Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Writing Wednesday: The Sad Librarian within me

Not so long ago I rescued one of my favourite books from my daughter's bookshelf. Sadly, at eight years old, she still doesn't have a high respect for books. I'm always telling her to take care of them, not to grab the pages so that they rip, to turn the pages nicely, to use bookmarks. I know this reflects on my own perfectionism, as I love crisp, clean books and that is probably why I spend so much money on new ones!

Another facet of my sad character is my organisation and logic skills. This has helped me get a Maths degree, but perhaps was personified as a child when my friend and I (she was under duress) organised all my books into a library. They were carefully labelled and ordered. Each had a slip inside, just like the old library card system (yes, that does age me!)

My rescued book - Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls - was one of these. Inside is the old slip of paper, yellowed with age. Amazingly the sellotape still sticks. And look - it's No.1! Even then it was a high priority book. It is a collection of children's poems about naughty children, many contributed by Hillaire Belloc, such as Jim (who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion). It is beginning to crumble, as the paper and binding become crisp and have that gorgeous smell of 'old books'.

And then, via twitter, my attention is drawn to this: a personal library kit

Childishly, I have a secret longing to have this myself, even now! Unfortunately the miles of bookshelves that now fill our house preclude this happening. I would be bankrupt buying the kits and would spend the rest of the year sadly filing everything. But then, if you wanted to borrow a book it would seem mighty professional to stamp and date it before it left the house.

Or sad?

But still, a girl can dream, can't she?


Mark said...

Oh no, not sad at all - people keep 'borrowing'my books and I never see them again.

And you could fine people for late returns - one week is a box of chocolates etc etc...

Catharine Withenay said...

How many weeks until I get a new car, do you think? I can see this being a most beneficial exercise!

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