Thursday, May 10, 2012

Expedition to the Bookstore

Stairs at the University of Virginia
The exterior of the University of Virginia bookstore.

             One of the things Daniel loved most, and this is probably also true of all of our kids, is that they love book shops.   This is probably the result of my father.  My father was terribly frugal in many ways, but a few times a year, he would order hundreds of dollars worth of books from Dover Publications.  My father would buy any interesting well written book on the subjects of history, archaeology, geography, exploration, natural science, medicine, anatomy, and anything on which we might have an interest, however fleeting.  Do you have any idea how many books three hundred dollars worth were in the nineteen sixties ?  In addition to that, he perused flea markets and garage sales finding excellent book values as well.   My mother was also a voracious reader, however, she was less devoted to owning books, and was content to borrow many of them from the library. This did not keep her from having an incredible collection of British history and  literature, some of which we still own here. This has left me with the subconscious attitude perhaps, that even an expensive book, is in fact, cheaper than the ignorance that may exist should you not buy it. This has left me also with a frugal attitude generally, but a generous leaning where books and the kids are concerned.
            Matthew will be taking a course over the summer at college, and so yesterday, I agreed to go with him and buy the book for it at the University of Virginia bookstore.  Of course, this small book is one hundred and forty-three dollars.  In years past, the UVA bookstore was a heady place.  There were lots of unusual books, including a section where authors who had visited the university had signed copies of their books, that were for sale there. This is always fun to look at because Secretaries of State come, and this can be a rare opportunity to buy an autographed book from them. I especially enjoyed the broad range of medical books there.  This time, it was an interesting visit.  It was a bit more reminiscent of Wal-Mart as everything from trash cans to bathroom supplies, toiletries and medicines was sold there. They also had a lot more in terms of toys. Unusual magnets, gag gifts, etc. were everywhere.  There was also a great deal of construction in their parking area, which made the visit a bit more confusing.  Still, our mission was accomplished and we went to lunch afterward.  Charlottesville, in general, is an excellent place to look at book shops. If you ever visit, and have time, please visit some of them.    I thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon with Matthew, though I couldn't help wonder what the day would have been like, had Daniel still been in the flesh and accompanied us.

University of Virginia bookstore.

Although this version of this song was uploaded to You-Tube, only a year ago, it was a song that was playing frequently before Daniel passed, although I often changed it, because it made me tearful  Daniel heard this song on the radio many times, as we travelled.
This is "Find Your Wings" Artist: Mark Harris


  1. ack. dear friend...don't you even get me started on already know that i have a very unhealthy fascination with books - bahahahah!

    your friend,

    (do you think that Daniel would be interested in all of the encyclopaedia sets that i have collected?)

    1. Yes, my friend, Daniel would be very interested in all the books you have gathered. One of the reasons he was so well suited to the task of homeschooling, is that he languished in a day in which he could spend many hours with books. He loved books with nothing but words upon words, and he loved books with well drawn pictures also. Sometimes, when he would tell me something which seemed about 7-10 years more advanced than I thought he should be, I would ask him where he heard that, and he would tell me that "it was in chapter 17 of Jane's Aviation" or a collegiate textbook on environmental science. Good books are simply sacred. They are evidence of time spent on Earth and of the learning of others before us. Again, I like that nothing is wasted.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.