LIBRARIAN : Overdue again! Seven reminders I’ve sent out to you!

HANCOCK : My dear good fellow. One cannot rush one’s savouring of the classics of world literature. Rome was not built in a day and its decline and fall cannot be read in one.

LIBRARIAN : But you haven’t got Gibbon’s Decline and Fall there.

HANCOCK : That’s got nothing to do with it. I’ve got The Love Lives of the Caesars here and that tells me everything.

Alan Simpson and Ray Galton, Hancock’s Half Hour: The Missing Page (1960)


“The Librarian is, of course, very much in favour of reading in general, but readers in particular get on his nerves. There is something sacrilegious about the way people keep taking books off the shelves and wearing out the words by reading them. He likes people who love and respect books, and the best way to do that, in the Librarian’s opinion, is to leave them on the shelves where Nature intended them to be.”

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, The Discworld Companion (1984)

Not being a regular library user myself, I have not had much encounters with librarians, be it good or bad.

But even so, I think I can still agree and share the same sentiments as Greer (below) in that,Β  one feels at home when in a library. I think this is simply because “home is where the heart is”, and for a book lover, the heart is for certain to be found among books. πŸ˜‰

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.

Germaine Greer, Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (1990)


10 thoughts on “Friday Feature : On The Library & The Librarian

  1. I enjoyed those. Libraries have changed so much. Once you couldn’t utter a peep or you’d get the beaked nosed librarian frowning over her glasses, now seems everything goes and ours is so noisy it is hard to concentrate when there. Where should the line be drawn?? Or not at all? Pam


    1. Interesting observation, Pam. I guess the answer to your question of where should the line (if any) be drawn at, would be rather subjective, and it will probably not be one that can ensure all will be pleased with.


  2. I use the library a lot, and have often thought I would enjoy working in one. I’ve noticed that in my library system, there’s a small percentage of librarians who are simply not nice to deal with, and woe be to you if you commit a library transgression on their watch.. No sense of humor, people skills and so on–I figure that’s the difference between those who love the books themselves rather than the whole reader/reading experience. However, there are more people at my local library who are nice to deal with, even when you (I) ask for help finding a book that is exactly where it is supposed to be on the shelf, only your (my) recalcitrant eyeballs couldn’t locate it!


    1. I had wanted to be a librarian in school while growing up too. I had always found it fascinating to discover old, forgotten tomes on the shelves of my school library and thought what a lovely treasure trove a library is. For book lovers, just being in an environment that is surrounded by books is always a ‘feel good’ thing to have. πŸ™‚
      Glad you’ve got yourself some nice and helpful librarians over there!


  3. I use libraries a lot–I work in one so have access to all those new books and then also use the public library. It’s hard to juggle library books And my own books! This year the library books seem to be winning much to the chagrin of my own books… πŸ™‚ Love that last quote especially!


  4. I also love libraries and when I was in New York recently discovered two private libraries, The Grolier Club and The New York Society Library. They are both very old libraries and stage interesting exhibitions open to the public. The New York Society Library is where Edith Wharton’s family borrowed books and right now they have an exhibition on Wharton and her connection to New York City. Thanks for visiting my blog and I am delighted to discover yours!


    1. Thanks for dropping by! I think you just need to go to Appearance, then Widget, and pull your Categories Widget into your sidebar. Once it’s done, it should show a drop down menu for all your categories. Hope that helps.


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