Friday, January 16, 2004

ancient (internet) history

Here is text from a web page last updated in 2004, before Geocities went out of existence. The Church of Gold Books Page


The Librarian's Bookshelf

This page is new and under construction. You've got to expect a librarian to write about books...

Harry's personal library includes one of the largest collections of self-help books ever assembled. Highlights will be featured as time permits.

Our Harry read Harry Browne's seminal book, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, in 1974, and that led him to the only writings he considers "sacred," the writings of Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand was a living "goddess," possessing a stunning original mind and the bravery to follow it. More people call her masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged, the most influential book they ever read, than say that about any other book except The Bible. Read it! You'll see why my church is of Gold, Not God. "Atlas" not only describes the first and only rational morality, it also shows what the world could be like if we lived rationally and morally. Harry has made (recorded in his "radio voice") audio tapes of the "This is John Galt speaking" speech in the book, and listens frequently for the sheer joy of Rand's masterful use of both English (her second language) and rationality.

Ten years or so ago it seemed natural for Harry to seek to "push the envelope," of the radical ideas of Rand and Browne. He ordered books from, and subscribed to tapes and serials from the Neo-Tech and Terra Libra organizations. (See links page.) Both seem to have grown weaker and less rational with time. After spending many hundreds of dollars (his own, not the library's) on their materials, Harry finds himself returning to his "old reliables," Harry Browne and Ayn Rand.

Most sorely missed "lost" book: Bunkhouse Logic by Ben Stein. Harry loaned his personal copy of this incredibly wise and helpful "success" book to a young woman, daughter of a [library] employee, imploring her to return it as soon as possible. She moved to another part of the country. Harry has asked a number of used book sellers to track down a copy, but to no avail. The book talks about the myths, as in the song "Johnnie B. Goode," of instant success. These mislead many young people to give up way too soon, since real life success takes lots of dues paying and patience.

Wisest book: Wareham's Way: Escaping the Judas Trap by John Wareham. Harry cannot believe this was not a mega-best-seller when it came out. Yet he cannot even track down reviews from the time of publication. His personal copy is so marked up he'd love to have two or three clean copies, and a few to give as presents. Wareham understands what makes us tick and how we "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory." If you have a chance to read this book, don't pass it up! Harry recently paid four times the original price for a clean copy from a book dealer - it took months to track it down - now it's part of Harry's "Treasure Chest."

Recent reading: The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. This is a book of scientific essays that is downright poetical in its songs of praise for rationality and science. Harry has marked so many sections that he'd like to quote, that he'll probably just tell people, "You've got to read the whole thing!"

Recent purchase: Two autographed copies of How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World in a new edition published by Liam Works. These could eventually have great collector value, should Harry Browne win the Presidential election next time! However, Harry the Librarian wouldn't sell them anyway. In addition to leading him to Ayn Rand, as mentioned above, the book is so full of wisdom and common sense, showing how to enjoy life on earth, that Harry rereads it every few years. It's like visiting with your smartest and most honest and helpful friend!

Most disappointing book: How to believe in NOTHING & Set Yourself Free by Michael Misita. As an Atheist and Objectivist, I was excited by the sound of this title, until reading inside "I believe in everything...and I believe in nothing." Then I looked in the back of the book and found pages of advertising for books and tapes on Magic, "Past Lives Therapy," meditation amulets and spirit guides who help with your automatic writing. I can assure you there is nothing automatic about my writing these web pages - it is work! And unlike "Magic," work works!

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