I really have nothing medieval to say but I’m feeling very bad about not having posted anything historical in about a month.
There is a reason for this. Work’s been busy and this coming week is the penultimate one for this group I’ve been working with for the past year. It’s also the last week, but penultimate is such a cool word. Purdue also has this fun little tradition where every September 15 we’re required to report on everything we’ve done for the entire year. Of course one could keep track and input information over the previous 51 weeks but who’d want to give up the panicked adrenaline rush?
But all of this is not why I haven’t posted. The real reason is I’ve done very little Medieval reading. And while work’s been busy, there’s still been some time available. I’ve just been doing other things, which I’ll explain with a true story.
A couple of weeks ago I received an offer from an academic book publisher offering a substantial discount on some books. Those of you who know me or who have been following this blog will be unsurprised to discover that I took advantage of this opportunity. I ordered five books, saving a chunk of change (once you set aside the fact that I could have spent no money and still had plenty on hand to read), and in doing so saved over a hundred bucks on another book I found almost by accident (not the book, the offer).
This all happened while I was in the office busily entering data onto Purdue’s website. I looked through the book sale, found five I didn’t have, ordered them, and went on my way.
A day later, back home, I went to enter the books into my spreadsheet and, well, if anyone is interested in a copy of either Origen and the History of Justification: The Legacy of Origen’s Commentary on the Romans by Thomas P. Scheck or Christianity’s Quiet Success: The Eusebius Gallicanus Sermon Collection and the Power of the Church in Late Antique Gaul by Lisa Kaaren Bailey, e-mail me and we can work something out. Haven’t read either of ’em yet or this little problem wouldn’t have happened.
Now, being out $70 for buying books I already have isn’t going to cause me to miss any meals. At the same time, while I like the publishing industry, I’m not keen on making this a habit. It’s one thing to see something in a used bookstore for five bucks, wonder whether I already have it and decide to buy it. That’s only five dollars, not fifty. So I’ve spent the bulk of my spare time the last couple of weeks re-cataloging my entire collection, books in my possession as well as my wishlist, to prevent a recurrence.
While I was at it, I decided this would be the time to figure out just what sources I already have. I have a ton of these on my wishlist but haven’t cataloged (this spelling of “cataloged” just looks wrong but my dictionary likes it), for example, all of the individual sources contained in the 14 volumes of my Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series collection. No point in buying Saint Augustine: The Teacher, the Free Choice of the Will, Grace and Free Will, Russell, trans., from the Fathers of the Church series when I already have it in another form – I haven’t reached the point where I feel the need to have a specific edition of a source.
This is taking some time. I was pretty sure it would which was why I was waiting for a blizzard or something before I set to it. I think it’s gone beyond being a task or a chore and is a full-blown project. I’m at about the halfway point which means that it may be another week or two before I get back to posting substance. The plus side, from a blogging perspective, is that I have the outlines for several posts I’d like to put up. In any case, I apologize for not posting much lately and even more for the boring post – hopefully you’re reading this just before going to bed.