Friday, May 23, 2008


For the last several days, I’ve contemplated taking a job in Turkey.


I know nothing about the country and had never even considered working there before receiving the job offer.

So, what does a so-called librarian do when she faces such a conundrum? She searches every website she can and checks out every book she finds on the country.

In addition to a few out-of-date travel guides, I found some simple series books best suited for a young audience: Cultures of the World: Turkey, Enchantment of the World: Turkey, Visual Geography Series: Turkey in Pictures.

These books contain many lovely pictures and basic information about the country: Turks eat lamb, rice, and tea; Turkey borders the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas; soccer/football is the most popular sport. For a simple overview of culture, religion, and history, these books are ideal.

They would also be ideal if I were a fifth grader writing a book report. I am learning, though, that if you may move to a specific city, an overview isn’t enough. It’s like trying to find out about Kansas City from a book about the United States. The book may hit on American culture and major cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Miami, but what does it really reveal about Kansas City?

I hate to admit it, but there are some things you can’t learn from a book. Instead, sometimes you just have to take the leap and find out firsthand.

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