Last week, it finally had to happen. I spent hours looking up call numbers on the university library website. I dragged out the rollerboard luggage (and my partner, Stephen). And, together, we went to pick up the first batch of comprehensive exam books.
I think I underestimated the amount of time it was going to take to, literally, just get the books off of the appropriate shelves in the library and put them in the bag. I tackled the list by category, picking up all the books the library had in each of three categories. Inevitably, a few were missing–some showed as available in the cataglogue but were not on the shelf, some had been taken out, and some needed to be ordered via ILL. However, the majority were there, and now, they are in my office (as you can see, Emily the cat was particularly interested in these new additions).
Figuring out where to start presented the next major problem. Fortunately, one of the professors responsible for the the list with which I am starting indicated to me which books I should start with in each category. I figured I would begin with the history of science, which I know the least about. And, today, I broke into my first book–the longest of the bunch I have to read (I hope–two volumes, Cambridge History of Science, about 1600 pages).
This is going to be a long summer, but I hope I can say that, at the end of it, I will have made serious progress.
Emily, on the other hand, gains her sense of accomplishment by (somewhat) successfully fitting into this box (notice the larger box she has rejected in the background):