When I was a little girl my brother would tease me by saying I should read the dictionary–to be as smart as him. I would scoff and return to whatever it was I was doing. Who knew I would actually end up a reference book junkie, the compulsion for books only exceeded by my pen fetish? Charity book sales, used book stores, The 99 Cent Store, garage sales… I am compelled.
Among my more odd specimens are old medical dictionaries and legal manuals; mythology, psychology, geomythology and quantum theory; studies on the Quabalah, a library of Wiccan and Druidic knowledge and several books on Buddhism. I must say though, that my favorite references are The Old Farmers Almanac and Pocket Ref by Thomas J. Glover.
More than just places to find an answer, these pages entice a question and spur my imagination. In the Farmers Almanac I can hear people in the fields discussing the best phase of the moon for planting their next crop. I can learn how to predict the weather or find delicious tidbits of folklore and trivia. Thomas’ Pocket Ref offers a primer on knots and their uses; Morse code and Braille alphabets; a perpetual calendar; every type of conversion table you could ask for and a chili pepper hotness scale. Actually, the amount of information in the Pocket Ref is mind-boggling; it is by far the most fun I have had for five dollars.
Sure, you can find just about any information you need on the Internet, but a book can answer the questions you don’t know you have.
What’s in your bookcase? Are you an information junkie? Has an encyclopedia or other reference book ever spurred a project? What are some of your favorite reference materials? Let us know!
by Robyn Chausse