Hello all, Blaire here: WLU Press’ newest addition. I will be around for the next year amusing myself (and some innocent bystanders) with digital marketing exploits and experiments. Good luck to everyone involved!
Before we get more comfortable, I have a confession to make. In the school year of 2008–2009, my final undergraduate year at Queen’s University, I did not buy my textbooks. I went to the library, I studied with classmates, but I did not spend any money on required reading. For awhile, I was quite proud of this. Fight the system! It’s all a cash grab! I’m a poor student, they can’t expect me to spend money that frivolously (Fact: beer, poutine, and Starbucks are actually daily necessities of life). What I failed to realize was what the existence of those very books represented in my educational journey, and beyond. The authors have made it their life’s vocation to bury themselves in an area of study, testing new and different ways to claw their way to the surface with their bare hands. Every day they challenge themselves and others to push limits and expand their minds. They argue with you. They compel you to ask questions. They will take “No” for an answer, if only to find out why. They learn; and then they teach you. I think back to my undergrad and still feel intensely inspired by many of my professors. Who do you think wrote these books? They did. Them, and other scholarly minds like them. And what cash grab? These publishers are poorer than I am. They do what they do because they refuse to live in a world where knowledge isn’t valued. And you know what, so do I.
The fact that I ever decided against investing in scholarly materials now makes me question the moral fibre of my existence. As a self-declared lifelong learner, I am ashamed. So, students: buy your textbooks! Immerse yourself in those course materials. You’ll be reading someone else’s passion. And trust me, there’s a good chance the publisher of that book is fighting harder to stay alive than you are to stay awake in your 8 a.m. class on Fridays. They want you to learn, but mostly, they want you to love it—like they do.
I am incredibly lucky to be able to call myself a member of one of these teams of knowledge rockstars. I know they have much to teach me. So, drink up your education; I hope you’ll never cease to be thirsty for it. That’s what we’re here for.