I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but it bears repeating: I haven't bought myself a new book in over eight months. I traded in some books for credit at the local used bookstore last fall, and I've been making heavy use of the public library, but I haven't purchased a new book since at least July. A friend sent me books for my birthday last August, and again for Christmas, and Catherine bought me a watercolor book with the money her parents sent us for Christmas. That's been it for new books, and it's been killing me.
Finances are still really tight--especially because publishing houses are apparently stupid and don't know how to pay their authors--but Catherine got a pretty decent honorarium for a lecture she gave yesterday, so she offered to buy me a book this evening. My very own book. My. very. own. book. And there on the shelf was a book/CD-ROM set of Feynman's Lost Lecture: The Motion of Planets Around the Sun, by David L. and Judith R. Goldstein. This is the coolest thing ever. I never got to hear him lecture when he was alive, and now at least I can hear a full lecture on CD. And the book that comes with it looks really good, too. It's very timely, too; I've been reading about Kepler these past two weeks, and here Feynman's discussion of planetary motion falls right into my hands.
As I was leaving the science section, I saw Janna Levin's How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space. I really wanted that one, too, but no way was I going to put Feynman back. When Catherine saw me deliberating, she pointed out that it was probably the only science book I was ever going to find written by a woman in the next twelve months, so I really should get it, too. So, my wife bought me two whole books tonight, and I'm going to go read them now.