The books I have received recently (birthday gifts and Amazon orders) contain far more than 5000 pages. How many seasons will it take me to read them all? Some “older” items on my ever-growing planned reading list are not even included yet (Tolkien, Eco, …). And then there are lots of math & physics scripts, too.
In order to satisfy my curiosity, I have started reading about a topic called “General Semantics”. The first book on my list, “Language in Thought and Action” by S.I. Hayakawa (late US senator), provides a very good introduction as it combines some of Alfred Korzybski’s theories with aspects of everyday communication, society, politics, media, advertisement, etc. So far it does not increase the complexity of thoughts (as I had previously suspected), but rather the awareness of language, thoughts and abstraction processes. Thus I can highly recommend this book.
My next books on the subject are “Drive Yourself Sane” by Susan & Bruce Kodish (a simplified and application-based approach towards General Semantics) and “Science and Sanity” by Alfred Korzybski. The former book is much thinner and less “scientific” than the latter 900-pages volume. I guess that with this combination I am well equipped for the upcoming summer. :-)
And then there are books like “Gödel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas R. Hofstadter (824 pages, considered a “life-changing must-read” by many people), “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene (448 pages, probably a very useful and entertaining complement for my ongoing String Theory lecture), “The Holographic Universe” by L. Susskind & J. Lindesay (200 pages, a lot of black hole physics, information, entropy, and the “Holographic Principle”… sounds very intriguing!), “The Road to Reality” by Roger Penrose (1136 pages, explaining the whole world with a mixture of prosa and formulae in this “Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe”), “The Zahir” by Paulo Coelho (350 pages), “The Abhorsen Trilogy” by Garth Nix (1700 pages, a fantasy epic recommended to me by Mario), some scientific cooking books to pose with my knowledge about chemical and physical processes in the kitchen (just kidding!), and many more …
I suppose I shall not buy any new books until the year 2010. :-)