(In)Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will you review a book if I send it to you?
Probably not, but feel free to send me an email asking.
Q: I can't find a copy of a book that you've reviewed; can you
help me out?
A: If you can't find a copy of a particular
book for a reasonable price, then it's almost certain that I can't
either -- I probably borrowed it from the library or a friend.
Interlibrary loan is the single best way to get access to a rare book.
If you want to own a copy of a hard-to-find book Alibris and eBay are great places to start.
Q: Do you have any book reports, Cliff notes, etc.?
A: No, and I don't respond to email of this form. Do your own
Q: How do you find out about all these books?
A: Finding books is not the problem -- finding time to read
them is. Besides browsing bookstores, book pages on the web, and lists of
prize winners, I get lots recommendations from friends, colleagues,
family members, and random people on the net. I also track down
literary references in books I like.
Q: Aren't you an "Amazon Associate" or something?
No, I think it's tacky to link every book on a personal book page to a
bookstore. I'd rather have people patronize a locally owned bookstore
anyway. I pretty much agree with Kristen on
Q: Are you an unusually fast reader?
A: No, I don't
think so. Rather, I watch minimal TV and try hard to protect my daily
reading time, even if it's just 15 or 20 minutes after dinner or
before going to bed.
Q: How many hits does your site get?
A: During 2002 about 574,000 HTML pages were fetched from my
book site. Between Feb 2000, when I started hosting this site at
regehr.org, and the end of 2002 these pages received 2.23 million HTTP
requests. (These are different figures because not all HTTP requests
result in a page being fetched.)
Q: How are these pages produced?
A: The "sources" for these pages are several structured text
files that are converted to lots of html by a kludgey 2000-line Perl
script. The script evolved into existence during the summer of 1997
as I figured out what I wanted these pages to be (and learned Perl),
and I've been incrementally modifying it since then. I eventually
want to create a freely available general purpose software package for
making a database of book information available over the web, but that
project is barely into the design phase. (Mail me if you have any
ideas about this, or want to help.) Life is too short to either
create html by hand or deal with crappy WYSIWYG html editors.
copyright © 2003