Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dewey Decimals made Fun



What would Melville Dewey say? I was just fumbling for a piece of paper, and looking through the mess of papers I have in my book bag, I found one most curious. This paper, so easily ignored struck my eyes. Scarcely three inches by three inches, I was caught by the words: Mangoes and Curry Leaves: culinary travels through the... Then the words end. I was thinking how this book sounded like a book, a cook book I had just picked up from the library, emphasizing the cuisines from the Malay archipelago, sharing foods, recipes gleaned from one author's travels through Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Still, the book mentioned on the poage was not the book I sought out. I did not have any printouts made of any book searches. I did not know what the significance of this paper is. I wanted to know how it ended up in my bag. I looked at the other side. Now, for the book listed on this random paper was the Dewey classification of 641.595 A.

On the back of this paper I found a clue. I saw that this paper had written on it, in my script, a series of numbers, numbers i looked up on the last visit to the main library just a few days ago. The numbers on the page included the Dewey classification of 641.5959 B. This places the book I sought out in a very precise class, a scant shelf away from this book on the paper I just pulled out of my bag.

How did I get the paper? I pulled it out of a little box next to the library catalog computer. With all the randomness of the universe, with all the countless thousands of books in the year old library in Redding, CA, and with all the matching Dewey codes used to classify those books, I was able to grab a paper with the exact location of the same book I would seek out that moment in time.

Now, none of this reflection brings i8nto account the countless thousands of papers that get cut, and recycled for scrap in the library. Now then, I am not a mystic. I barely believe in any tenets of supernatural causality, so, my only desire is to share a story of how in this soup of chaotic action in this world, coincidences happen that can certainly amuse.

I thank you for reading

1 comment:

Nyl said...

you know i don't believe in coincidence but i only know that things do happen for a reason. But as you see that instance, i think i will agree with you this time. haha!nice one keith..