I used to love wandering the stacks back a million years ago when I was in college. (“Internet”, at that point, meant only “email”. “Email”, at that point, only meant “writing letters but it’s free but they have to have an email address too.”)
I found some serious treasures on those shelves but the best book I stumbled across was a book of philosophy from the late 50’s written by Walter Kaufmann. “Faith of a Heretic“, it was called. Well, I recognized Kaufmann as the guy who translated Nietzsche (and did a dang good job of it, by all accounts) and since I liked reading his translations, I figured… hey. Why not give the guy’s own philosophy a shot?
Holy cow, this book shook me to my foundation. I don’t want to say that it saved my life (my life was never in any real peril) but it brought so very many things into focus and gently pointed out so very many things that I had only been fumbling toward until that point. I immediately went out and bought my own hardback copy. And then, sadly, I found someone else who needed to read it so I gave it to them. Then I went out and started buying softback copies whenever I could find them. When Amazon rolled around, it made finding copies easier, but there were problems with that too… since the book was out of print, the price was subject to fluctuations. Sometimes you could get a mass market paperback copy for around five bucks (and I bought three or four copies at a time when that was possible) and sometimes you couldn’t find anything for under $30.
Well, a few years back, its price was having its ebbs right around the time I stopped running into people that needed to read it… so I had a copy collecting dust on a bookcase and I didn’t really think about it. Well, I was lucky enough to meet someone who needed to read it and I asked Maribou to check the price of the books on Amazon to I could replenish my stash.
AND IT IS BACK IN PRINT!!! (Apparently, it’s been back in print since 2015.) So we bought a couple of copies of the new one. I don’t know whether I’m going to give the new one to the person who needs it or the old copy. Both have upsides, I guess…
Anyway, it’s a book on Philosophy, Western Religion, Eastern Religion, Existentialism, and just muddling through. An absolute tour de force and its one that I can open at random even today and find something to chew on. And I’m so pleased that it’s back in print.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?
(Featured image is “Stacks and Tree House” by Shannon Hauser. Used under a creative commons license.)