If you work in a library, and if you read shelves, then you’re more than likely to come across books that really interest you. I probably shouldn’t admit that I was occasionally distracted during my duties, but they’re books…how could I not? So here are two books that I found that I thought were awesome. And I would recommend browsing the stacks once in a while if you have time to kill. Don’t look anything up, don’t find call numbers…just wander. You never know what you’ll find.
1. Letters to Children by C.S. Lewis. I have read a lot of works by C.S. Lewis, but never this one. Many of the letters are responses to fan letters, especially about the Narnia books, but I just loved how much effort Lewis put into his responses to his young readers. Unsurprisingly, he is not at all condescending to the children who write him, and I found that a lot of what he said would be helpful to someone of any age. Here’s an excerpt from one letter from 1949:
“Remember that there are only three things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s school work or being nice to people. Things one has got to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping. Things one likes doing – but of course I don’t know what you like. Perhaps you’ll write and tell me one day.”
2. Running Well by Sam Murphy. It’s always interesting to me when people use the college library for pleasure reading, whether it’s fiction, hobbies, or the enormously popular movie screenplays (I’m not sure I see the appeal … just watch the movie! But to each his own, and plus, I digress). I personally am drawn to the running books. Last Saturday, I ran my first 10k race, and I met my goal time, which was very exciting to me. So I’m always looking into running books or the newest issue of Runner’s World to get tips, workouts, and motivations. I think sometimes we forget that reading can simply be pleasurable or informative in an academic library. People only look for the deepest, most intellectual books they can analyze for that next research paper. Those books certainly have their place, but it’s great to see the offerings of the library as a whole.