Saturday, March 17, 2012

Getting my nerd on

This afternoon I hung out at the library with these guys.

They're from a book on heraldry that I picked off the shelf at random because it was huge and ancient, therefore potentially interesting.

This book was originally published in 1908, so it should be safely out of copyright.  The edition I lugged over to an armchair and opened on my lap was a reprint from 1968.

I read a little bit of the introduction, and immediately liked the author.  He was keen to explain to the reader that the modern science of heraldry in the (brand new) 20th century was way beyond the amateurish speculations of Victorian scholars.  He dissed one lady historian in particular, saying that she had "managed to compress an unconscionable amount of rubbish" into her writings on the subject.  Now if that ain't a classy put-down, I never heard one.

The book was enormous.  I needed two hands to carry it.  I neglected to check the page count, but it contained seemingly endless catalogues of the coats of arms of every family alive during the medieval era.  Every little detail of every illustration was meaningful.  It was taken with great seriousness.  I, on the other hand, had a hard time taking it seriously.  I mean, come on.  Look at this dude:

Did a knight actually run around covered in badly drawn birds?  I suppose if he was right there in front of me, ready to run me through with his sword, I would flee without stopping to point and laugh.  But if I did get safely away, I would have a good chuckle  at his silly bird outfit later.

When I got tired of the heraldry book, I heaved it back onto the shelf and went upstairs.  There's a new art exhibit every couple of weeks up here, by local artists.

Looking up...

It's a pretty nice library.  I visit it every two weeks or so, after I've met a friend for our regular breakfast chat.  It's peaceful there, usually.

Do you enjoy spending time in libraries?


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Books are good, but this "public" thing just freaks me out...

G. B. Miller (aka G) said...


The library has been my one true friend ever since I'd started reading when I was in the single digits for age.

Now it becomes my oasis from the stresses of the day. Although I don't check out books much, I still enjoy wandering around the stacks and people watching.

Jameil said...

J'adore libraries! I could never keep up with my book habit w/o them!

Tracy Makara said...

Libraries are among my top favorite places to go. I can stay for hours just wandering the shelves and picking up random books. Call it your inner nerd or's just like stepping into another world for a while. inner nerd is definitely showing! Good thing I like her :) Nice post Spark.

wigsf3 said...

Wow. That looks like one fancy and WELL-FUNDED library. Apparently the gravy train didn't stop there.

DarcsFalcon said...

We used to go to the library often, but then they remodeled about a year ago, and parking became unbearable and I got a tablet that I can use the Kindle App on and support my book addiction that way with all the free books available. It always amazed me how many screaming children were at the library. It was just as bad as any mall!

Your library looks lovely! I like the art walk exhibit! What a great idea. :)

I thought the stuff about heralds sounded really interesting. Imagine, having a symbol to declare that you're illegitimate! Wow. Still, pretty fascinating!


Granny Annie said...

I love the library and the savings on books, e-books, audio books, movies etc. are phenomenal. There is something for everyone and it's all free. Why they aren't teeming with more people is beyond me.

My artist grandson would love that heraldry book.