i have a bit of a book problem.

there are a lot of books i want.

you see, i've finally started taking the grad school/phd idea seriously. i've started researching schools. i've started checking out the american anthropolgical association's (aaa) meeting calendar for relevant talks. and i've been looking at books.

and i want to buy almost all of the books i've been checking out.

this is crazy talk because, as you may or may not know, i work at a library. and one of the benefits i get working at a library is i don't pay late fees. it's awesome. i appreciate that perk more than i appreciate my health care. after all, my health insurance still hasn't corrected my mailing address even though it's been over a year since i moved and there have been numerous phone calls and corrected forms filled out. eff you, health insurance. (though at least you spell my name correctly.)

the library is nice to me. interlibrary loan is there when i can't find a book in our system. (and as i work for a public library, not an academic library, and i read mostly non-fiction and ethnographies, this happens occasionally.) since i work underneath (on the floor below, not in a basement or anything) a branch (i work in marketing — sorry, i'm not a librarian. don't make assumptions!), checking out or returning books is never a big production — i don't have to make a special trip or go out of my way. the library is a useful resource for me.

but as much as i appreciate the library and its services, there's something to be said about owning your own copy of a book. you can leave your stickies in it after you've finished reading. (i'm not a highlighter/write-in-the-book person.) you can jump between books on a whim and not have to worry about returning one before finishing it. and you can use the book as an easy reference when needed. plus, they're pretty. (okay, that's not really a good argument. but it's true.)

i've been looking at a lot of anthropological books and ethnographies recently because i'm trying to figure out who's working on research similar to what i want to do in my field. that's important. that will help me figure out what schools i should be looking at and what programs will focus on (or close to) what i want to do. i've narrowed my interests down a bit: i'm looking more at the cultural side of the anthropology of food, not the medical (though the medical is fascinating in it's own right). and i've been told that i should not go into agricultural anthropology. apparently there just isn't work out there for agricultural anthropologists.

so i'm taking it all in and i'm sorting out my thoughts. i've been browsing the duke university press for new ethnographies. and my wish list of books keeps growing.

i suppose there are worse habits to have, but if you've seen my other side project, books on my parents' shelves, you'll know this is a dark road i'm going down. a dark, but wonderful, road.


love you, too, mum and dad!