Computer Books: More Than Meets the Eye


(note of interest: this is not our bookshelf. I would have sold all of these to the used bookstore in town and replaced them with fine literature long ago…)

When Ryan and I enter a bookstore, I glance through the new releases as I head straight towards the fiction/ literature section with a definite plan to drool over the journals on my exit route. Ryan, in contrast, automatically steers in the direction of the computer isle… the COMPUTER aisle! The very aisle in the bookstore that I find absolutely unnecessary and never walk down – deliberately or accidentally.

Anomalies about the computer aisle:

1. There are so many titles (Surely this is due not to supply/demand but to no one buying any of them; naturally they pile up over time.)

2. Each book boasts a super-fat binding, which makes it appear full of some sort of information (Surely this is due to technology writers who do not understand the art of concision or are writing about concepts that are so booooring that they can’t quite deliver them well the first time, resulting in thousands of pages of on-and-on-ness.)

I can only conclude that the writers and marketers do not know what a human being would or could enjoy. Why else would they persist in putting these crazily boring books on the shelves that NO-ONE-in-her-right-mind would buy.

HOWEVER. Being married to Ryan and watching a mysterious interest in *that aisle* persist over the years, causes me to wonder. Maybe it’s not just a show; maybe someone in the world actually enjoys mulling over those books for hours at a time; maybe I’m married to him… hmmm… For example, after an hour-long conversation with a friend yesterday that revolved around “great titles” from the computer aisle, Ryan ran out THE SAME DAY to find and drool over a stack of *these books*. I watch in wonder.

HOWEVER, again: Much to my surprise, Ryan peeped his head out of one of these extra-fat and booooooring books last night and read the quotation that began the next chapter:

“No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, turn back.”

I raised my eyebrows in surprise: there was something philosophical in that boring book?! there was actually a pensive, character-challenging tidbit in a… COMPUTER BOOK?! Astounding, I say.

So, perhaps there is more than meets the eye in that C+++, Plone, Python aisle with extra-fat bindings and sketched covers. Perhaps. But I bet the rest of the books are still pretty boring.

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