What was your favorite book ever, and why?

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BobG
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You can't trust those bargain basement dictionaries.
catch 22
because of its satire, i guess
How is that a catch-22?
 
TubbaBlubba
How is that a catch-22?
Are you making a witty joke here or did you actually misinterpret it... ? Catch-22 is a book, at any rate. As I recall, catch-22 itself was you'd have to be crazy to get into a bombing plane. And if you're crazy you can get relieved of duty and go home. But if you realize that, then you're not crazy. Back into the plane.
 
I think I like books too much to have a favourite. I could list several.
As an individual possession my old leather bound collection of short stories by Edgar Allen Poe would probably be my favourite. Unfortunately it was played with my a puppy and then eventually water damaged beyond salvage while in storage.
 
BobG
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Interestingly, this book has an odd number of pages. What are the odds of that happening?
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey has an even number of pages (736)

Closing Time by Joseph Heller has an even number of pages (464)

Chronicles of Narnia has an even number of pages (784)

In fact, the number of pages is divisible by 4 in all 3 cases.

John Steinbeck's East of Eden has 601 pages. Odd. In fact, that's reason enough for it to be my favorite book.

In fact, of the top 50 New Releases on Amazon.com, 47 had an even number of pages. Two had an odd number of pages. 44 of the books had a total number of pages divisible by 4. Three had an even number of pages not divisible by 4 (two of those were books about Obama).

(For those that noticed there were only 49 books in the top 50, one of the top 50 releases was actually a trilogy package of 3 different books and didn't list the number of pages)
 
hotvette
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My favorite is 'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card. Reasons are (1) I love science fiction, and (2) the story is so gripping. I could hardly put it down.

Second favorite is probably 'The Magus' by John Fowles. Captivating story. Another one I could hardly put down.
 
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^^
I just picked up the last book in the 'Ender' series, so I decided to read the sereies again. Simply love it.

"Interestingly, this book has an odd number of pages. What are the odds of that happening? "

1/2? Either it's an odd or even number of pages, so there is a 50% chance that the number of pages is odd. But, wouldn't this mean that the event is random? What are the odds of that happening?
 
DaveC426913
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^^

"Interestingly, this book has an odd number of pages. What are the odds of that happening? "

1/2? Either it's an odd or even number of pages, so there is a 50% chance that the number of pages is odd. But, wouldn't this mean that the event is random? What are the odds of that happening?
No. Not written pages, actual physical pages. Each page is half of a double that is bound at its centre.

Books need to have an even number of pages or it is tricky to bind them. In fact, often the numbe of pages is divisible by 4 (or, I think, even sixteen) because the pages are bundled.
 
Math Is Hard
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Is that why you sometimes see pages with "This page intentionally left blank" written on them?"
 
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Books need to have an even number of pages or it is tricky to bind them. In fact, often the numbe of pages is divisible by 4 (or, I think, even sixteen) because the pages are bundled.
Wow, this is a fun fact I never knew. I feel it should be on a Snapple cap if its not already :)
 
turbo
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Wow, this is a fun fact I never knew. I feel it should be on a Snapple cap if its not already :)
The pages are printed grouped on very large sheets called "registers" and they are folded and trimmed by special machines at the printer before heading to the binding and final trimming operations. If you see an unfolded register, the pages will appear jumbled because they are not yet in their correct order and orientation.
 
turbo
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Is that why you sometimes see pages with "This page intentionally left blank" written on them?"
In legal documents or training manuals, for example, it is considered bad form to leave a page blank without notification. Paradoxically, once you print the notice, the page is no longer blank. Hmmm...
 
lisab
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Is that why you sometimes see pages with "This page intentionally left blank" written on them?"
Should be followed by, "The previous message was unintentionally ironic."
 
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BobG
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No. Not written pages, actual physical pages. Each page is half of a double that is bound at its centre.

Books need to have an even number of pages or it is tricky to bind them. In fact, often the numbe of pages is divisible by 4 (or, I think, even sixteen) because the pages are bundled.
Physically, the number of pages should be divisible by 8 and definitely an even number since books are printed double-sided. But the title page, copyright/publishing info page, dedication page, and special thanks (or blank page behind the dedication page) are always unnumbered and aren't counted in the number of pages. There could occasionally be other miscellaneous unnumbered, uncounted pages as well, usually inserted at the front as an extra title page, etc to get the physical number of pages divisible by 8.

You could also have blank, unnumbered, uncounted pages at the end of the book, as well. Publishers just prefer not to do that. I think it's perceived as looking amateurish, as there's no logical reason for not doing so. For a professionally designed book, in which the incredible surprise ending came on the very last page, you can easily say, "That book was great from cover to cover - especially the copyright page!" Getting stuck with 7 blank pages at the end would be perceived as particularly amateurish. It would be hard to say the book was great from cover to cover. You'd have to stick your two-year-old's best finger paintings at the end to fill up the empty space.
 
Astronuc
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I have many favorites depending on the subject.

One of my most favorites is Douglas Adams's HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Another is Barbara Sandford's Myths & Modern Man. Perhaps one of the best books ever written on the subject.
See - https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2274563
 
turbo
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Be Here Now was another favorite book. I gave away the first two copies I bought, to people who I thought would appreciate them.

It's important to remember that we live in the present, not in the past or the future, and Alpert's book drives that home (gently). Motivations based on our pasts or on our (perceived) futures can severely detract from our perception of the present.
 
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BobG
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Uh oh :uhh:

I think Phillip M. Parker's sequel, titled https://www.amazon.com/dp/0497477742/?tag=pfamazon01-20 may be even more interesting. Even the title boggles the mind.

Is that a typo? Is there some reason he excluded weights between 13.1 and 18 ounces? How is it that he happened to write so many books in one year and all on the outlook of various products in India?

Still, Phillip M. Parker is the most published author in the history of the Solar System, having published over 200,000 books. He dominates the worst seller list with sales for most of his books ranging from 1 to a few dozen, but makes money at it (it's amazing how many of his books sell for exactly $495).
 
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baywax
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Be Here Now was another favorite book. I gave away the first two copies I bought, to people who I thought would appreciate them.

It's important to remember that we live in the present, not in the past or the future, and Alpert's book drives that home (gently). Motivations based on our pasts or on our (perceived) futures can severely detract from our perception of the present.
Electric KoolAid Acid Test (Ken Kesey... great American writer)

One of the things in the book is pertinent to everyone.... when the merry pranksters were painting the bus Ken gets some on him and swears and is mad about messing his clothes. One of the merry pranksters says "hey man, if you're gonna get into it... ya gotta get some on ya..." (paraphrasing)

But Turbo, Be Here Now is kool too! I've met Richard who is now Baba Ram Dass and very... in the moment!
 
Math Is Hard
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I've been saving up to get Ivan https://www.amazon.com/dp/049747672X/?tag=pfamazon01-20. :tongue2:

Last night, I was reading about Parker's automatic book generation techniques and choices subject matter. I found myself eventually falling down the Google rabbit hole to read about niche marketing. In particular, I found this very interesting Wired article about "The Long Tail".

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html

Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.
Though he's not an entertainer, that's what he's all about. He's providing a massive variety of print-on-demand books on narrow, obscure topics.
 
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BobG
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The best part of Napster was that you could return to a specific user if you found you had downloaded more than one song from the same user. Then you could browse that user's inventory and start downloading songs at random.

The recommendations on Amazon always catch my attention, but, not being a compulsive buyer, they probably don't quite come at the right time to capitalize - unless I need another item to push me above the super saver shipping boundary. Then the recommendations can work pretty well. Just not as well as the ability to obtain some free samples.
 

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