mjj (flemmings) wrote,

A la recherche des livres perdus

I know I have a copy of The Hobbit, because I've been carting it around for at least three decades. It's the navy blue covered one with the mountain on the spine, and it's in with my kids' books on the lower bedroom shelf. Only it's not. The navy blue book is The Lost Queen of Egypt, and if I have a copy of The Hobbit it's hiding in some black hole I should email Stephen Hawking about. So perhaps I should go buy a copy to re-read?

And half of me says Oh yes yes reread The Hobbit, this winter (well, this week of this winter) is exactly like when you were reading LotR in high school. And the other half says, You're kidding, right? Where's your nostalgia when the snow starts falling next week?

And besides, over at the Gladstone library I just made a discovery, TPL's own black hole.

I was looking for one Sarah Pinborough, mentioned as another Strange London writer in a comment to Kate Elliot's post. And there she was-- wiki may call her a horror writer but she's shelved in fiction. Then I cast my eye over the paperback SciFi section, which segues without warning into the Romance section. (I think I've mentioned my annoyance with Gladstone before. It's not merely their renovated 'let's make a three-floor open space inside!' to take the place of, yanno, shelves with books on them, but also their complete lack of section headings. If you don't know where the Mystery shelves are, you shouldn't be here.) And there in Romance, artfully shelved diagonally so you can see covers and spines-- or some covers and some spines-- was a Caitlin Kittredge Black London novel, which the catalogue says exists only in the SFF reference library. This is one of Aaronovitch's recs that I debated buying only yesterday; and didn't because, as ever, I didn't have my Bakka users' card on me and have no idea where it is.

I take it down-- checkout is in the basement which, yes, requires you to go down a flight of stairs to enter the building in the first place: disabled-friendly is not us-- and ask the librarian what's up and are there more. Am informed that this is a floating book: belongs to no one branch, gets sent from library to library on a whim, apparently, and isn't in the catalogue. Something could be done with the idea of a nomad population of books, a ghost library-- I mean, *not in the catalogue*, how phantom can you get? Except that common sense suggests the librarians must keep tabs on what's where; they just aren't telling. Which is a chiz, say I. Can I get the rest of her from TPL? And echo answers, silence.
Tags: reading, reading_13, rivers, rl_13

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