Monday, April 12, 2004

Where did I put that book?
On the fridge there is a magnet from back in the days when amazon sent gifts to their customers. This magnet says: "A room without books is like a body without a soul." This, I think, is one of the most rigorous rules in this home, and we all work hard to keep the body of the house absolutely choked with soul.

I am reading three books at the moment. I finished two yesterday and haven't started the one I know my daughter has somewhere and which I really want to read. And I am using one, so I guess that makes four. Five when I find the last one... but when I want to actually READ one of these books, it is a major project. Barry Atkins More than a Game has been floating around here for quite a while. I have been working my way through it, from pure annoyance to interest to grudging admiration, so I know where that is. It's in my handbag. Now people who know me also know that I almost never use a handbag. So actually finding the bag in order to find the book is a challenge. But at least I know where it is, right?

I am also reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book Flow: The classic work on how to achieve happiness. yes, I should have read that BEFORE I submitted my thesis. But I am reading it now, and planning an article where I want to connect that and my data from the interviews. Both deserve to be treated separately from all the issues that are being pulled out and stirred up in my thesis. I just need to find a place to publish the article. And find the book. It was last seen used to prop up the television antenna, so we could see the easter crime series.

One book I am reading with tense discipline is W.Richard Scott: Organizations: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems. My students hate this book, and I have been looking for good replacements all over. One reaason they detest it is because it is in English, but there are no good Norwegian equivalents. There are also not a lot of available English equivalents either. So I am painfully aware that I have to somehow render the issues in this book available and understandable to my students, and I have three lectures, six hours, in which to cover the basics of organisation theory. Yeah, I am a good lecturer. No, I am not SuperTeacher. And the book? It's underneath that little table next to the couch, the one that shouldn't be there, but since it is, the telephone and a teacup and a bar of 85% chocolate and a cookbook of antique recipes is on top of it. The Scott book is on top of the paper that is underneath one of the legs of that table, all of this a perfect constellation that keeps the table from wobbling and my tea from spilling.

The book I am using, when ever I manage to pull myself together and wrest the exercise ball away from one of the teen-agers lodged on, around or under it, is Colleen Craig: Pilates on the Ball. To find that book, I couldn't use my normal "what minor problem did we solve using the books at hand" approach. For that I had to ask the teen-agers. And yes, that's where I found it, in a neat stack in a bookshelf, together with the exercise DVD, right next to where they were using the ball, and actually right where it ought to be. Very very sneaky that, to hide books in bookshelves. Who'd have thought of looking there?

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