Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Reading

The end of the semester isn't here, it has passed. The Campus is mostly empty, the Library is nearly empty, just a few other colleagues here to the final hour. I have the honor of completing my last hour of Reference of 2012 at the 2nd floor Reference Desk from 5-6 p.m. pacific time, so I only have about 40 minutes to pull together some thoughts about holiday reading.

I have hope that Ann Blair's Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age (Yale, 2010) will help me set some information consuming priorities or frameworks. One of the many reasons this blog has languished is that I fell into the 140 character vortex of twitter (@Bookcharmer, of course) which offers rewards for typing in short sentences and recognizable abbreviations. Twitter is incredibly addictive, highly interactive, and I need to step away from the dizzying speed of tweets. Exchanging "tweets" is a highly visible form of note-passing and therefore just as exhilarating as that activity.

Where else have I digressed this semester? Oh, the transgressions are too many. Evidence of my peripatetic bibliographic nature are to be found in the pile of books I need to renew or return, as well in the list of what I would like to be reading. Newsletters and quarterlies are populating my desk and bookbag, catalogs of new embarrassment of riches, in a way, to have too much to read. And not just the "must read" documents of university life, but the novels, exhibition catalogs, biographies, and studies I want to read. But just like cups of coffee, there is in fact a daily point that an overdose of anything is too much.

This is a difficult idea to wrestle with in the season of holiday excess. Too difficult just now for an easily distract-able Bookcharmer who is about to be a kid out of school for almost two weeks. So I bid you a happy holiday season and prepare to go to the Reference Desk. There's still fifteen minutes, maybe time for just one more cup of coffee...

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