Sunday, January 15, 2006

Most Valuable Three Dollars

A lot of money is not likely to buy anybody love or happiness, a mere three dollars even less so. Friday, however, was one of the those rare days when those lowly three dollars-that too not my own- bought me immense satisfaction. The reason for this unexpected good fortune was an unscheduled visit to the local public library, which was having a book sale selling some eminently likeabale titles for little over hundred cents. A cursory browse at the biographies section yielded two gems - Abraham Pais's scholarly biography of Einstein 'Subtle is the Lord' and James Gleick's biography of Feynman 'Genius-The Life and Science of Richard Feynman'. I had never been happier parting with three dollar bills, not even after devouring a yummie Brownie Fudge Sunday at Steak & Shake.

Getting the books, even at such throwaway prices, is the easy part, actually getting down to read them is where the challenge really lies. Unfortunately, this is a challenge which I do not wish to undertake any time soon especially with regard to these books which apart from being scholarly biographies are semi-technical journal articles as well lasting well in excess of 400 pages. For now I will not let that worry me. I am just happy to possess these classics much like a vintage car collector who is happy to own some valuable cars without ever testing how they may actually drive.

2 comments:

Kass said...

Bravo for book sales!

Ashutosh said...

You lucky, lucky guy... I am always surprised how remarkably well-stocked the public libraries here are.