My most recent foray to the library was in search of books on the senses. I was recovering from a rather persistent cold, which left me so congested that I had very little sense of smell or taste. For about a week, eating was so boring that it was hardly worth doing. Oddly enough, I could taste some flavors– sweet and spicy notes came through, but every other nuance was gone. Fruit juice had more or less its normal flavor, chocolate was sweet but uninteresting, and coffee tasted like dirt.
Curious about what happened to my taste buds (or maybe it was all in the nasal cavity?), I searched the on-line catalog and trundled off to the 612s to look for books on the senses. Of course, I hadn’t written down the exact call number, trusting in my usual system of getting pointed in the right direction and then figuring it out when I get there.
It turned out that my library has approximately 240 linear feet of books in the 610s– about 60 times more than the measly 020s that I last looked through. My rough estimate of a reasonable call number under which to find books on the senses* was completely swamped. I gave in, and browsed the whole mess: Camp Nurse: My Adventures at Summer Camp, Bikini Bootcamp: Two Weeks to a Beach-Ready Body, Pregnancy for Canadians for Dummies [you have to wonder about syntax on that one!]…. What an embarrassment of riches.
Here’s what made the list:
613.409 The Dirt On Clean: An Unsanitized History, by Katherine Ashenburg (2007).
612.86 What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life, by Gilbert Avery (2008).
611 Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body, by Neil Shubin (2008).
*The 152.1s were another option, though too thin on the shelves to be much help.