Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Wordy Christmas

Back in May I posted about my trusty Roget's thesaurus, which I relied on all throughout high school, college, and graduate school and which is never far from reach as I write my novels. The pages are dog-eared and the labels on the thumb-index tabs have fallen off; the contents finally separated from the cover (in one bound chunk, thank goodness). I've tried using newer thesauruses, even on-line ones, but I absolutely HATE the alphabetically-ordered versions. I much prefer Roget's original scheme, where words are organized by category. It's so much easier to browse and find exactly what I'm looking for when I can follow trails of related words. I swore I'd never abandon that maroon-covered book, no matter how tattered it became.

Well, my family had other plans.

When my husband asked my daughter what she thought I might like for Christmas, she suggested a new thesaurus. Knowing my tastes in the matter, my husband searched high and low to find one organized by category. None of the brick-and-mortar stores carried it; he had to order it on-line. He warned me not to open the box that would be arriving.

When I found the box from Barnes and Noble on the doorstep a few days before Christmas, I figured it was the thick cookbook I had mentioned a few weeks earlier--the box was the perfect size. I was kind of bummed, thinking I had guessed my present. I was all ready to feign surprise as I opened the wrapped book on Christmas morning...and found I didn't have to pretend! I was, in fact, quite pleased. The 2009 edition of the thesaurus contains many new words added over the last twenty years. The type is easier on my eyes and I don't have to worry about pages detaching from the spine as I turn them! Husband found the perfect present for his geeky wife.

The new thesaurus sits beside me on the desk now when I write. I've retired the old one, but refuse to discard it. Saying goodbye to that old friend--comrade, buddy, companion--would be too painful. A memento of the first half of my writing life, it can rest in peace on my bookshelf, proud of its long service and satisfied with a job well done.

Now, if only my husband could find me book of plot twists... 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He's a keeper ;-)