Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Que compro para leer

There are only two things that will make me spend without thinking of the consequences: BOOKS and MUSIC. I thought about including MOVIES on this list but so far I could still resist the temptation to go watch movies. But the first two have had a firm strangehold on me ever since...

Originally, I was mulling over buying Music CDs at Odyssey Trinoma. It had been quite a while since I had bought an original CD. The most recent one that I bought was "Zeitgeist" by the "Smashing Pumpkins" and that was about 6 months ago, I think. I was surprised that CD prices have decreased somewhat -- I saw a double-CD album which was priced at P400. I think this may be a strategy to counter the increasing piracy of music online and in the black market.

I was looking at the CD stacks and I was choosing between three albums (all of them, interestingly, were double-CDs): A "Best Of" collection of Fantastic Plastic Machine, a new album from Darren Hayes (former vocalist of Savage Garden), and a 'Collections' album of Led Zeppelin. I also other noteworthy CDs: a best-of collection from Matchbox Twenty and the 'American Idiot' album of Green Day.

I finally decided to postpone buying either of the top three picks I had, planning to check them out on the internet (or possibly download them na lang para cheap, hehe) The problem was when I stepped out of Odyssey and wandered into the bargain bookstand right outside of Odyssey. To put the situation in mathematical terms:

(books + good bargains at ridiculously low prices) (probability that ditch will find a book that suits his taste) = willingness to spend one's entire fortune

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Ditch's Waldas Index (waldas: to spend)

So the two prize finds in that bargain bookstand were:

1. "On the Shoulders of Giants: the great works of Physics and Astronomy" - edited, wth commentary by Stephen Hawking -- a 1000 page collection of the classic works of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton and Einstein. Bought it for only P 420.00. I contacted Grace about my amazing find and I convinced her to pay me back the book cost in return for me turning over this book to her collection. A book fit for science geeks -- for others, read at the risk of nosebleeds and subdural hemorrhage. I survived for a only a few pages...then got lost in all the mathematical and geometric jargon...then just looked at the illustrations like a mental patient undergoing a Rorschach test...

2. "The Medieval Reader: Firsthand Accounts of the Middle Ages including letters, essays, state and church documents, poetry and ballads" - a book clearly suited for history geeks hahaha I look forward to browsing these pages. So far I've read Pope Urban II's speech urging the Catholic faithful to the account of the capture of Jerusalme by French crusaders by William of Tyre...graphic descriptions of violence, torture and the aftermath of far, so good. Other documents contained in this book include translations of the Rules of St. Benedict, the contrived 'Donation of Constantine', Marco Polo's description of the court of Kublai Khan, and other lesser known documents which shed light on some interesting aspects of medieval life.

I'm in heaven right now!

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