Thursday, August 16, 2007

Out With The Old...

Seen today on a curb next to refuse bins while running through Nice Part Of Town:

A stack of books: Understanding Criminal Law; the 2006 supplement for Evidence, Cases and Materials; Gilbert on Contracts.

I'm guessing a law student lives/d at the house.

And I'm guessing that s/he is pretty much done with those books and those courses.

I know lots of people who sell their old books on Amazon, and still others who just donate old books to their journal/org offices. Some, like me, keep their books, with the thought that maybe one day it'll be useful to have the 12th edition of Gunther and Sullivan. Of course, it's that type of thinking that gets me two copies--the 8th edition from my college years, and of course my 12th means that I'm three editions behind by now. I dunno. I like to keep my books. I like to have the ones in my area of concentration. I mine the notes for reading suggestions and find them useful for quick touch ups. I just like having books around me. It's a small feeling of accomplishment to look at all the courses I've taken and the subjects I've read and learned. It is a very, very small feeling of accomplishment mind you, but I'll take what I can get.

So it was kind of sad to see that pile of books tossed with--with what? Nonchalance? Weary resignation? Anger? Disdain? I don't know. It was just sad to see. You can toss the books, but you can't toss that grade or the headaches or (hopefully) the knowledge. You shouldn't anyway. I always hear my classmates wish that they could take back that paper, grade, class, year. Everyone's drowning in a sea of regret. Everyone over-commits to orgs and loads up on courses or takes the wrong course or the wrong professor. Everyone who runs for the co-chair of an organization or the EIC of a journal usually lives to regret it.

But it's not so easy to toss aside your mistakes. I guess books might be the proxy.