From my diary

I’ve reached the last couple of volumes in the pile of books to slice and convert to PDF.  One of these was an old Loeb, but when I opened it, I found a “withdrawn” library stamp for Aberdeen University in it.  The book became an old survivor, and I couldn’t bring myself to pull its binding off and slice it up.  The other is a long, pseudo-scholarly volume – by someone supposed to be a leading scholar – and I decided that if I needed to write more about it, I’d prefer to have the book to leaf through.

Another volume that I own, and would prefer to have in PDF form, is L. D. Reynolds and friends, Texts and Transmissions: A Survey of the Latin Classics.  This marvellous volume gives the manuscript traditions of all the Latin classics. I was reluctant to chop it up, and I looked to see if I could buy a cheap second-hand copy.  Imagine my astonishment to find that second-hand copies now retail at $400 and upwards!!  It cost perhaps $50 new, in hardback.  Nor has it made its way, as far as I know, into pirate PDF form.  So my copy will remain intact.

Also standing on my shelves are three thick volumes of the Cambridge Ancient History.  I never read them, nor refer to them; but they were bought in my teenage years, with money sent for birthdays or Christmas, at great sacrifice.  These books, like some others, are part of what made me myself.  These are not the books that I merely need for reference.  Books that I grew up with are not for chopping up.

I’m not sure whether there are more books to convert.  At the moment I have reached the end.

Here it is winter, and a miserable grey winter it is.  It’s hard to find any motivation.  My commercial clients will not be wanting me for a few weeks at least.  So … perhaps it is time to plan to do something in February.  Time to do something to look back on at the end of the year.  I must consider this.  I see that lava is pouring out of the volcano in Hawaii; but eleven hours to LAX, and then a further six to Hawaii, does not really appeal that strongly.

Sanctions are being lifted on Sudan, and I’d love to see the pyramids of the black pharaohs.  But it’s a twelve hour flight, via Addis Ababa.  You can get some wonderful illnesses there, and it’s not as safe as it might be.

But if I want safe, there is always Israel, I suppose.  Five years ago I went on a pilgrimage holiday in February, organised by McCabe Pilgrimages.  Maybe I should go again.  But … the weather was variable.

What I need, I think, is a teleporter!


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