If you think [books are] expensive, try ignorance
Derek Bok, Bastardized by Khatzumoto
Trying to get used to an L2 without buying books is like trying to go to college without buying books 3.
You’ll buy a big screen TV, but you won’t buy books?
You’ll buy nice clothes, but you won’t buy books?
You’ll buy a beer, but you won’t buy books?
You’ll get nice shampoo, but you won’t buy books?
You’ll go to the hair salon, but you won’t buy books?
Full stomach, nice shirt, empty head? Is that what’s “in” this year?
You’ll buy the books your school forces you to buy, but you won’t buy the books that you want? The books you’re mostly likely to read and re-read? The books that look cool to you? The books most likely to make you grow?
Books. The written transcript of the seminar.
Books. The wisdom of the world.
Them things that Hitler and QinShiHuangDi and every despot before, between and after them burned, and buried people for writing.
Those doohickeys that every potentate from Queen Elizabeth version 1.0 to the former CEO of Nike wouldn’t let you see.
That Africans kidnapped and enslaved in North America had their fingers torn off for even owning. 4 That the Korean ruling class actively prevented regular folk from enjoying.
That the Roman Catholic Church put a blanket death warrant on Martin Luther’s head for writing.
Written using symbols that were once reserved only for shamans, magicians and sorcerers.
Books. The difference between the people of the book — the Jews who make the pop culture you enjoy 5– and the people who sit around whining and grousing and making up conspiracy theories about the people of the book. “Disproportionate representation”? Classic harvest-time c###blocking. Where were you at sowing time? Where were you when they were “disproportionately” creating and enjoying home libraries?
What would you think of a doctor who wouldn’t buy books about medicine?
What would you think of an investor who wouldn’t buy books about finance?
What would you think of an engineer who wouldn’t buy books about engineering.
What would you think of an athlete who wouldn’t buy books about her sport?
A nutritionist who wouldn’t buy books on nutrition?
You’d think them horriby naïve. You’d think they didn’t mean it. You’d think they that weren’t real players, and that they certainly couldn’t be very good ones.
So what about you?
Are you a real player?
Or are you holding out for waterproof teabags to go with your bookless literacy?
Come on, now.
Don’t be ghetto.
Buy the books already.
What do you suppose your literacy would work on, even if you magically received it?
You do realize that it’s a dynamic skill that grows or atrophies based on practice, right?
Without books, even if you suddenly became literate, you would instantly start becoming illiterate.
Don’t pray for rain without digging ditches.
Don’t pray for literacy without buying books.
That’s not faith; it’s just stupidity.
Would you buy a lottery ticket if you were friends with the people who run the lottery, and they were always willing and able to throw you a bone, ’cause when you’re here, you’re family, badadbing 6? If you had that kind of influence over it?
Would you buy a stock if you knew — knew — beyond a shadow of a doubt 7 that it was going to go up?
And how much of this stock would it be worth it to buy? How much of this stock would it not be a waste of your money to buy? All things being equal 8, at what point is a stock that’s guaranteed to go up not a good investment?
The question is its own answer.
Now, what about books?
Are books anything like this hypothetical stock of ours?
Could anyone make a claim that strong?
Probably not. I don’t know.
But you could at least say this: books are as close to that stock as you’re likley to get on a regular basis…without earning a royal buggering from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The stock is you. You invest in it by buying and reading books. And you’re allowed as much insider trading as you want. No one can touch you.
Pound for pound, word for word, a typical book is the cheapest and highest-quality information you will ever buy.
Buy the books already.
They’ll do you a damn sight more good than beer and jeans.
Buy those books, and one of these days, the books will buy you jeans…and, if Chinese proverbs are to be believed, hookers and blow and houses covered in bling as well. Them Chinese proverb writers: pandering to the MTV Cribs demographic since 2500 BCE .
- Heterosexual women are just SOL — this saying came out before Twilight :P ↩
- I like to open strong ↩
- Slaves were expensive. Slaves cost money. One wouldn’t maim a slave unless one hoped to gain (or protect) something of immense value. If actions speak louder than words, then these actions are loudly proclaiming that: “books and reading, and their inverse — illiteracy and ignorance — are valuable enough to kill and maim and legislate for”. ↩
- I like to open cans of worms ↩
- I’m doing that Tony Soprano arm thing where you make a “V” in the general direction of your crotch. ↩
- No shadows allowed! No doubt-shadows! ↩
- I know…they’re not…otherwise, how do you explain how handsome I am? ↩