Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Visit to the Library

This last Saturday, I wanted to visit one of the local university libraries.  Ever since graduate school, typical public libraries have lost their charm (Where are those book in French about quaternions?  And why doesn't the "new books" section have anything on Relativity, or Commutative Ring theory?) so I thought I'd take a visit, look up a few books, and investigate checkout policies.

I wanted to make this a family outing, but circumstances prevented that.  Saturdays are naturally busy, and time was eaten up by chores and grocery shopping; and seeing that there was some sort of event (likely basketball) that overwhelmed the roads, pushed me to go in the evening, after putting the children to bed.

Nonetheless, I made it!  I stood at a catalog computer, and looked up whatever topics came to mind (Yes!  They have Arithmétique des Algèbras Quaternions!)...and then I went down to the Science Collection (QA), where I breathed the air that that contained distilled mathematics.  I occasionally pulled out a book or two to thumb through it, but I didn't have time to do any reading.  I don't yet have the ability to check out books, either.

As much as I enjoyed this, I paid a heavy price:  my church meetings started early, and so I didn't get much sleep.  This, in turn, made the entire day a bit miserable.  On balance, though, I think the price was worth the trip!

This trip was sort-of "reconnaisance" for something I've been thinking about doing:  I've been toying with the idea of taking a half-week off, to pursue some sort of project.  I don't yet know what that project will be, but I want to have access to a book or two (likely on quaternions, or on Lisp, or on differential equations) before I begin it.

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