Saturday, September 11, 2010

Record Keeping

I've updated my reading list on the right sidebar.

I enjoyed immensely the essays of Richard Sapolsky and went in search of something similar. I found a copy of Oliver Sack's An Anthropologist on Mars. This experience sent me in search of something similar to Sack's writing. A search of the local library led me to Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V. S. Ramachandran. This was another fascinating book.

A co-worker suggested Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher by Lewis Thomas. While in a used book store in Santa Fe in June I found a copy. The $60 price caused me to put the book back on the shelf. Last month the co-worker came to my office with gifts. She gave me two books by Thomas: The Fragile Species and A Long Line of Cells. (As we talked I learned she had paid $1 for her copy of Lives of a Cell Did I misread the $60 price or was it a rare or autographed copy?)

Recently I attended a gardening conference. Author David Wann was one of the keynote speakers. I purchased a copy of Simple Prosperity which he autographed to Julie.

While in Santa Fe I purchased one book that is out of my comfort zone. In a used item store I risked fifty cents on a book of fiction. It was on the night stand by our bed for over two months before I forced myself to begin reading it. I don't enjoy fiction for some reason. I was determined to read it and started it with misgivings in a effort to stay flexible as I age. 21 Great Stories is a compilation of short stories by Guy de Maupassant, Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, Jack London, James Joyce, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Dunsany and others. Some of the stories (London's To Build a Fire, Stockton's The Lady or the Tiger,Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart) I read almost 50 years ago. Long ago I read a few volumes by Mark Twain and enjoyed each of them but What Stumped the Bluejays is new to me. The book has been a surprise. I'm enjoying it. Thus far Wine on the Desert by Max Brand is my favorite.

Bookmans, the Flagstaff used book store that was destroyed by the snow storm last January, is being rebuilt and is scheduled to be open later this fall. By the time I finish the four volumes that I have on hand the store will be open and I'll be off in search of new material.



After finishing graduate school I resumed reading for pleasure. Using three by five index cards I kept a bibliography of each book. In the subsequent years I would flip through the cards and briefly experience again the pleasure of each book.

After several years I began keeping a calendar. I recorded good experiences -- miles walked each day, movies enjoyed, hikes completed and other enjoyable activities.

For a few years I maintained a photo gallery on a university server. I was surprised to learn it was among the top sites for daily hits. Life got busy and I got behind on posting photos. The server was upgraded and the software that managed the gallery was broken by the upgrade and stopped functioning. I have yet to take time to find the cause and repair it.

This blog has become my main means of record keeping of pleasant experiences.

2 Comments:

Blogger SimplyTim said...

Paul,

David Wann's book, Simple Prosperity is one of my favorites.

I've been reading it for a few years not. Several pages at a time. Letting it seep in.

I think you'll probably find that you and Julie are already well along with the types of things he talks about.

Tim

9/12/2010 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex Pendragon said...

As well it should!

9/12/2010 08:16:00 PM  

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