Maria posted yesterday on some of the strange physical and psychic changes students go through in finals season. I recall putting in much quality time in the library this time of the semester, and, during (frequent) breaks from my labors, browsing all kinds of books in the stacks. As a matter of fact, this was one of the noteworthy educational experiences at college, as, through the power of procrastination, I dipped deeply into all kinds of books I otherwise wouldn’t have looked at. And it’s why I am an adamant believer in the marvels and pleasures of physical, paper-based browsing, in libraries and bookstores (alas not anymore in card catalogs).
These thoughts were occasioned by a New York Times report revealing NYU students will now be able to kick their browsing up a notch (as TV chef Emeril Lagasse would put it):
The 3,500 cookbooks in Gourmet magazine’s research library are becoming a part of the culinary collection at the Fales Library of New York University, one of the most extensive collections of culinary works in the country. Conde Nast shut down Gourmet in October after 75 years of publication. Marvin J. Taylor, director of the Fales library, said he knew that Ruth Reichl, Gourmet’s editor, thought Fales would be a good home for the books, “so I got on the horn right away when I heard the magazine was closing.” He said the cookbook author Rozanne Gold gave N.Y.U. $14,000 to buy the books from Conde Nast. They’ll be brought to the library later this week in about 500 boxes.
I can just imagine those NYU students coming home to the dorm room at 1 AM, burning with desire to give James Beard’s Beef Wellington a try.