Saturday, February 13, 2010

Library Grab Bag

As I'm reading on-line news or blogs or doing some various research I often will com across a reference to a book with which I'm not familiar. Or to a book with which I'm familiar but haven't yet read. Usually when this happens I immediately go to my bookmarks and open up my library catalog page or if the books is more obscure, also the MnLink statewide library page. I simply type in the title and request the book to be delivered to my local library. I just love this system. What a luxury!

Generally I get to the library once a week, but not always. If the book I request is immediately available, it is usually ready and waiting for me when I get to the library each Thursday. But occasionally a book takes several weeks or months to arrive.

Because of this, it's always a little adventure to see what has come in each week. Unless I check the incoming page of my library account on a regular basis, I don't know until I get to the there, what is waiting for me.

This is always fun. But often, it also includes a bit of frustration. The source of said frustration? Dingbat that I am, I often cannot remember the context in which I've requested one or another of the books I get. It's kind of like a grab bag. I don't know what I will be getting and sometimes, I don't really know the purpose of the items included. I should keep a little data base with the requests I've made and a little comment on why I've requested it.

I usually try to read the mystery books I receive. Sometimes I figure it out during the read, other times I store away up the knowledge and hope it relates to something some day.

Last week, I got The Old Regime and the French Revolution by Alexis de Toqueville. I do remember requesting this one, only because on the original web site that cited it, the title was in French, L'Ancien regime et la revolution. I had to run it through a translator tool; and when I still couldn't find it, I had to do a general google search on the title and hope for an page that included both English and French titles. Ancien does not translate to ancient, you see, but to old. And I surmise that in French one would not have to specify to which revolution one was referring.

At any rate, I do remember requesting this book, if only because of the difficulty I encountered. What I don't remember is why!?! Why did I want to read it? What was I researching?

As per usual, I'm reading it anyway and quite enjoying it. I keep finding interesting things to write about here on my blog. But, alas, by the time time I get time at my computer, I'm either unable to find the citation I seek; or I've forgotten the relevance I previously saw in it.

So you will just have to request the book yourselves and find your own relevant snippets.

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