Sunday, 15 April 2012

A bookish dilemma...

I’m sure I’m not alone in the world in having multiple books stacked on my bed-side table, each with a stake on me, each clamouring for attention.  There is an uncomfortable pressure for those of us who suffer at times from an indecisive nature, or who flit from one area of interest to another like humming-birds to nectar filled flowers, to create a dangerously large pile of such books.

So I assume it is with others, and so it is with me.  Lately my interests have flitted from astronomy, to biology, to dark age history, to dinosaurs.  Given I don’t spend as much time reading as I would like, this leaves me little opportunity to clear the decks, as it were.

As I glance over the pile that is starting to develop a potentially dangerous lean I think: I should clear some of those away, rid myself of the detritus, enable myself to focus on only those books I’m truly interested in reading at the moment...

As one reads down the spines of the books however, one is almost nostalgically reminded of the burst of curiosity that led to the book’s careful addition to the structure.  ‘I should put that copy of The Song of Roland back’ I think.  But as my trembling hand reaches for it, I pause... ‘but this is an epic set during the time of Charlemange’, I consider, ‘and that is a fascinating period in history.’  My hand is stayed; the book remains; the tower grows.

I’ve recently been given this book to read as part of my professional learning, and like all such books (for me at least), it holds the dual potentials of both being of only a passing interest, and a book I actually have to read.  It is not helped much by my opinion that the best advice one can get on teaching at the moment comes from this old classic:

The other book I have atop my tower at the moment is Dinosaur Odyssey, by the inestimable Dr. Scott Sampson.  A book that details the mesozoic era’s most famous denizens and marks their place within the ecology of the time.  Having read the first chapter it is something I am eager to continue, but my reading time is precious, my tower is high, and there is a book within it I am obligated to at least glance through...

A tricky dilemma... Can professional reading trump dinosaurs? I think not.



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