At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Friday, July 09, 2004


I've been checking circ stats for the books we purchased last fiscal year. Not all of them have arrived, and not all that have arrived have been catalogued, and not all that have been catalogued have been shelved. But of those that are ready for check out, the following have been pretty popular, at least relative to the ordinary sluggishness of academic library circulation:

  • Oxford Dictionary of Genetics--3 checkouts since last July. This surprised me because biological resources don't get much action here. Come to think of it, though, why is this in circulation at all?
  • The Buffalo Soldier Tragedy of 1877--3 checkouts in 3 months! I got this for the local angle, since the incident referred to in the title took place on the Llano Estacado near Lubbock.
  • Marianne in Chains: Everyday Life in the French Heartland Under the German Occupation--2 checkouts since January. Maybe Felix was right: Nazis sell.
  • Uneasy in Babylon: Southern Baptist Conservatives and American Culture--5 checkouts since last October. A no-brainer.
  • Getting Right With God: Southern Baptists and Desegregation--2 checkouts since last October. As above.

Some disappointments:

  • None of the field guides to local flora and fauna that I selected (Butterflies of West Texas Parks, Wildflowers of the Llano Estacado, Birds of the Texas Panhandle, and Flora and Fauna of Playa Lakes) have been checked out.
  • Making of Revolutionary Paris and The Great Nation: France From Louis XV to Napoleon--these two books on French history were very well reviewed, but no takers so far.
  • Oil in Texas: The Gusher Age--Although West Texas figures prominently in this account, it hasn't piqued anyone's interest here. It's only been on the shelf since March, though.
  • O Dammit!: A Lexicon and Lecture From William Cowper Brann, The Iconoclast--This chrestomathy from the Texas Mencken has been gathering dust since we got it last August.
  • James Madison (Garry Wills)--By the author of the classic Lincoln at Gettysburg.
  • Texas Trilogy--Famous plays from Preston Jones, a student of Paul Baker at Baylor.

So is this sample too small for me to draw any generalized conclusions?


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