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.


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.