The Best of Andy Rooney

I save things. I have clothes I haven't worn in years that are too good to throw away.

I'm a woodworker and I have good wood boards out of which to make things that I never make anything out of. I just like to look at the wood.

Since the 1930s, I've collected typewriters. I must have at least 20 typewriters in my office and in my home.

I have books I don't have time to read but I keep buying them. There are tools lying around in my basement that I don't use.

If you opened my desk drawer, you'd find dozens of pens and pencils I've collected over the years that I don't write with any longer.

I also collect words and things written about words. In my line of work, it's a natural temptation.

I've jotted down on small pieces of paper little-known words and phrases that I don't know what to do with but can't bring myself to throw out. A lot of the words and phrases I've collected were things people said to me that I found very interesting and wish I had said. (I once had a teacher who compared Picasso as a painter with Einstein as a mathematician. He said that they were equally good in completely different ways. I understood what he was trying to teach me better than I understood what he actually said and I've never forgotten it. He's long gone now and I wish he wasn't because I'd like him to know that what he taught me made a lasting impression.)

You have to be careful about using words just because you know them -- or think you know them. There are words I know that I shan't ever use, and "shan't" is one of them. It's a clumsy contraction of "shall not" that only saves two letters. I don't even like people who say "shan't.

I hear people using the word "bummer" all the time. Calling something a "bummer" means it isn't good. This is a strange, fairly new word and perfectly useful but I never use it. When someone says something that's depressing, I use the word "depressing," not "it's a bummer."

We use the contraction of "do not" so often that "don't" ought to be considered its own word -- "d-o-n-t" with no apostrophe. It could lead to changes like "couldnt," "wont" and "shouldnt." I wouldn't mind the change.

I've mentioned before that I collect Bibles. In my office, I have maybe 20 or 25 bibles. I have six copies of the Koran.

The Christian Bible and The Koran are the most read books in the world. There are 1.5 billions Moslems and 2 billion Christians in the world, according to my sources, but I think these books are talked about more than they're read. In my case, they are purchased or given to me more then they are read.

There are a lot of good things in both books but neither is easy to grasp or all good, and people should forgive them their inadequacies. Parts of the Bible are hard to read and impossible to understand but you don't hear a lot of criticism of that in church.

People of different religions shouldn't knock other faiths. Of course, a lot of that goes on anyway. If you're going to "knock" someone's religious beliefs, you better understand what you're knocking. That's why I have so many Bibles.

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