21 May 2007
why buying books is good
obviously one need not even argue the above statement. buying books = good. end of argument. QED. But I've gone back and forth on this over the past few years as a global nomad--went on an amazon/bookfinder embargo for a couple of years there, using the library (horrors!) instead of the bookstore. occasionally, when the library didn't have the book and I needed it sometime between now and 5 minutes from now, I've bought the book. But the collection hasn't grown too much over the past few years, and now that we're settled there's been a bit of a loosening of the book purchasing belt, but not too much.
It used to be, when I had no income in grad school and yet I was in grad school and surrounded by used book shoppes, remainder sales from the university press, and obsessive friends who knew the market and their collections by heart, that I bought quite a lot of books. too many, some might say. most might say. did I need the boxed, beautiful Topkapi multi-volume set? probably not. but how pretty! I claimed I could stop at any time, and well, I did. a lot of books I'd buy because they looked interesting, smart, intelligent, and potentially useful. or because they were Important. in 1994. now, not so much.
I learned today, however, what a boon bookbuying is. I was looking for folks who have written on Ambedkar, the advocate for the untouchables and leader of the anti-colonial movement in India who converted to Buddhism towards the end of his life. I haven't ever been fully interested in him before, but I'm looking into the Buddhist symbolism of early Indian nation-building, and finding a lot there. Ambedkar is central. Fishing on google books (favourite pasttime), I found a reference to a book there. partial preview. intriguing. does the library have it? no. wait! do I? huzzah. thank my graduate school self for purchasing the 'it' book of 1996 and keeping it until now. So I'm good to go. probably should start buying books again, right?
must check with budget manager.
Posted by tekne at 11:43 AM