Books Don’t Grow on Trees

I’m not sure if I should attribute the name of this blog to wit or to the corny sense of humor that I inherited from my dad… but I thought, either way, I should share a few thoughts on it and why I chose it.

There’s no grand story of how it came to my mind, it just did. Aside from it’s catchiness I liked that it mentioned books, and hence referenced library/literature/academia/etc. but also that it wasn’t specific enough to limit me to only one of those arenas (library vs. library and literature.) I also liked that it can be interpreted in a few ways.

First of all, I find the title fitting in view of the original purpose of this blog: commentary on Library 2.0. While books did originate from trees for centuries, quite literally, now we are finding more and more deviation from that with the rise of the internet age.

Second, and even more significant, is the allusion to the statement “money doesn’t grow on trees.” A statement we tend to apply to people who think they can reep without sowing; gain without giving. Unfortunately I find that attitude all too pervasive in today’s education. Students want to get ahead, want to succeed, and yet so many will evade study, treat research like the plague, and neglect something as basic as homework. Sure, they’ll do what it takes to learn practical workforce skills but it saddens me that the mind is so often neglected in that process.

To take that even a step further, it’s a principle I need to apply to my own mindset, my own lifestyle. There is no easy gain. Especially not in disciplining the mind. Since I was young, I wanted to write. As much as I enjoyed writing though, I had a lazy approach to it, even from a the beginning. In college a great man hounded into my being the dire necessity of a disciplined life – in all areas: physical, spiritual, and not the least mental. One of his famous quotes was, “How can you call yourself a writer, if you don’t write?” Writing begins with reading. And reading begins a very long process of constant writing which cannot end before a work is not just written, but edited and reedited until the page is worn through and it can finally arrive as a polished work. I finished the majority of my training with this man last year, and already those principles of discipline are slipping from my habits and even my memory.
I want to write. At the end of my life I want to have something to show for my writing. But that won’t grow on trees. Any finished product I arrive at will be the result of grueling discipline, if I will submit myself to it. There is no easy way to acheive success. There is no easy way to write a book worth reading. And hopefully this blog can be a constant reminder and even a motivator towards that.


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