Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bliss, Pure Bliss...

Now I know what my definition of a truly good life is. I lived it from 8:00 am to about 5:00 pm today. As part of this year’s book purchasing committee at the College where I teach, I had the very enviable job of picking books that would be added to the country’s leading learning resource center (in other words, library). Along with 10 other academics, I visited a warehouse and a bookstore where we were allowed to wander aimlessly, pick books that struck our fancy, and choose which ones the College should buy. The fact that I wasn’t paying the tab (and the budget was very, very generous) was pure bliss. For once, I was able to pick books whose price tags approximated my weekly payroll without guilt or pangs of withdrawal.

What’s the big deal, you ask. Well, for someone who exhibits withdrawal symptoms when he doesn’t get to visit a library or a bookstore in a week’s time, nothing is more fulfilling and more pleasurable than buying books. Picking up a book, then scanning through the pages, and then making a decision to buy or not to buy sends blood rushing through my veins. Now, think warehouse where there are thousands and thousands of books most of them still unreleased to the general public, where books are spotless and have not been handled by other people, and where you are given the absolute privilege of using your own judgment to pick whatever book you think deserves to be read by the academic community and expense is not a major consideration. Tell me if that doesn’t appeal to you too.

Whew! I wish that someday I would have the resources be able to do just that be able to afford any or all books I like (and there would be many) and then have all the time in the world to sit in a hammock under a tree somewhere really cool and read, read, read to my heart’s content.

Pure bliss!

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