When I found out about the task of making friends with an old book, I was very surprised and just thought why? But there was this tiny piece of me that always liked history and was fascinated about old objects that could tell a story from a long time ago. So with a neutral feeling I started my research.
Well “The most notable antiquity of Great Britain”, written by Inigo Jones, seemed not friendly at all at the beginning, it was hiding in the deepness of the internet with different editions and strange year numbers an enormous title which I still cannot remember and hundreds of pages. But as soon as I opened the right copy it talked nonstop in an old English I’ve never read before and nearly couldn’t understand.
The second Task shocked me. Meet a stranger? Far away in a dusty library? This whole Idea of traveling hours to a small village just to see a book? But I have to admit the visit was amazing this atmosphere in the Oechslin library was stunning. I really liked it, it was so different from just looking at the book in the internet and we could even touch those oldies with our bare hands. Those books seemed to me very wise and valuable but also very fragile. I was lucky and there was already a pdf file on the erara page, so I could solve this task easily.
Task 4took me the longest to finish. Luckily I run the pdf through the OCR at the ETH before the lockdown because I don’t have this program on my computer. But when I looked at the txt file I realised that there were many mistakes in the translation and it was only partly readable. So I started fixing it by having the pdf of the book on my left and the txt file on my right typing in the right words. This took me hours and it was annoying but I knew that it would be even more annoying if no one could read it. So I read some pages of my book and it was not as bad as I expected. I mostly understood what he was talking about and I could even follow his theory a little but a lot of parts where missing in the OCR txt file. But I started to understand the book quite well.
And at the end task 5. I have to be honest this teamwork wasn’t helping at all. I couldn’t talk very well with the others because many people got a new book and had no clue what their book was about or didn’t manage to do task 4 so it was unreadable. But it helped me to understand my book better because by telling others I had to make a very short summary of what I thought was going on in my book. In the end I would say I definitely have become friends with an old book.