Saturday, June 2, 2007

Thunder and lightning.

So I have a problem. It could be worse, of course. I could be addicted to meth or speed or Doritos, but it's something less costly and more, well, intellectual.

I am addicted to buying books.

Now, I'm not up into the hundreds and hundreds like my friend Kat (cheers to packing 800 books, doll), but it's a lot. Or maybe it feels like a lot because when I go to the Borders in the Loop to the Judaic studies section I can find only a few books that I don't own (and they're mostly the ones on Kaballah/Jewish mysticism). But this overwhelming feeling has ended, as Kat introduced me to the Seminary Co-Op here at the University of Chicago. It is ... beautiful. There is a Jewish studies section, plenty of books and dictionaries on Hebrew, and more texts and Chumash in the religious studies section.

Simply put, it is a paradise where NPR is always on and the chairs are ready to be filled. I imagine days during the summer where the office grows old and I can wander on over and sit down with something new, just to tease myself.

So Kat and I went yesterday and I saw 20, 30, maybe 100 books I want. This is dangerous, of course, as there are more important things for my hard-earned (ha ha) money, such as credit card bills and student loan payments, not to mention the day to day needs. But books. My G-d, books. My own slice of heaven.

For the 20 percent off sale (thanks, Kat), I purchased a Hebrew-English dictionary (more than 18,000 words!) that is a little more handy for toting around than the one I got a few months ago (that is falling apart, btw). I also picked up a book in the Teach Yourself series. I'm a child of Seow's biblical Hebrew text, but I thought I'd branch out and see what the TY series has to offer (and it turns out they have just about every language on the planet, including Urdu and Zulu).

And finally, I picked up "Neighbors" by Jan Gross. I read a portion of it while in an Ethnic Conflict (aka the Genocide) class in college. That was the same class that my obsession and dissection of Ulysses S. Grant and his Orders No. 11 grew out of. "Neighbors" is a pretty must horrific story that, after reading, is hard to reconcile. It's merely a morsel of the never-to-be reconciled history of the Polish/Jewish people.

So here I am with some delicious gems. And in the future? There will be more and more and more. Feeding the addiction is what I can do. Amen.