Got to read Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince yet...
I'm currently reading The Surgeon of Crowthorne. A thoroughly entertaining book by Simon Winchester about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Now, I heard the collective yawn at the end of the last sentence, but I assure you that it's far more interesting than it first sounds. Would you expect a book about a dictionary to include murder, war and asylums? Probably not.
Winchester shows a passion for his topic and weaves the facts into an intriguing story. I never knew that the creation of the first complete dictionary was such a mammoth task. Few of us today would ever give a passing thought about the first people to wonder about the immensity of the English language and why it hadn't been recorded.
After reading three-quarters of Surgeon I have a new appreciation for dictionaries and of the people who devoted their lives to creating the first complete edition. It may cement my reputation as a book geek but I definitely set my dictionaries as my most useful books.
Tonight alone I have referenced my small Australian Heinemann Dictionary seven times. And if I'm looking for an older perspective I'll open my antique Modern Standard English Dictionary from the 1940s. I admit to not owning an Oxford English Dictionary; I will one day take the step and purchase one.
They have a reputation for being boring and dull, but the dictionary is a thing of life; past and present.