Thursday, August 31, 2006

On Books

The problem with moving over the pond for approximately nine months of study is picking and choosing which books to bring. Obviously, I can't bring them all in my luggage, so I'm mailing some to myself now. But even with 4-6 week delivery, it costs about $45 to send 15 lbs worth of books. That's not really very many books, mind you.

Moreover, I'm stuck deciding what I'll really need while I'm over there but can do without for about a month while I'm continuing my reviewing here. Of course, I'll have access to one of the best libraries in the world (which is an infinitely cheering thought!), but I'm the kind of person who sits in her room at 2AM and is suddenly struck with odd questions to which she MUST have the answer ASAP. For instance, just the other night, I suddenly needed to know the history of my undergrad university's libraries (particularly the main one). The question plagued me! I searched all over their website to no avail. At long last, I gave in and checked wikipedia (I know, the horror! But I just wanted to satisfy my own curiosity). That only told me the person for whom the main library was named. Much unsatisfied with this, I finally submitted my burning question to the librarians. They were very helpful and responded much more quickly than I would have expected for such a silly question. But of course, they weren't going to respond to me at 2AM.

Um, where was I? Oh yes. Working at a bookstore, I've been fortunate enough to have been able to started my own small collection of reference books. Sadly, most of them will not be traveling with me. Parting is such sweet sorrow!

On the bright side, though, Google Book Search now has a bunch of public domain books as pdf files, and there's always Project Gutenberg. But it's not really the same as holding a book, is it?


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