Saturday, April 16, 2011

The fact is, people do judge books by the covers.

(see all these books?? You're totally judging them right now)

Random Semi-Pessimistic-Probably-Narcissistic-Definitely-Audacious Things* I've learned as a librarian:

a. Books that belong to "the public" are nasty-germy-gross. My least favorites are the Large Prints that reek of stale smoke. And books that are sticky.

b. The parents of loud children tend to also be loud. News flash: yelling at your kid to "be quite - you're in a library" is a bit of an oxymoron.

c. People assume that because I work at the library, I can automatically help them find the vague, non-desrcript book they're looking for. "It's sortof like profecy. I can't remember what it's called, or who it's by though. I think I found it near 'this' area." Really? I just re-shelve the books - I'm not a cataloging system. I'm pretty much only familiar with the things that I like and the things that I am constantly re-shelving (Nora Robberts and James Patterson mostly. bluck).

d. People do weird, random things at the library. My personal favorite was the distressed mother who called several Mexican Hotels in search of her lost son - apparently he was on spring break, lost his wallet, and got his passport taken when he couldn't pay his hotel bill. The best part was, none of the hotels she called had any record of him ever checking-in. "Hello? Do you speak English? I'm looking for my son, Victor. V as in Victory." See?? I shouldn't even know that story - but she was unabashed about having this conversation in a tone that I could clearly hear all the way in the adult fiction section when she was sitting at the computers (not using them, mind you, just sitting there).

e. I have never once seen someone choose a book to read by first reading the back/inside covers. "Hey, this looks like a great book," says Mom to Child. Child responds, "Yeah, that looks cool." So.  Congratulations to all you book cover designers out there - screw the content - it's all about the title artwork.

Moral of the story? Either get a degree that will get you the job you want, or risk returning to your high school job (which you now can vividly remember why you were so happy to quit) or learn to understand that no matter how many times you hear "don't judge a book by it's cover" - no one has ever, will ever, do that. So if you want to be a novelist, you'd better find a good artist. ;)

Our Front Yard. 


*Disclaimer: If you don't fluently speak sarcasm - this post will be utterly unintelligible to you.

P.S. I would like to take this time to graciously thank Stephen, Anya, and James for keeping me sane. Someday we'll be living in the Watersbrook Ranch-Villa-Estate, and all of you (my devoted readers) can come visit. Well, those of you we know and like, at least.


  1. I enjoyed your post. I must be fluent in sarcasm and happy to report that I always read the inside/outside comments to see what a book is about. Better yet, I just let you recommend a book for me. You know what I enjoy.

  2. Hey...I don't keep you sane? That kind of hurts. I now feel like a failure as a sister.

    Great post by the way. I was laughing the entire time, especially about the mom trying to find her son. XD