The Gravitation-Electricity Problem

Last weekend I visited the Morgan Library in New York. I never got around to going when I lived there, but I’m glad I finally went: it’s book nerd heaven. (Except that you can’t actually touch any of the books. Being trapped there forever would be book nerd hell.) It’s a library/museum where you can see everything you want to and still get through in under two hours, which is nice for those with a lower wander-around-and-look-at-stuff tolerance.

There was a neat Shakespeare exhibit with early portraits and a First Folio(!), and there was a Diary exhibit as well, which is part of the reason I was so keen to go. Many famous literary diaries are on display, from Einstein to Viriginia Woolf to E.B. White (which, in case you’re a little late to the game on this one, as I was, is not only the author of Stuart Little but is also the “White” in Strunk & White).

This is part of the transcript of an interview with White. He says, “The Journals date from about 1917 to about 1930, with a few entries of more recent date. They occupy two-thirds of a whiskey carton. How many words that would be I have no idea, but it would be an awful lot.”

It should be noted that neither the Standard nor the Metric system uses whiskey cartons as a unit of measurement, and one has to wonder: why not?

This plaque was in front of a page of Einstein’s journal. That particular page was entirely equations, but apparently on another page, he wrote, “I’ve been thinking about the gravitation-electricity problem again.” Which is, of course, exactly what I’d just written in my own journal the day before!

No, not really.

Slightly less highbrow but much more accessible to the public,the Brooklyn Public Library is getting some nice publicity from the clothing store Brooklyn Industries. I don’t know who worked out this partnership, but I am definitely in favor of “I love my public library” t-shirts.

BPL is also the Boston Public Library, so this is a multipurpose garment, unlike that Sox and Yankees gear. Go back and forth between New York and Boston with total anonymity! Library Spies Anonymous. Yup.

What I’m reading: Tender at the Bone, Ruth Reichl; Watchmen, Alan Moore
What I’m listening to: The Saints Go Archin’ In, compiled by Ben Apatoff


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Filed under books, city, library

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