Here’s a little factoid about me. I still have all but one of textbooks I used in college, I never “sold” any back to the bookstore.
I enjoyed college, and REALLY enjoy learning in a university environment. Those books were a big part of my life for a few years and I knew that I still could use the knowledge they contained, so I put them on a shelf and still go back to them from time to time.
This isn’t the case for my high school textbooks. My textbooks from that phase of my life were owned by the school district, and as such I had to give them back at the end of the year. I’ve always felt that I lost something when I did this. When you spend hours going to a book for information, you learn not only the information in the book, but also HOW the authors and editors compiled that information. While I might not know a fact, detail, or elboraton off hand, I knew where to go in what book to get it, and how to jump around in that book to tie various bits of information together. Giving back a textbook cut me off from that source of information, and while I could still find facts, details, or elboratons elsewhere, all the meta knowledge about the book itself was used and lost.
So, when I am able to find an old textbook from high school, I try to get it. It’s not only a touchstone to my past, but also adds just a little bit more knowledge to my bookshelf.
Here’s to Mrs. Phillips, my Freshman French instructor. In her class I not only started learning French, but also the process of HOW to learn another language. Those two skills have both been very useful in my life. Thank you!