Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Law Books

I am taking up Sylvia's advice and blogging. Unfortunately, the only thing I could think of to blog about is law books.
As a law student, I notice law books. I notice them everywhere. Particularly where they do not belong.
Law books have a very particular design, as modelled above. There base color is a dirty, ugly tan, with one or two black or red stripes on the binding. These ugly books make for an ugly library. Whereas a normal library has books of every shape and size, inviting one to wander the aisles at their leisure, with no particular object in mind, admiring this cover or that opening line, enjoying the books and all the secrets they contain for their own sake. Law libraries, on the other hand, are rows upon rows of tan books, of varying tan colors, and alternating red and black stripes. When one opens a law book, curious of what they contain, one is disappointed to find:
s. 1.704-3(A)(6) Basis adjustments. A partnership
making adjustments under s. 1.743-1(b) or
1.751-1(a)(2) must account for built-in gain or loss
under section 704(c) in accordance with the
principles of this section.
So much for "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . ." or "It is a truth universally acknowledged. . .".
What is particularly amusing to me as a law student is Hollywood's use of law books. You see, to Hollywood, ugly law books on a red wood shelf are the absolute sign of rank, stature, importance, and prominence. When you see a President in an office, there will be law books in the shot. When you see a high ranking military officer at a desk, there will be law books there. When you see a business man across the table from his clients, look for the law books because they will be there.
What is more amusing, is that in life law books always come in sets. 500 volumes of a legal encyclopedia. 50 titles for the US Code. A 30 volume series for legal practice. 10,000 volumes (in four editions) for the Court of Appeals decisions. However, according to Hollywood, that is not important. Four or six law books are enough, no matter what they are about, even if they are labeled volumes 6, 34, 17, 2 (in that order). Just make sure they are the same ugly tan with the same number and color of stripes on the binding.
Now that you have read this email, I will bet you that sometime in the next week you will see law books on the television somewhere where they do not belong. Watch for it.


Fezzick said...

Good to have you back, Andy! I'll definitely be on the lookout . . .

healthily sanguine said...

Hi Andy! Good to hear from you. I too always thought it ironic that they put these really random, boring looking books in the background of movie and tv rooms. I've been to a few bookstores, so I know when a book has "boring" written all over its spine.