Willym recently posted some salacious book covers, which is as good an opportunity as any to commence the “shocking disclosures of sexual perversion” phase of this blog. Today’s shocking disclosure is: librarians.
I do not know how I ended up this way. Probably it is because I have an unhealthy fondness for libraries. Libraries are full of delicious books that (in principle) I am allowed to sign out and ravenously consume, provided that I don’t slobber on the pages and/or accumulate too many late fines. I know that some freaks purchase new books and develop long-term loving relationships with them; I do not understand these people. A passionate three-week romance is plenty for me, and then back to the shelves you go, delightful reading material. Maybe we will have a second go-around, but until then there are plenty of books in the sea.
That makes me a bookslut AND a parasite, which is bad enough. But then somehow I transferred my feelings for libraries and books to their caretakers. And why not? Librarians are hot. They (presumably) like books, they are good at organizing things, and while friendly and accomodating to the general public they are not above some disciplinary shushing for those who natter too loudly in the silent study sections.
Unfortunately, the shine has tarnished. Recently I learned that librarianship has its downsides. Just as veterinarians are responsible for putting animals to sleep as well as healing them, a few years ago I learned that libraries (especially public libraries) “rotate” their selections frequently (which is nothing more than a euphemism for discarding and sometimes killing books). It is one thing to wish a three week fling well if it is to be returned to a shelf for others to enjoy; it is quite another to think that one day some librarian will cull that book from the herd so I cannot find it later. Intellectually I understand that the old and unpopular have to make way for fresh new reads, but emotionally it is difficult burden to bear. I had always thought of librarians as sensual, gentle souls. But in order to make it in the cutthroat world of library employment they have to break a few spines.
I suppose some people would find that element of ruthlessness sexy. I suppose it is comforting to know to know that someday a librarian could rescue me in the event of a rampaging encyclopedia set, but I preferred my sanitized vision of the cataloguing sciences to grim reality.
That is not to say that I am over librarians, or that I am above sneaking lecherous peeks as they shelve books or look up information for patrons. Certainly the trend of introducing self-checkout kiosks at the library makes me uneasy. But I think my fantasies of building a future with some gorgeous and erudite librarian are better off staying fantasies. (A passionate three-week fling would be another matter, however.)