Being “forced” into a friendship with something that has been randomly chosen for you is a rather difficult task. What is the point of calling the exploration of an old book a friendship? Coming from school into university and expecting another way of learning, I started questioning the task. Nevertheless, I tried to make the best out of it.
Though this task got really hard, when I found out, that my book was a work in Italian. A language I hardly understand. From the second tasks I could learn a little about the book as a physical object and that´s what lasted in my memory so far. The stiff pages, that I turned as carefully as possible, but impossibly without making some noise. I was afraid to do something wrong or even break something. Spending 20 minutes with a book you cannot read definitely obligates you to try and read what is not written literally. I still remember faded stamps and handwritings from pre-owners in/on the cover. To be honest, I still can´t tell, what I have learned from this on the long run. I might have aswell read an article about old books or discussed some topics with colleagues or done some meditation.
From the third task, I might have only learned, how useless google can be and how the internet mainly serves to sell things. Or maybe, how irrelevant this Italian book was. (Talking in terms of a friendship, I might have felt a bit sorry for the book at this time)
The fourth task was easily done, but not very useful. The translator could hardly translate the acient Italian language. It might seem funny, that the second most frequent word after “make” is the word “fuck” according to the translation but I just got confused. Is this book about the spine on St Pietro or about making babies? I only know now, how the text is composed, but that I have learned already when taking the first look.
And now for the last task. It´s hard again. I barely know anything about this something that somebody has named “my yearlong friend”. And by now I am truly asking myself what I have done this for.
I guess there some better cases than mine. If you at least understood the language of your book or if your book was based on illustrations, you might have actually learned something. (Maybe you could at least take notice of what languages the students speak. I speak French for example, while others speak Italian.)
In a case like mine, what is this task useful for? Xenotheka, the collection of data, free student labour? I don´t know. If I misunderstood, please tell me.