The other day a friend showed me the copy of Broken Rules they’d picked up from Footscray Library. The book had been carefully covered, a catalogue sticker affixed to the spine. Seeing this was as thrilling as seeing my book in a shop for the first time. In some ways maybe more so. There’s something wonderful about libraries and the books within them. Their permanence, for one thing. An illusion, I know, as old stock can be cleared from the shelves (and sold off, one would hope). But still, a library book holds more potential to reach multiple readers than a bought book, which may only ever have one.

12 thoughts on “SHORT FIC THOM

  1. That’s ace, Baz. It just gave me a little flashback to Kingsfold Library in Penwortham. I can still recall the little cardboard sleeves that they’d use to put the inserts from each book you borrowed. Standard was three cards per member. I can recall the librarian’s surprise when I asked for two extra. I’d read a book in two days, as a kid.

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    1. Yes, it was a similar set-up in Kirkby Library. And they used to stamp a sheet on the inside of the book with the due date. When that sheet got full they’d stick a fresh one on top. It was a nice record of the borrowing history.
      Did the librarian at Kingsfold give you those two extra?


      1. She did. I don’t think there were many pre-pubescent kids reading five books at a time around there! I used to love going to the library. Google Hove’s library, what a lovely building. I never went in, I was likely always distracted by Hove Tandoori directly opposite (that, and the fact that I had to bring novels to Mexico that I hadn’t got around to reading…lots of Vonnegut, but I fail to see what the fuss is about Kafka…I binned him).

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        1. I looked up Hove Tandoori before the library. How our priorities have changed, Woz! I love how you could eat a curry with a view of that beautiful municipal building, then walk it off along the beach afterwards. Sounds like a perfect day. You’ve got me curious about Kafka now.


          1. I miss the Tandoori. Ceylon Chicken. Hove is a great place to live, you’d love it. I miss the sea particularly. But then, I was on the Oaxacan Pacific coast for two weeks in December. And now I’m making prints in a tiny village in Veracruz. Local coffee and Mango Season makes up for a lack of coastline for a while. And it feels a world away from the pandemic disaster zone that is Blighty right now.

            Skip Kafka. Have you read Vonnegut? I’d highly recommend him. Breakfast Of Champions is hilarious.


            1. I’m sure I would love Hove. I really liked the sounds of it from your dispatches while you were there. But it seems you’re much better off in Mexico right now. I’m finding it hard to wrap my head around the numbers of Covid deaths in the UK. It’s utterly staggering.
              I think I dipped in to Slaughterhouse-Five at one point. As you’re recommending Vonnegut, I’ll add his to my tottering pile of books to read. It’s up to the ceiling now, that pile. And it’s a very high ceiling. I’ve enough reading material to see me through to my end.
              Skip Kafka, you say? That certainly makes things easier. I can’t help but be intrigued, though. He has, after all, got a mainstream adjective named after him.
              Does Hove Tandoori have some nice veggie options for me?


              1. I actually brought two thirds of my pile to Mexico, and have one left to go. It’s hard to get English books in Mexico without paying a fortune for them, and there isn’t the secondhand book scene you have in Asia, with so many European travellers. The Americas is full, from top to toe, of your John Grishams and Tom Clancy novels. Deary me…I’d rather read tea leaves. Still, this situation pushed me to read more in Spanish, which boosts my vocabulary no end.

                As for Hove Tandoori’s veggie options…they have plenty.

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    1. Gosh, it sounded a bit dark, didn’t it. A bit ‘eve of destruction’. I was trying to illustrate the massive scale of that ever-growing pile. Let’s conjure a cheery image to counter things. How about some dancing horses?


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