Mar 30, 2021 • 20M

How To Read Like an Indexer with Peter Rooney

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Becoming a reader is lifelong, inexhaustible work. What postures do you practice as a reader now? What postures could you practice next?
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Welcome to Read Like a Reader! These short interviews have been condensed from hour-long conversations by Jacob Keough-Mishler.

Today we hear from Peter Rooney, founder of Magnetic Reports, and indexer of The Mueller Report among many other works. Peter was charming company and what a beautiful voice!

Peter Rooney and I discussed the idea of the web as an index; how internet searches are “a crude tool;” why authors aren’t the best indexers of their own work; why indexers rely on nouns and try to forego adjectives; what it would be like to make a walkable, installation-sized index; how he reads, and lately what (La Peste).

Peter recommends The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1910–11), which includes an entire index volume.