Friday, July 25, 2014

Raging Against The Dying of the Light

I've always been a book nut. As is the case with most nuts, there is a strongly irrational element in my bibliomania. I don't read that many novels. A lot of non-fiction is not my cup of tea. But I love technical books on subjects which I want to understand. I buy a lot of textbooks and monographs. And I've never sold one. I have also given away a lot fewer than I should have.

At this point, I have a lot more books on a number of subjects than I can ever hope to comprehend (differential geometry, astrophysics, string theory, quantum field theory, general relativity, to name a few). Of course I'm also getting dumber, and I probably wasn't bright enough for several of those subjects at my best. Also, my vision is going.

Obviously, a rational strategy would be to at least drastically prune the collection that clutters up my house, garage, and office. But I still lust in my heart over that new astrophysics book. Maybe that new quantum field theory book would at last clear up a lot of those puzzles I never been able to master. And I really do need a good review of statistical mechanics.

Maybe buying a new book is just a way avoiding contemplation of the end - a kind of rage against the dying of the light.