I haven’t been here in awhile, but it’s not an actual absence from Book World (yes, the title is a lie. I’m so sorry for having betrayed you). I started my second Master’s degree, and my new job at a university kicked into high gear two weeks ago. I’m working on a Master’s in Information Sciences, so books are definitely involved. However, I haven’t completed a book in awhile, which is why I haven’t written any posts.
While I have not finished this textbook, I thought I would still make an appreciation post of it because it has entertained me much more than I realized it would. So the book is The Organization of Information, and it’s about exactly what it says. There is a chapter about the history of collecting information/libraries, which is where this post was born. There were some gems in it…
The Sumerians “seem to have kept everything: history books, medical prescriptions, love poems, business invoices, school children’s homework assignments, and the first-known letter home from a student who threatens to drop out of school unless his parents fork over more money for a suitable wardrobe.” (Bold is mine because I found that hilarious).
The book also gave me some interesting things to think about. “Even today in Asian countries the traditional entry for a book is its title. A Japanese librarian of one author’s acquaintance once observed that the principle of author entry goes along with democracy, since it rests upon belief in the importance of the individual.” I never would have thought about different cultures organizing books in a way that emphasizes other aspects over author, and I think that observation is dead on for why the author is so important in democratic book markets. It also made me think about book covers. I know you’ve all seen those novels with Stephen King or Danielle Steel written in ridiculous font sizes while the title is in tiny font. If that’s not a perfect representation of this idea, then I don’t know what is.
The book itself is incredibly well written because it’s easy to understand, fast-paced, and even entertaining. Not all would agree; one of my former professors commented, “Those book titles make me want to retrieve and organize a pencil with my eye” when he read the titles of a couple of my textbooks. To each his own though. I happen to really love the history of information, books, and libraries, and I will probably discover some more books to gush about as I move through this degree program.
I have also not exited from the world of fiction though. I am working through The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe, which is super long with the Dover Thrift Edition clocking in at 624 pages. But it’s freaking awesome. With everything else going on, it’s taking me a lot longer than usual to read it, but I sort of like having this large fiction novel waiting for me as I do all of my adulting.