One of the things I love about vacation spots, especially condos, is the collection of used books, mostly paperbacks, that builds up over time. The selection here is appropriately eclectic or even bizarre, though it can’t necessarily all be blamed on prior visitors – there’s a sign saying some of the books were purchased from the local Humane Society (your joke here). Still, I can’t imagine any buyer on behalf of the resort choosing “One Heartbeat Away: Your Journey into Eternity”, which promises to tell me what the afterlife will be like “in a logical, interesting and straightforward manner”. I was disappointed to find it appears to be just standard evangelical Christian literature – lots of anecdotes and Bible quotes, a little evolution bashing. I was hoping for something more out-there.
Mixed in with the Stephen King and James Patterson are the requisite handful of romance novels, and a volume entitled “Everything You Pretend to Know and Are Afraid Someone Will Ask”. This last one had promise – I’m a big fan of the Imponderables series (“Do Penguins Have Knees?” was an early gift to the Writer) and Schott’s Miscellany – but it’s somewhat dated. The focus on financial terms (“what’s the Fed?” “what’s a cartel?”) feels very 80s, though the book was published in 1996. Even if I didn’t deal with finance a fair amount at work, the last couple years has educated all of us quite a bit about discount windows and movements in the prime rate.
Most disappointing, however, is that there’s no local guidebook or fish identification guide. We left our Caribbean Reef ID book home in New York, so we’re relying on folks on the boats and the Internet to figure out some of the odd stuff (the lettuce leaf sea slug looks exactly like you’d expect, but what’s the kinda camo little fish with red dots? my best guess is a red-spotted hawkfish).
I’d like to make a contribution to the place, but Tipperary is a library book and Brightness Falls is on loan from the Writer, so neither is mine to give. I only brought two books, and have read little of either, because I can only handle so much input in a day. Diving is sensory overload so a lot of my “surface intervals” are spent napping, catching up on some blogs or making little trips around the island. Hope to see the blue iguanas on this visit.