Happy Friday

It’s almost silly how happy I am about what I did at lunch today.

I was at Borders during my lunch break, and, as usual, I headed to the bargain section first. Then, I saw the 6th edition of Norton Anthology of American Literature on sale – at $3.99 per volume! I happily grabbed 3 volumes (C, D & E) – I wasn’t too much of a fan of early American literature and so I didn’t get Volumes A & B – and went to get lunch.

When I was at college, I had Volumes 1 & 2 of this anthology, which I think were the 1st or 2nd edition. At the time, all of us English majors called them “pillows,” since they resembled the traditional Chinese hard pillows, which were usually made of wood or ceramic, as far as I know. Each one of them is like 2 inches thick, and is a collection of writings from various American writers from different periods. We had to carry those around a lot, and it was quite an inconvenience because of its weigh.

A few years ago, the publisher decided to print volumes that are more portable* (thank god!) and launched the sixth edition of the anthology in volumes A – E. I haven’t seen them before, since obviously I’ve been out of school for too long to be looking for textbooks for myself. But now that I see them on such big sale, I couldn’t help but had to buy them. You see, each volume has selection of works by at least 20 writers. Some of the works are just 3 to 5 poems of one writer, but some are an entire book of fiction. So for $3.99, I get the equivalent of 10 to 20 books! It’s not a deal, it’s a steal! This should be more than enough reading materials for me for the next few months.

Oh, and did I mention lunch? I went to this fancy sandwich place (wichcraft, which happens to be one of my favorite lunch places here) after my book extravaganza and got myself a delish onion frittata, roasted tomato, and cheddar on ciabatta roll sandwich for less than $7 – their breakfast sandwich that are served all day long are the best kept secret. I’m all for cheap, yummy food.

It’s a happy, happy Friday for me!

*Note: Although each book is well over 1,000 pages, it’s still easy to carry around because they use very light weigh paper. So compare to the 2000+ pages volumes that I was using in college, this is truly very portable. Each book is maybe the same weigh as one or two regular paperback.

Dr. Seuss

因為孩子的關係,最近看了頗多Dr. Seuss的著作,而且愈看愈喜歡,心水讀本是The LoraxOh, the places you’ll goHorton Hears a Who這三部書。

最初跟孩子讀Dr. Seuss是因為喜歡他的言簡意駭和天馬行空,當然還有他出神入化的押韻(rhyme)及韻律(meter)絶技。剛開始讀他作品的時候,並不知道他原來花了這麼多心思在句子的結構上(詳情請看以上的維基連結),最近意翻閱他的簡介才明白他的苦心經營。但由於他的功力實在好,文字讀來如歌飄揚,我等平庸之輩根本看不出半點端倪,只有一廂情願的以為他出口便能成文。

Dr. Seuss毫無疑問是個天才字匠,但他背後所付出的努力更是不容忽略的。

很多時我們看見別人的成功,便暗暗羡慕他們的幸運。不是說我們沒有acknowledge這些成功人士的能力,但我們總潛意識地以為凡事只要有運氣及才華便可無往而不利,無意間抹殺了他人的努力。

要知道成功之道,除了天時與地利,還得靠人和;而人和不單是指合適的人選,最重要還是這(些)人所附出的努力--我可沒見過多少個懶散而成功的天才,就是真的僥倖成功了,若不努力維繫,所謂的成功也絶不會是長久的。