Sunday, February 14, 2010

Perhaps two hours at the bookstore is inadvisable

  1. Why can't I find a good photography book that tells me just what I need/want to know? Please don't condescend (Photography for Dummies and Grandmas!), please don't be a users manual (I already got that with the camera), please don't be like from the early eighties with the haircuts in the example photos to prove it. All I want is something to explain what the mechanics of things are (please tell me about shutter speeds and aperture and how to mess with exposures) and also some helpful composition tips (maybe I need to take a class for this kind of thing. Theory of Making Things Look Good 101, perhaps). I do not need a book that includes a chapter on how to choose the right point-and-shoot for you. That is a waste of pages and I don't really feel like buying ten pages worth of book that I will not read. I ended up getting The Photography Bible by Daniel Lezano, because it is pretty dang close to what I'm looking for. Looking through it again now, after purchasing it, I'm happier than when I picked it up in the store. Good.
  2. I think that there is something wrong with bookstore culture? sociologists? the buyers for national bookselling giants? me? I guess what I'm trying to say is that out of the whole shelf full of books in the section marked Sociology, not one of them appealed to me, even though it is the field that I chose to earn a degree in, and I truly do enjoy the field. I suppose there's a difference between academic Sociology with a capital S, and pop sociology sold to middle-aged ladies who quit college after getting their Associate's degree and never looked back. It's just a bigger difference than I thought it was. Again: is it too much to ask? Can we not have both academic and pop literature in the same bookstore? Must we dumb ourselves down for the masses?
  3. So many freaking journals! Blank books of so many shapes and sizes! How much do they think people are writing anymore? Granted, the average person today probably records more of their thoughts for the enlightenment of others than the average person of ten or twenty years ago, but I am certain that over 97% of that is happening online, and not in journals. So either (a) I am wrong, and there are legions of people there still keeping Old-Tyme handwritten journals, (b) I am right, and there are a bunch of bookstores across the country with ten years' worth of journals in stock, or (c) people are buying journals for themselves and their friends, but then never actually using them. Depending on how long These Troubling Economic Times last, the empty journals could be made useful by burning them to heat houses and cook dinners.

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