Saturday, August 29, 2009

Library Lessons

Dudes, it's hot. It was 84° in the house when I woke up this morning. It's only going to get hotter and Scoob is out having menudo for lunch with a friend. I don't know which idea bothers me more; eating hot soup on a hot day, or eating menudo. We also have a sushi date for dinner tonight, which I'm looking forward to—cold fish in an air conditioned restaurant sounds so good right now. But coming back to this hot house afterward is going to be brutal. I wonder if they'll let us sleep in their restaurant?

In the meantime, I have nothing more strenuous than reading in mind, but boy do I have my work cut out for me. Since I work in publishing, I have to guard against bringing too many books home from work. But how many is too many, really? Since I've been with the travel publishing arm, this hasn't been as big an issue—I only have books for the places we go. But our distributor occupies the other half of our building and they not only distribute our books, but books for about 200 other publishers. There's never a shortage of reading material.

I used to peruse the distributor's catalog each season and flag what I wanted to read and since the distributor and my publisher are owned by the same company, we all get a 50% discount on almost any book that is handled by the distribution arm, regardless of who the actual publisher is. And about every 6 months we have a book purge party at work and anyone in the office can take home just about any bound book or galley for free so we can make room for the next season's books. Any book that hasn't found a home at the end of the party then gets donated—hardcovers go to the county library, they won't take the paperbacks; and the paperbacks go to the prison literacy program, they won't take the hardcovers because they make good weapons (the pen is mightier than the sword and all that, but in the wrong hands the binding will bash your head in).

Anyhow, it was a regular occurrence to come home with a box of books that would languish, unread, until the next box and the next box came home. Ultimately I found I had an unconscionable amount of books in a small living space that were either written/edited well and boring or interesting and written/edited poorly with precious few actually being all-around good reads, and I still had to figure out what to do with them after I'd read them, so I've been leaning a little more on my local library to support my ink habit.

Until recently I've just been popping into the library when convenient to browse the stacks (don't you just love the smell of a library?) but have been having a difficult time getting my hands on anything from my "Want to Read" list so I spent some time a few days ago poking around the library's website. I looked up all the titles on my list and added them to my cart. I browsed the new arrivals list and added several more to my cart. I didn't do anything else. I already had 3 books out so I didn't want to place a hold on anything until I was ready for more books.

About 2 days later a received a flurry of email from the library—I have 25 titles on hold to be picked up by Monday or I'll be charged $1.00/day/title for each book I do not pick up!! There was nothing on the website that said the "cart" was equivalent to requesting a hold, never mind that there is a separate button specifically for requesting a hold. I thought I was placing books on a wish list of sorts that I could quickly reference later. So that, my friends, is why I say I have my reading work cut out for me.


  1. Speaking of the sushi date, it was spectacular. Let's do it again soon.

  2. DANG! That's unnerving and not at all how my library works things. If I don't pick up books, they just send them back. Harsh - happy reading to you!