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Dictionaries and books

October 17, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I finally got a roll of scotch tape to repair my very much battered dictionary.

I usually use surgical tape for it nowadays. I used to use the actual Scotch Tape, or the Magic Tape by 3M previously, but since it is an imported product, my mother thought the price charged were obscene.

I preferred using Magic Tape; you could write over it. Especially when you were younger and accidentally tore parts of your homework. Rather than rewriting it all over again.

Regardless what brand of tape we use, I would still call the tape used to repair torn books or paper “scotch tape”.

Even the surgical tape. Which caused confusion when I asked my cousin to buy me a roll when she went to the pharmacy.

“Shouldn’t you get it from a stationary instead?” she asked.

I actually only started using surgical tape to repair torn paper when I was in uni. I couldn’t find any scotch tape, and had too many things to do to rewrite the notes, so I searched into my “first aid kit” (which was actually a drug store, to be honest) for the tape.

Since then, I associate that tape with paper instead of gauze.

It’s just the perfect tape. If you make mistakes, you could take it off easily without tearing the paper. And once you seal it properly, it is so strong, it wouldn’t come off.

AND you could write over it!!

However, the price rivals Scotch Tape, though I’m not going to convert back to 3M’s product. However, for “normal” day to day repairs, it is alright, since I don’t deal with paper that much anymore, and I am not as I was before.

Oh yes, I do wrap my presents with surgical tape quite often. Hahaha. So, if you’re a friend and you see surgical tape being used to wrap your presents, you know it’s from me. 😉 My personal card. Haha.

So, I decided, fine, I’ll buy a roll of scotch tape to repair my dictionary. Not that I would need to write over the tape anyway.

I finished the whole damn roll!!

It was so battered… It is about 10 years old; bought it in 2000. I wanted an Advance Learner’s Dictionary, so it is paperback, which might explain the battered state more.

The last time I repaired it was before I left for England for the first time. I actually wanted to bring that copy, but my mother said I was being ridiculous and told me to get a copy there.

I can’t imagine not having a hard copy of a dictionary and a thesaurus with me, ever. So, it scares and boggles my mind that I know people who’ve never opened a dictionary ever in their 20+ years living.

And, my mother has her own copy and I have mine. We just can’t share the dictionary. I use it while I’m reading–which is all the time–and she uses it while she’s writing her papers–which is also all the time. We do share a thesaurus; I don’t really write as often as she does. And she has a tendency to depend on Words’s thesaurus; faster, she claims.

It is funny that people that love–or even feel that they need to write–don’t really use a dictionary or a thesaurus. It’s just really sad. And even more people don’t know the existence of a thesaurus and what it is for.

Oh, and that project of reading 5 new words from the dictionary every day? Failed. Urgh!! I can’t remember where I stopped. Sigh.

Anyway, so, I went about repairing my pathetic excuse of a dictionary. I am quite reluctant to purchase a new copy because I grew fond of this copy. Sometimes I get intimidated of using a new copy of a dictionary. Part of the reason why I don’t really use my mother’s; she buys a new copy almost every other year. Her many research assistants “borrow” them till they can’t find it anymore. My copy’s an antique compared to hers. Hahaha.

It’s funny that my dictionary tend to need repairs towards the end. Most notoriously the letters R and S. I’ve absolutely no idea why.

And, this time, I went about repairing the cover; not just the pages that are hanging by just an mm of glue.

It looks much better, I have to say, but still quite pathetic. The roll of scotch tape doesn’t resemble the thing I bought 2 days ago; there’s no cellophane left. Only paper.

So, I asked my friends, what do they think I should get. My mother told me why don’t I get a pocket electronic dictionary; that way, I can bring it everywhere I go, since I bring a book with me every where I go (which is affecting the way I pick my handbags now. Oh why did I use to pick tiny handbags? Oh yeah; to prevent my bringing a lot of things. Wooppsss!!), but I am not so keen on it. I still feel like dictionaries should be books; a thick bunch of paper that one could flip through and make a lot of noise with. I’ve asked quite a number of my friends, and all of them voted for getting a hard covered copy to replace my current one. Admittedly, it’ll be quite some time before I get a new one, I’m thinking.

I may prefer paperbacks in general, but there are some books that I would want hard copies of. Books that I will be using or looking at often. A good example is Bulfinch’s Mythology; when it entered my “must buy book” list, it has always been the hard cover one. Now I want hard cover copies of the Odyssey and the Iliad. I got a hard copy version of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Oh, yeah! In general, I prefer hard covers for poetry. Not so much for prose. And if my mother didn’t have a hard copy version of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, I would have gotten one myself.

I hate thin books that are hard covers. There’s nothing sillier to me.

Hard cover dictionary, of course, has always been the preferred one.

However, due to the Advance Learner’s not having a hard cover version, I got a paperback. But yeah, now that I am beyond that, I will get a hard cover one.

Our thesaurus is hard covered. Mainly because it was paid by a research grant. Haha. And it is wrapped in plastic. Mainly because I have a tendency to throw away the paper that covers the hard cover.

Ahhh!!!! My list of books I wanna own is getting longer.

Nowadays, I find, to appreciate contemporary art–the wider sense of the word; I can’t stop saying enough how much I dislike modern art, as in drawings and such–especially books, you need to have to know and appreciate the classics. I see a lot of mention of the classics, or poking fun of the classic ideas… Retellings (though they’re common in any era)… There are also mentions of it in songs (though the songs I listen to tend to be more political than a retelling of stories. I think liking both Muse and Franz Ferdinand gives me a balanced political view. HAHAHA. Like they’re my politics teacher. 😛 I imagine my actual tutors slapping me for making them equivalent to a bunch of artists. Kekeke).

All in the name of recycling and not wasting.

Hahahaha.

Are we at the end of creativity?

Unlikely, since there are still quite a lot of new ideas coming out, but they do seem recycled a tad bit.

Though one would only realize if one is very very well read anyway.

Sadly, I’m not one of them 😦

Oh, not only am I a prose person, I also prefer fiction. I don’t really fancy reading non-fiction, though nowadays I sometimes do read memoirs. I don’t know; I find lessons from fiction are better learnt than from non-fiction books. You can see how the lessons are applied in life, rather than in hypothetical situations like non-fictions are. Of course, not all non-fictions are like this. But, oh, I don’t know. Not much facts, I suppose. And the presentation… Ah well.

On e-books… Regardless how extreme my “enviro-Nazism” becomes, I doubt I’ll ever get an e-book. There is no way I will stop buying hard copies of books. They can always plant more trees to replenish them. I guess I’ll just have to be more alert on choosing the books I buy; making sure that they use sustainable paper instead of the likes of Ramses Paper Company.

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