now need to say is possibly 'Coolit!'  I am being taken dreadfully seriously, maybe because i used the self-description 'Librarian'? (That's a joke too, by the way). I simply said I personally could not physically hurt a book. That does not imply that I revere every word on every page of every book ever published.  I also regret starting this off, the purpose of the email group is not really to discuss this kind of thing. I suggest we forget I ever tried to make an amusing comment which has fallen flat, without emoticons to point out the tone of my remark. Whatever you choose to do at Mythcon, please enjoy it.  It is and will probably always be beyond my physical endurance and financial means to attend one, but I wish you well.
            >
            > from Sue
            >
            >
            > Perian’s Journey is the first tale in a series set in the world of Skorn.
            > ISBN 0862034043 (1989)
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Lynn Maudlin
            A friend I turned on to Connie Willis was reading through her works and she literally threw LINCOLN S DREAMS across the room (against a wall? I don t know)
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 24, 2009
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              A friend I turned on to Connie Willis was reading through her works and she literally threw LINCOLN'S DREAMS across the room (against a wall? I don't know) when she finished the book. Not that she found the book bad or anything, just that she was so surprised and disturbed by it, she needed to in some way physicalize her reaction.

              I should point out she re-read the book repeatedly...

              -- Lynn --



              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
              >
              > All this polite but dignified declining to take part in anything so shockingly harmful to books as a "book toss" really seems to me to miss the point.
              >
              > The point of the book toss isn't to physically harm the book. This isn't a book burning, or even a tossing into a trash can. The point is to literalize the metaphor of throwing a really bad book against the wall. The book remains intact, and one of the rules is that some other participant gets to take it. Really, it's less physically stressful than dropping it into the donation barrel at a public library would be, and it's more honest, because you've told everyone how lousy a book it is.
              >
              > You don't have to participate if you don't want to, or if you don't have a book you'd be willing to donate (personally, any book I loathe that much I'd prefer to keep, so that I continue quoting from it as a bad example in the future), but to decline on the grounds that you'd never harm a book implies that the book toss does harm books, and that's not what it's for.
              >
            • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
              I do hope everyone realizes that the Book Toss is intended to have a bit of fun. That said, there has been one time that I literally wanted to hurl a book away
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 24, 2009
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                I do hope everyone realizes that the Book Toss is intended to have a bit
                of fun.

                That said, there has been one time that I literally wanted to hurl a book
                away from me. I was reading the *Celestine Prophecies* as research for a
                friend's project. I am capable of tolerating (if not approving) a lot of
                idiocy in written works -- but when I reached a point late in the book
                (which I found greatly annoying as it progressed), where the hero, in the
                wilds of South America looks up into the sky at the partial moon in what
                is supposed to be an inspiring night scene, and muses that people half a
                world away are looking on the full face of that same moon -- I wanted it
                out of my hands immediately and forcefully.

                Alas, it was a library book, or I would indeed have hurled it.

                If the writer can't get basic physical facts straight, why should I trust
                him on spiritual/supernatural matters?


                > A friend I turned on to Connie Willis was reading through her works and
                > she literally threw LINCOLN'S DREAMS across the room (against a wall? I
                > don't know) when she finished the book. Not that she found the book bad or
                > anything, just that she was so surprised and disturbed by it, she needed
                > to in some way physicalize her reaction.
                >
                > I should point out she re-read the book repeatedly...
                >
                > -- Lynn --
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> All this polite but dignified declining to take part in anything so
                >> shockingly harmful to books as a "book toss" really seems to me to miss
                >> the point.
                >>
                >> The point of the book toss isn't to physically harm the book. This
                >> isn't a book burning, or even a tossing into a trash can. The point is
                >> to literalize the metaphor of throwing a really bad book against the
                >> wall. The book remains intact, and one of the rules is that some other
                >> participant gets to take it. Really, it's less physically stressful
                >> than dropping it into the donation barrel at a public library would be,
                >> and it's more honest, because you've told everyone how lousy a book it
                >> is.
                >>
                >> You don't have to participate if you don't want to, or if you don't have
                >> a book you'd be willing to donate (personally, any book I loathe that
                >> much I'd prefer to keep, so that I continue quoting from it as a bad
                >> example in the future), but to decline on the grounds that you'd never
                >> harm a book implies that the book toss does harm books, and that's not
                >> what it's for.
                >>
                >
                >
                >
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