I want to live in a book store

Last week, I took a rather seemingly rare journey to one of the local bookstores in the area.  It’s a rare occasion, because I know how I am– It’s my “kid in a candy store moment.”  My journey was supposed to be 5-10 minutes tops.  I was on a mission to find what I was looking for and walk out. Ha, who was I even kidding?  For me, spending time in a bookstore is like putting a  giant bowl of your favorite snack food in front of you and then saying “just take one”.   Might even be safe to say, it’s ‘literary crack’.   I love the smell of new books, their taut pages, the ‘snap, crackle, pop’ of opening a new book for the first time.  I love old books too, the musty smell of time, pages yellowed, bindings loose.  This is evident by the four large bookcases in my apartment which are overfilled with treasures–some I’ve even read.  This also explains the absence of cable in my home.

While at the store, I encountered a table of ‘reprinted classics’.  Elegantly bound, sealed and practically screaming my name.  Titles by Hans Christian Andersen or Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales and Edgar Allan Poe.  These are my favorite, even though I haven’t read many of them yet.  Their gold leaving and elegant bound hardcovers put me into a trance…circling the table, oohing and ahhing….

Forty five minutes later, I finally made it to intended section, discovering my publication was not available.  Not entirely disappointed.  I did get my ‘fix’.

Original thought…vanished.

I have just stumbled across the current video just prior to writing this blog, searching wordpress in the hopes of finding new ideas pertaining to my topic.  I was fascinated by the video’s animation and artwork, as I think it’s genius in itself.  But, the message also stated some very interesting points to ponder.  Particularily on the creation, development, birth and nurturing of ideas.  Something of which I seemed to be severely lacking in these last few weeks. 

But one of the questions/topics that Steven Johnson stirs is one that I have been pondering myself for a while, and have even written about it in other assignments is this:  With the fast paced and infinitely growing world of the internet, are we as a society truly better off?  We have allowed convenience to dictate our lives and computers to think for us.  Are we slowly eliminating the ability or need for original thought?  Have we chosen to extinguish the purpose of our own ability to think?  Consider the invention of calculators, or even cash registers of today.  They automatically dispense the correct numbers or change to a customer, involving very little thought of “counting back” the money on the part of the employee.  We are slowly eliminating the skills and abilities in order for our basic survival;  at least the ability to count back change from a dollar.  This is only the beginning…convenience foods, convenient appliences.  While they may be more efficient, would society be able to function as a whole if any of these resources were eliminated from our lives?  I for one, should hope to be resourceful enough on how to light a fire, even if I can’t think of anything worthwhile for my blog topic. 😀

A rolling stone gathers no moss

“To be complacent is to be but one step from decay”.  Gilt Proto, Lost in Space

We all have our reasons for going to college, whether it is to learn new job skills, improve on the ones we have, or to find our niche in life.  In any of these events, whether it is out of choice or necessity, we have chosen to improve ourselves.  It may not have been an easy step, but certainly an opportunity to go forward. 

I knew that when I decided to go back to college, there would be challenges.  Of course, this is all what education is—challenging a person to think better, do better, be better. This is the objective of the instructor and the goal of the student. However, I hadn’t actually realized in what direction those processes would take me.  I have always admired the ‘quick thinker’s intellect’ and fantasized that once I stood in the halls of academia, knowledge would osmotically infuse itself into my existence. Of course, this is not the case.  We are forced out of our comfort zones—socially, mentally and academically.  As uncomfortable as this can seem to be, it is not always a bad thing.  It challenges us to truly find what we are made of, what makes us tick, how and why.  It encourages, even prevents us from “in the box” type thinking and behaviors.  Not necessarily changing our beliefs, but discovering new ways of supporting them. Knowledge does not stand still, neither should you.