Sunday, December 9, 2012

End of the Semester Book Buying

With classes having ended last week and school being officially over this week, I have a problem. See, I have this tradition. It started the first semester of my freshman year here at BYU. I was walking the general book section of the bookstore happily counting the cash I'd just gotten from selling back my loathsome calculus and physics books when I happened to glance up and see this:

I had been thinking about buying it for some time because I'd heard my dad talk about it on several occasions. I looked at the cash in my hand, at the book on the shelf, back at my hand and then made a monumental decision: from that time forward, at the end of every semester, I would take the money I got from selling back books I didn't want anymore (textbooks) and spend at least some of it buying a book that I actually wanted to read. So I picked up The Screwtape Letters and bought it without another thought. From that time forward I've done this at the end of every semester of school.

This is one of my favorite things I've done over the course of my college education. I think what I like best about it is that I'm taking charge of my education and not limiting it to what I learn in school from professors. Even semesters when I haven't actually sold any books back, I still go and buy a new book to read either during Christmas break or over the summer. It's usually not books that require a lot of effort to read or that I have to think about too hard, but they're still at least somewhat mentally engaging.

This tradition has led to me buying and reading, among others:

There's not really any specific theme to the books I buy, as you can see. Usually when this time of the semester comes around I will have had my eye on a book or two for a while and so I just go out and buy it. This year is different.

I have a few different books that I've thought I might like, but nothing really stands out above the rest right now. The books I've been considering are Thinking Fast and Slow, Musicophilia and What the Best College Teachers Do. I think I'd be happy reading any of those books, but like I say I'm not super excited about any of them. So what do you all think? Which of those books should I buy and read? Or if not any of those ones, which alternates would you suggest? I'm in a pickle here. I appreciate any and all input.


  1. East of Eden. If you haven't already read it, you will thank me later. :)

    If not, Mere Christianity is uplifting. And depressing.

    1. Sam, I've said this before, but you're awesome. And Makayla, I find it intriguing that you believe Mere Christianity is both uplifting and depressing. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say about it.

  2. Surprised by Joy. It is on the C.S. Lewis track. Really good.

  3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. by Susan Cain.
    Good old fashioned non fiction, written by an introvert, for introverts.

  4. Have you read The Hiding Place yet? I really liked that book. Also, What is the What? was very interesting to me, albeit slightly traumatizing. It's about a Sudanese of the lost boys.

    Oh, and I also liked The Family that Couldn't Sleep. It's more scientific, a medical mystery if you will, yet still very interesting. Are you not tantalized?

  5. Love your tradition, love The Book Thief, love Guernsey, love C.S. Lewis. Maybe a guy wouldn't be interested, but I think Little Women really is fantastic.