A grasshopper leaped from his leg, and other book memes

While we’re on the topic of books, which I’m always more than happy to discuss, I’m going to stray a little from 23 Things with a book meme I found through Ruminations.

A meme, for those who don’t know, is defined as:

‘Any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.’ (Wiktionary definition)

This is a very fuzzy explanation, and could just as easily apply to pretty much any other word in the English language, but in a blogging context, we tend to think of ‘memes’ as concepts that are readily repeated, even echoed, across the blogging world. An example would be the day that library bloggers all over the world confessed to being the Annoyed Librarian.

(‘I am the Annoyed Librarian’, from heidigoseek’s Flickr photos and reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence)


Rules for this book meme:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
2. Open the book to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences
5. Tag five people

I don’t know about tagging anyone (I haven’t done that since the playground), but here is my response:

‘Duke University and Georgia State University took their Google Scholar guides a step further by integrating the Scholar search box directly into their sites. Duke includes some caveats up front — the by-now familiar disclaimers that Scholar searches a subset of scholarly literature, that the materials are not always scholarly, and that some material is only indexed in library databases. But then the Duke guide proceeds with detailed information on how to search Scholar, how to read Scholar’s results, how to use Duke’s citation linker from the Scholar interface, and how to use Open WorldCat results through Scholar.’

(From Miller, W., & Pellen, R. M. (2006). Libraries and Google. Binghamton, NY, USA: Haworth Information Press).

Now, wouldn’t that exercise have been a whole lot more interesting if I’d reached into my drawer and pulled out the book I wish I were reading:

‘His dust still floated over the road. A grasshopper leaped from his leg.
“‘Mr Tinsley?”‘

(From Proulx, A. (1999). Close range : Wyoming stories. New York, NY: Scribner).


4 Responses to A grasshopper leaped from his leg, and other book memes

  1. Sara Jervis says:

    Automatic responses, true to their primal role, are relatively impervious to the conscious will. This principle of archaism extends even to the facial expressions that communicate emotion. A spontaneous and genuine smile, which originates in the limbic system and is emotion-driven, is unmistakeable to the practiced observer.

    Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by Edward O. Wilson

    This author was recommended by Ian McEwan (Saturday, Chesil Beach, Atonement, ) I McE loves scientists who can write – http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23164881-5001986,00.html

    (Pardon me not using direct link. I have forgotten a fair few of 23 things skills, let alone my various passwords, which says something, I do not know what …yet.

  2. Sara Jervis says:

    There I put it in, not realising how I did it.

  3. […] can cast all we like, but we may not catch any fish As I’ve mentioned before, I am not the Annoyed Librarian. But as Kathryn Greenhill suggests, every librarian gets annoyed […]

  4. libodyssey says:

    I read Ian McEwan’s Atonement several years ago, just after it came out, and absolutely adored it. I always thought of it as a thriller, so you could have knocked me down with a feather when it appeared that they were marketing the film as a romance! Yet when I saw it, I felt that it was an excellent representation of the book. I guess it’s just what a reader brings to the novel at the time.

    I’m afraid that despite this less-than-erudite book/film review, my schooling in literature is more along the lines of what McEwan refers to as ‘the realm of some higher bullshit’. A very sobering thought!

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