books · MS-2

After the exam, I went down to the Strand to buy myself some quality reading material.  18 miles of books, and mostly half (or more!) off.  It’s like Ali Baba’s cave for me.

I picked up a couple of novels inside, but they also have these great 48 cent carts outside that are stuffed with used books.  I acquire all kinds of interesting finds there.  Like today: a 1970 copy of Understanding Medicine, written by some Brit whose author biography notes that he “worked with so-called maladjusted children” before going to med school.  He also has a German-born wife!  The scandal!

It’s quite an amusing read, a sort of precursor to the pop medical books you see these days in Borders and B&N.  I am hoping to come across something flat-out wrong, like maybe a reference to leeches or the vapors — something to show me that medicine used to be a hopeless tangle and nowadays, with our immense knowledge of signaling pathways, we have a Superior Understanding of the mechanism of disease.  But actually, the book seems pretty decent: straightforward and correct.  I admit that I am a little shocked.  People knew things before the Internet?  Really?

In short: a good find, especially for the price.  It will go very nicely with my first edition copy of Lewis Thomas’s Lives of a Cell, acquired around this time last year for the same price.