Through My Library

By Raymond M. Smullyan

Copyright © 2009 by Raymond M. Smullyan
All rights reserved.
176 pages (includes 22 illustrations, bibliography, and index) ISBN 0963923161, Softcover, $14.95

“My library contains oodles of gems—many little known—that will surely interest those of you who like the things I like.”

    Raymond M. Smullyan


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Table of Contents

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About the Book

In Rambles Through My Library, Raymond Smullyan takes you on a tour of selections from his favorite authors. Along the way, he shares his thoughts, commentary, stories, anecdotes, and juicy tidbits about the authors and selections. Thus, the book is a combination of anthology, essays, reminiscences, scraps of thought, and autobiography—anything is fair game.

About the Author

Raymond M. Smullyan has had a remarkably diverse sequence of careers—magician, mathematician and philosopher, concert pianist, internationally known writer, and author of over twenty books. Now a retired distinguished professor of philosophy and mathematics, he resides in the beautiful upper region of New York’s Catskill Mountains and continues to delight audiences with performances of magic, music and readings.


Rambles Through My Library is a new Raymond Smullyan book which, as usual, I couldn't put down. If you are a fan of Ray’s, which I am, all you need to know to want to buy this beautiful volume is that from its first page to its last, this book is unadulterated Smullyan.

Martin Gardner, former editor, Scientific American


A potent solicitation to reverie...This is a fabulously idiosyncratic collection of snippets from Raymond Smullyan’s personal library, with commentary and anecdotes from Smullyan, who also wrote The Tao Is Silent, one of my favourite books...Whether reflecting on theatre, Samuel Johnson’s character, the nature of book collecting, leisure, or ancient Chinese poetry, his insatiable curiosity and sense of wonder is infectious...(read complete Amazon review)

Chris Lynch
Brisbane, Australia


Your new book Rambles Through My Library is a “gem.” Thank you for providing me with many ideas to ponder. In this brief note, I’ll just mention a few...(read more)

Janet Reale
Elka Park, NY


Last night, I finished reading Raymond Smullyan’s Rambles Through My Library. Smullyan’s book is largely a commentary and reaction to book passages he enjoyed. Well, this post is largely a commentary and response to Smullyan’s commentary and reaction to book passages he enjoyed. I will quote three passages.

...This passage is from A. Edward Newton, an obscure book collector now largely forgotten (page 79) that I like a lot because it gives me a wonderful excuse to buy more books than I have time to read:

I do not much use any library except my own. I early formed the habit of buying books, and, thank God, I have never lost it. Authors living and dead
dead for the most partafford me my greatest enjoyment, and it is my pleasure to buy more books than I can read. Who was it who said, “I hold the buying of more books than one can peradventure read, as nothing less than the soul’s reaching towards infinity?”

Now, no one (myself included) should stop my soul from reaching towards infinity!

I’m not as good as the idler I aspire to be, so I only have time for one more passage that I read in Smullyan’s book. It encapsulates my life philosophy and is from a poem by Po Yuchien (page 157):
...(read more )




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Revised: August 17, 2009