Check It Out: Geology Rocks!

Submitted by J. Johnston on Wed, 03/23/2022 - 08:25

Some years past when I was pulling weeds in my yard I unearthed a dirt-covered rock. This is not unusual or really worth mentioning except that when I brushed off the dirt, one side unveiled a dark, glassy surface—obsidian! It’s easy to think that a rock is just a rock, but every rock tells a story about the geologic history of our planet. As soon as I saw my volcanic pal, I knew I had to know more.

Geology is a fascinating subject because you really can learn a lot about Earth and its past as well as the history of the world. If only rocks could talk! But wait, they do—in their own rocky way. You don’t have to be a geologist to carry on a conversation with a piece of granite, but it helps to read a bit about geology in order to get past “Hello, granite.”

If you’re already a rock hound, you know just how expressive stones and boulders can be. Once you’ve learned a bit of geological language, don’t be surprised to get a long history lesson about the Earth. From the smallest of pebbles to the mightiest of mountains, geology tells a tale: the ups and downs, literally, of volcanic activity; the influence and pressure of natural forces like water and wind; the shaking and rattling during seismic events. So much impacts geology, and it isn’t over! Every single day rocks inform us about what is happening on planet Earth, the third rock from the sun. Pretty cool stuff, right?

Learn how to speak Rock by checking out some geology titles from the library. I’m providing a brief list of mostly Washington-related titles, but there are many more books in our collection, so be sure to search the catalog for more.

No doubt about it—rocks rock!

New at the Library




This is just a small sampling of the many new titles added each week to the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District collection. Find more in our catalog, or call (360) 906-5000 to reserve titles or find additional listings.

Jan Johnston, Collection Manager
Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries

You can email Jan at

The "Check It Out" column is normally published every Sunday in The Columbian newspaper.

Find more book columns in our Off the Shelf blog.