Friday, October 28, 2011


Watching the news. It's apparently going to snow tomorrow. It's like nature doesn't want me to be healthy.

Tomorrow may be spent on the couch with tea and a book about running. Maybe I'll drag myself to the gym, but I make no promises.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

There's a book for that

I may or may not have mentioned this at some point, but I've decided to start running. Now, if you've ever met me, that sounds like the most outlandish statement in the world. I hate to run. I loved playing soccer and rugby, but my coaches were always frustrated by the fact that I didn't run.

So why the change of heart?

No idea. I just decided one day, and now I'm actually feeling motivated. Since I really am trying to be healthy in every way, I need to hop on any motivation train that comes my way. I love the idea of running, and after doing extensive reading (because that's what I do) about how to start running, it does seem like something of which I really am capable.

So last weekend I went on an expedition to Fleet Feet. It is a great store, and if you're looking for anything running-related, I seriously suggest you head their way (and no, they aren't paying me, I just had a very good experience with them. They could totally pay me with free merchandise though....) The woman helping me watched me walk, measured my feet sitting and standing, and then recommended shoes and inserts she thought would be right for my feet. After trying on a few different pairs (with and without the inserts) and walking and running around inside and outside, I picked my shoe. I'd have a picture, but I do not have my life together that much, so I'll post a picture of my new running gear at some point in the near-ish future.

After spending lots of time browsing all the gear and reminding myself of the difference between "need" and "want," I headed to the cash register with my shoes and inserts.

....and one other thing.

Yep. I bought a book at a running store. Only me.

The book is Running for Mortals and I only had to read the title to know I needed that book. I've only read the introduction so far, but even that has gotten me ready to go!

I have a not-so-irrational hatred of treadmills, so I want to go running outside. My plan is to go running on the bike path this Saturday, since it's usually starting to get dark by the time I get home from work and the path doesn't have lights.

I have a feeling that turning myself into a runner will be a long and (possibly) interesting saga. Stay tuned for horror stories.

Meanwhile, I'll be reading my book...

I am an advertiser's dream

The other day I was reading a blog and I saw an ad for some new drink called Neuro (tagline: the operating system for life). Since I'm easily manipulated by advertising, I clicked it. Of course. Then I started reading about it and it really does sound pretty cool. There are a variety of flavors and they all have different supplements/benefits. Allegedly.It's basically a vitamin-water type product. It isn't sold anywhere in my area (as far as I can tell), but it is sold on Amazon. I filed away that nugget of information for later and then proceeded with my blog-reading.

The next afternoon I went into a meeting, and there was one of the drinks, just hanging out next to a pad of paper (and, you know, my coworker). Naturally it was in my head for the rest of the day, so when I got home I opened the page again (fun fact about me: I treat things on the internet like they'll disappear forever if I close the window or stop reading halfway through a blog's archives because it's 3 a.m. and my doctors assure me that sleep really is necessary for me to function). After reading reviews on amazon and agonizing over which one to try first, I discovered a variety-pack. Score.

With that major hurdle out of the way, I could focus on 1) how intrigued I am by the product and 2) how cool the packaging is. Call me superficial, but product design really does matter. It catches, and often keeps, my attention. Since I'm an amazon junkie and have impulse control issues, you can guess what happened next.


A variety-pack of these new drinks is headed my way as these words zoom through the ether-y internet (that's how it works, right?).

Also, I think that Neuro should totally hire me to write reviews about this product. I've already waxed poetic (almost) on their lovely design. Imagine what I could do with some free samples (wink wink, nudge nudge).

So now I eagerly await my package of possibly-overpriced-but-the-bottles-are-really-cool "nutritional supplement" drinks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Books in my blood

"You will never find a librarian who will argue for higher prices. It's just not in their DNA." ~My boss, regarding prices on books marketed to libraries.

I heard this during our meeting today, and for some reason it's sticking with me. Maybe this is why I want to go to library school (I've taken to calling it that, as other people my age start working toward med school), why I covet special editions of classic books, but am easily satisfied being the third or fourth owner of a paperback (the special editions are so pretty, and if you see the state of some of my most-loved books, it's clear that I can't have nice things): it's just not in my DNA.

I read because I enjoy it. Because it opens my mind to new possibilities. Because each time I open a book, I learn something new. I love books and what they have done for me, and I truly believe that they should be accessible to everyone. Thus, despite my love for the physical book, the act of turning a page and the feeling of the tome in my hand, I don't scorn the rise of e-books and online media. As much as I want every kid to be able to hold a copy of the greatest works from Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss, that isn't feasible. But the ever-developing world of digital media brings these books just a bit closer to kids ever day. And that's a big deal.

So as someone who thinks books need to be available to everyone, how do I reconcile my beliefs with the need to turn a profit in the world of academic/professional/general interest (but not trade) publishing?

To be honest, I don't have a good answer to that question. The fact that the two biggest industries related to my passion for books seem to be in conflict is something that deeply troubles me. Maybe I haven't been working in publishing long enough. Maybe once I've been working in the industry longer, this question will cease to hold a place of importance in my mind. Now that's a scary thought.

I recognize that books can't generally be free. There are costs associated with producing them, so publishers must charge for them. That being said, I still can't totally get behind making a book expensive enough that only institutions are able to afford them. I believe information and resources should be available to anyone who seeks them. So maybe my love of books and my decision to pursue a degree in library science makes me more than a product of my environment. Maybe it's in my DNA?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am not dead, just pretending to be a productive member of society

So it pretty much amounts to the same thing.

Why is it that going to an office to be surrounded by people staring at computers while I stare at my own computer all day is so much more exhausting than staying home and staring at my computer all day?

Seriously. This 9-to-5 cubical farm thing is killing me. I'm developing an irrational, seething hatred for the women whose cubicles surround mine. They talk so much. And yes, much of it is about work, but it's just from all sides. Sometimes they call each other (which does make sense because you don't need to walk all the way around 2 rows of cubicles to ask one question) and then from my desk I can hear their conversation in stereo. I'm in some sort of auditory reverse-Bermuda triangle. All sound goes directly to my cubicle. My ipod is now a necessity to get through my work day.

This post really was supposed to be about books and working in publishing, but I got distracted and now I don't remember what I was going to say. It'll come back to me eventually.

How do you get through a long work day?