30 DoB, Day 22: Favorite Book You Own

We’re going to go in a slightly different direction for the next subject in the 30 Days of Books list:

Day 22 – Favorite book you own

I suppose that the obvious answer for this sort of question would be something like a family Bible that’s been passed down through Betzian generations, or perhaps some dusty first edition of an old classic, or maybe even a signed copy from a favorite author.  Nope, nope and nope — I have none of those.

So, thinking about it, I’m going to opt for a rarely read, 298-page, non-fiction piece published in early 1993.


My PhD thesis!

In the fall of 1992, I bought my first computer (a then-zippy 386 PC) so that I could write my dissertation and in January 1993 I submitted and defended it. (I might have been able to finish before New Years, you know if it hadn’t been for Solitaire and MineSweeper.  So it goes.)

Though I guess as rare books go, there might not be many that are scarcer.  I believe that there are maybe six extant copies.  I have one, my parents had one (where did that end up?), I think I gave my brother and sister one each (I’m sure they’re in places of honor), my advisor has one and so does the Chemistry Department at UNC.  That’s it.

It’s interesting to re-read the Acknowledgement section and consider the people that were so central to my life then and see whether I’m still in contact with them today. Like many stages in your life, the answer is some yes, many no.   I’m happy for the snapshot.  We didn’t have blogs back then.

I’m a little chagrinned that the font is Helvetica – so 90s – should have gone with a serif’d font for posterity.


17 thoughts on “30 DoB, Day 22: Favorite Book You Own

  1. Haha love this post. Gotta admit, it’s been a while since I read the title of a book and only managed to wrap my mind around the articles, prepositions and conjunctions! :)

  2. I loved this book! The scene where Cytochrome C shatters the genie bottle and the Werewolf Pope leaps out and denatures the bad guys gave me chills! I keep checking the website for news of a movie adaptation, which I hope will feature Greg Kinnear as the struggling young scientist, torn between his love of chemistry and the lure of easy money as a venture capitalist.

  3. Jesus, I’m getting carpel tunnel just looking at it. What an accomplishment. I would actaully like to read that. You should make it downloadable for the Kindle.

  4. Didn’t you follow the standard route and just smush together three or four published papers? It is still a heck of a lot of work to re-edit everything and add that soupçon of “original research” and viola! A dissertation!

    BTW – I’m jealous. My run was only three copies – mainly because I got tossed into the “real world” so fast that i never had a chance to make copies for everyone else…

  5. Geez, Steve! My MA thesis was a mere 120 pages, and I only had one copy bound for the university’s library, where it probably languishes unread to this day.

    Being an English major however, I read the title of your thesis as “The Effects of a Novel, Disulfide….” And being very tired, I thought, ‘I don’t recall there being a novel called “Disulfide.”‘ It must have been fascinating. ;-)

  6. Awesome!
    And in defense of Helvetica: sure, it was once all the rage and is tragically overused in logos, but it is a classic and beautiful paragraph text. You have good taste.

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