So, every weekend I go to the thrift stores here in town. There’s a Salvation Army Regimental Headquarters, which is extremely nice, and a “recycling and reuse center” which looks like a daisy cutter landed on it. Anyway, at the Recycling Center, they have books. A couple of weeks ago I saw a textbook on radio engineering that belong at one point to “PFC Ned Flanders.” Last weekend, they got a whole crop of new engineering textbooks.
All of the books had the name of the same guy, a professor of electrical engineering, in the cover. So I assume he died and his family dumped all his books at the thrift store. I bought a dozen of them. Three books on thermodynamics written before the first world war, a couple of chemistry books from the 1930s, and some mechanics books.
I love them.
I love them, because I’m not really all that smart. I’m a hard worker, and that’s not the same. But these books were written at a time when concepts that we now think are easy were extremely difficult. As a consequence, the books go very slowly, assumnig you know nothing, and they are very thorough. It’s fantastic. I’ve already learned a huge amount of thermodynamics, because the book is willing to hold my stupid ass hand and walk me through it. The first chapter in the theoretical chemistry book I got is called “The Atom: Fact or Fiction?”