Last September we were told that we will get to know an old book for the next two semesters and become friends with it.
First I was very intimidated by the thought of me having to read a book in a language I don’t fully understand. And for a moment I thought that this task would become like my previous Latin lessons, in which you were told to analyze word for word and then draw some conclusions. But then I realized that we are not supposed to read the book as usual by reading the text, but that we needed to learn to understand the content and the message of a book by its cover, its text structure and its illustrations.
The fact that the book wasn’t written in a language I wasn’t fluent in made it easier to interpret the book in this new way.
I’ve never been in contact with such an old book. Usually I wouldn’t dare getting in touch with such an antique object. I would be too afraid to break it and I would rather look for a summary in my language on the internet.
But it was very exciting to learn how to get hold of such an old book.
Because it was only available in the Oechslin library, I had to go to Einsiedeln with a couple of my fellow students. The excursion was very interesting. I have never heard of this library before. For me it was very important to learn how to properly handle old books in order to lose the fear of them. Only through this direct contact with my book I was able to build a bond with it.
The excursion to Einsiedeln and the visit to the monastery were the highlights of this task. I think only through direct contact – touching it, feeling its weight and turning its real pages – I could make friends with my old book.
The other tasks did the opposite. It seemed as if the deadlines for the individual tasks were always at the worst times. It was difficult to integrate the task into my full schedule. According to this, my inputs weren’t very profound, which I find very unfortunate.
And the hours which I was supposed to dedicate to the friendship with my old book became hours in which I cursed this book for taking up precious time.
All in all, I would say that the general idea of the task was great. The actual contact with my book was by far the most beautiful experience but it already achieved everything that the whole task wanted to achieve. The other task weren’t as effective and actually weakened our friendship.