Cato-nomics

I read about… ten or so books at a time. Because well… I get bored quite easily and my ability to retain information and remain focused is… (lets be kind) probably below average. So I remedy this by reading a chapter here, there. Then taking a break for a while. Reading something else. Skipping ahead. Eating a sandwich. Any bibliophile (or anyone with an IQ over 100) would likely find my process quite nauseating.

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In my defense some books I read over and over again (Not the Catcher in the Rye*) until their spines falls apart.

* 1. I am not that cerebral 2. complete lack of pictures 3. apparently reading this particular book repeatedly is a serious precursor to other things… and I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

I also commit other literary faux-pas’s by judging books by their covers… and (often) by either the dedication or the quotation.

I recently picked up a book about the Boer war Commandos. Inside the cover was a quote.

Victrix causa – Diis placuit – Seo victa catoni

If the victor has the gods on his side, then the vanquished had Cato (morality) on theres. – Pharsalia, Book 1:128 by Lucan

I really liked this (and so ended up buying the book).

I am a sucker for Cato (who seems to be continuously quoted by libertarian (and stoic) types… for example Cato: A Tragedy was performed to the American Continental army encamped in Valley Forge, and

Do Thou Great Liberty Inspire our Souls, — And make our Lives in Thy Possession happy, — Or, our Deaths glorious in Thy Just Defence 

Also from Cato appeared on the masthead of Isaiah Thomas’s Massachusetts Spy. This particular quote gets me moist every single time. Moist in my eyes I mean. Moist in other places would be weird.

I’m not very far into it yet. So far the Boers are winning.

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