Saturday, November 11, 2006

a pair of books

I won't recount the horror I've made of my library visits recently. I've racked up some fines through sheer ineptitude and laziness and payed them off at 10% by sheer fortune. We happened to visit the library on amnesty day in which donations of food erase your fines. I didn't realize this before we went, but I had missed two overdue items when packing up the library stuff, so I needed to return those before we could actually check new books out.

One of the books I picked up recently is The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney, and this is the book I suffered through. It was certainly eye opening, to some extent, but I've also been just into conspiracy theory just enough to not be surprised. It was more depressing than enlightening, but I finished it, and of that I'm proud. I would suggest to most people that they read this book through at least once. Hopefully we can turn things around and this book will soon be a forgotten warning.

I was actually looking for that book as well as The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, which our library system doesn't have. I'm not quite sure what to think of that. I really don't want it to be some backward southern thing, but if one searches the library catalog, Dawkins almost shows up more often for introductions in books as opposed to as an author. Which brings us to the book I may not get around to before it's due, The Origin of Species and The Voyage of the Beagle, with . . . guess . . . an intro by Richard Dawkins. I'm not sure if I really want to read this book or if I just want to have read it.

Part of the reason I may not get to Darwin this time (I've checked this book out before and not read it because it was due before I got around to it) is that I may just not get around to it before it's due again. I have newer borrowings that seem to be cutting the line in front of the old fellow.

I've hit upon the idea that what I need is to reread John Holt, How Children Learn. I've read it once before, and at some point I remember mentioning to Momma that we needed to just go ahead and buy it sometime. We didn't, so the library comes to the rescue. The book I'm currently reading is only a few Dewey mapped shelves away and wasn't actually on my list. John Holt gets pushed down the line a little. This should in no way demean Mr. Holt as one should certainly read his books. I'd go so far as to suggest that this one book should be given to all new parents as well as all teachers and school administrators.

Somewhere around 340, our downtown library's nonfiction section moves up a floor. On this same floor is the a/v section. I always love a trip to the second floor, and we usually take a few minutes upstairs, usually for music for me, and if Big Brother wants, they have a great selection of videos. I time myself upstairs because of The Boy. He gets noisome, perhaps even crazy, so I don't venture into books to browse until we hit the kid's section. There of course he can be a kid.

The boys were behaving mostly, so I slipped from education to food and cooking, John Holt in hand. I didn't have anything in mind when I came to food, so I may have actually stared at the shelves for a minute waiting for something to go off. Elizabeth David was the one. I picked An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. I have another book of hers that I've loved, though I'm not certain I've read it all. Both books are collections of pieces she's written for a variety of publications, and the book of hers I own, I've skipped around reading different bits as I felt like it. Because it isn't a book you need to read straight through or all at once, Holt may find himself worked into the middle.

Elizabeth David has become a favorite cooking writer of mine. How to describe her writing is a bit difficult. What I'm familiar with mostly happened in the years following World War II. She writes about cooking that I can only imagine. She writes about food rationing well after the war ended. She writes about travelling in France where fees for hotels and meals in the hotel restaurant were priced based on pensioners plans. She makes me jealous, and I read her all the same. Go get one of her books.

Quit with the rambling to end with a question. Why do I feel guilty if I return something to the library without having read it?


Morgan said...

I never come out of the library with fewer than 15 books I swear. And I rarely finish them all. Sometiems I feel guilty but not too much. If someone needed them they'd be put on hold right?

I really want to read the god delusion also, but I'm not gonna hold my breath to see it at the library. Its not too expensive on amazon. I tried to read The Selfish Gene by Dawkins when I was in high school and it was way over my head. I hope this book isn't. If I end up buying it I'll let you borrow it.

I really like his cry for not being such a passive atheist, maybe I'll try to be more obnoxious with my lack of (A funny note, the book is in the atheism section of "religion" in borders, I thought calling it a religion was humorous)

trish said...

I often have that same guilty feeling. I keep imagining that, of all the books in the library, the particular three that I didn't read this time were in high demand, and some guy was just dying to get his hands on them for the few weeks they were gone.