After a long and extremely coincidental series of events, Alex, Jaime, and I decide to go to head to House of Pies (my third time in four days) for some dinner. When I’m almost there I get a call from Alex saying that the restaurant is closed until eight because of pesticides, and that they’re going to hang at the Border’s across the street. (I think it’s interesting that, knowing of why the restaurant was closed, we didn’t decide to go anywhere else.) Anyway, I’m thinking that would be a good way to kill the time, but I hate going to book stores because I either leave feeling unfulfilled or with a significantly lighter wallet. So I resolved not to buy anything and walked in.
I browsed around the store, picked up a few things, put them back. I wandered through the music section, seeing what’s new and noticing how outrageous the prices were. In fact, everything was just fine until I stumbled into the computer section. I was able to keep up my jaded no-spend attitude for a little while. “Look at these lame PHP books. Hah! The only ones worth having I already have. I can’t believe I was worried about coming in this place.” Then my eyes began to wander, and I spotted an Apache 2.0 book, just big enough to be juicy. I opened it up and immediately browsed to the
mod_negotiation section, since that’s the module I know the most about and I use it as a benchmark for Apache books, which is the same thing I do with Caesar salad and restaurants. (House of Pies has no Caesar salad! Why do I go there so much?) The book had one of the most comprehensive overviews of the module that I’ve seen, and covered some of the differences between the 1.3 and 2.0 versions. However, it wasn’t good enough to overcome my resolution, so it went back to the shelf. However the thought dawned on me that I needed something to do for the next half hour, so I spotted an O’Reilly title I’ve had my eye on called Mastering Regular Expressions.
I’ll cut the suspense, and admit that I bought it. It’s an amazing book; the first two chapters I read really changed the way I think about things in general, a paradigm shift. I’m hoping to finish the whole thing this week and redo all my regex code with what I learn. The good news is that in rang up $5 cheaper at the register than the sticker said, so I’m not complaining.
The point is, however, I lost. The people at Border’s have my type so well figured out that they know I can’t leave without buying something. All those comfy chairs everywhere are really traps in disguise, hoping to lure you in to being caught up in a book. What I really want to do is go into a bookstore, and read an entire book, start to finish. I don’t care if it takes me a week, I want to go in every day, pick up the same book, and finish it. That would really stick it to the man, the book man. Will it ever happen? We’ll see. Has anyone had a similar experience?