This blog is basically about how good books are nice and bad books are the pits. And then I get grumpy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

26=infinity - explain THAT math majors!

Twenty-six letters in the English alphabet and yet those relatively few symbols can express stories as complex as Middlemarch, Les Miserables, the Bible. Amazing to believe that each book is a combination of carefully placed spaces and members of the same pool of twenty-six letters. From that you get a window into the souls of characters and their authors. That's really quite powerful for these little drawings it takes less than a stroke of a pen to make. There are doodles that are more elaborate than the word 'die' and, yet, when we're reading Little Women and run across this word in reference to Beth, we are delivered a shock that causes that blood-pumping muscle in our chests to skip a beat.

I mean, a punch in the gut can make you lose your breath, so can a well-placed verb. Amazing.

When I'm in a bookstore and can't find something that really interests me, I just think to myself that somewhere here, hiding on a shelf is a collection of letters that one day I'll find fascinating. We just haven't met yet. And each of those books I see on the tables and stands are a different sequence of the same otherwise redundant twenty-six letters.

Which sequence will you choose next?

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