Expatriot Act

The university of these days is a collection of books.

30 March 2008

Down to the Wire

I started this blog about two years ago as a compulsory assignment. Here I am, on the cusp of graduating with my Master's in Library & Information Science, and despite my usual blythe nature about such things I have to admit, it feels really huge.

This kind of thing doesn't really happen in my family, and because of that, they don't really have an idea of what it means for me. And that's fine and not their fault, but it does give me the urge to go ahead and make a big deal about it for myself. Because if I won't, who will? I've had two former graduations go by with a whisper (the first one, actually, was a bit of a personal tragedy for me, which is probably why I fixate on this sort of thing). But it's not about the ceremony. I'm not even going to the ceremony. It's about me knowing that I saw what I wanted to do, I did it all on my own (and through a remarkably difficult time in my life) and I finished. I went in on one side feeling lost and trapped, I come out feeling full of options and legitimately proud.

All that aside, there's still a month to go and it is a doozy of a month. I just finished the most foreboding assignment (which explains the optimism of this post) but I have a lot of assignments still left in a month during which I will be in at least 4 states. And I feel like some of these assignments, though finishing them is important, aren't exactly of burning importance for me or my future. So who do I turn to? The cataloger's patron saint, Saint Minutia.

I love that she's splitting a hair with a sword. Also I feel she's very apropos, considering my big project was all about French medieval literature.

Back to hacking through this final month's forest of work, one hair at a time.


21 March 2008

Of Scents and Peppermints

Oh how I've been neglecting you, little blog.

Still no real time to update, but I figured I'd mention two little things.

My coworker just showed me this perfume website where I realize that some company made the scent I've always wanted...old book smell.

In the Library

English Novel taken from a Signed First Edition of one of my very favorite novels, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish

The Story

I love books, particularly old ones. I cannot pass a second hand bookshop and rarely come away without at least one additional volume. I now have quite a collection…
Whenever I read, the start of the journey is always opening the book and breathing deeply. Don’t you find there are few things more wonderful than the smell of a much-loved book? Newly printed books certainly smell very different from older ones. The ink is so crisp. I’ve also noticed that books from different periods & different countries also have very different smells. And then there are the scents of different bindings: leather is marvelous of course but I find a peculiar pleasure in musty worn clothbound books as well. Perhaps just a hint of mildew…
The main note in this scent was copied from one of my favorite books – I happened to find a signed first edition of this novel a few years ago in London. I was more than a little excited because there were only ever a hundred in the first place!

I could have very well written this description, now I just have got to smell this stuff. This'll be on my must-investigate list for sure. I wonder if it'd smell good on a person though? If it'd be charming to smell like a musty old book? If not I'd just spritz it around my house! Mmmm.

Speaking of house, my housemate Adam Arcuragi's new EP is available to stream free online, check it out, it's really lovely.

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10 March 2008

Mes Trèsors

I decided to start a flickr photo set with some of my favorite things I've come into possession recently. Most are things I pick up at used bookstores or thrift shops that are lovely and old. Here's a couple of photos.

A postcard from 1910, purchased for $1 at a used bookstore in Long Beach, CA:


Washborn, Texas
December 29, 1910
Dear Alonzo how
are you and why
dont you rite to us
we would like to
hear from you
Harry is hear
with us he likes
it down hear
fine pleas rite to
us oftener Mother


There are a lot of great books, some are not worth much but are pretty, some worth more, but they're all special to me :)


This week in Philadelphia I got a couple of cute French language Beatrix Potter copies. Here's adorable Pierre Lapin:


Also this one is old, I got it in 2005 somewhere in California, needs to be framed, November 1960 full issue of Life magazine with Jackie O. and JFK on the cover. Some of the ads inside are great too.


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