Thursday, March 03, 2011

"The Information"

by seemingly always-in-the-running for major awards (Pulitzer, National Book Award) science writer James Gleick may be the 2010 decade's version of Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.  The book, coming in at a touch over 500 pages, is also available in a Kindle version, $14.99 vs hardcover version @ $16.47.  If reviews are be taken into consideration, then the book certainly deserves a place next to Hofstadter's classic.  Anyone familiar with Mr. Gleick's articles in the New York Times knows how lucid his style is with topics that are dense...and it sounds as if "The Information" can be dense.


Personally, I'll be putting "The Information" on my Amazon Wish List, holding off the Buying Click for now.  With shame, I'll pre-admit that the chances of my finishing reading Mr. Gleick's tome may be the same as those of my finishing Mr. Hofstadter's book...which has been in my possession for over 20 years.


None.


But, like Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, the effort will be there.  Kindle or Hardcover?  I'd swing toward the hardcover version.  At times of frustration of comprehension (no matter how lucid Mr. Gleick may be), it is a better economic decision to chuck a book than a Kindle.
..and, yes, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Books has had me on their "to audit" list since way back in the last century when I first tackled Gödel 

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I haven't yet finished Godel, Escher, Bach, either. But it is a nice book to have around, even with the little grocery receipts and post-its and what-nots that got picked up and used as book-marks the last time I took a swing at it. And there are still all those pristine pages that follow ....
 
We must be reading the same copy....although, having just checked the one on my shelves, I have a few beer coasters parked in key spots as well.
A Dogfish Head and a Dead President's one to be more specific. Can't remember if I thought drinking would improve the comprehension or it was "Bring a Book Get a Free Drink" day.
 
Most publicans would assume you brought the book to use as a coaster. But beer as an aid to comprehension -- that I can understand.
 
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