In defense of our collection I find that a lot of the time we have the books and DVDs people want somewhere immediately available in our library. But sometimes, like today, I'll hit a bad streak and nothing is in. It's worst when it's my recommendations to some mildly interested patron because I'm the one who's all excited, and who's so sorely disappointed.
"Do you have The Game of Thrones sequel?" The young man asks. No. I put a request in on it, and we talk a bit. He loved Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Do I have any recommendations for something he can get now? With his choices I feel I have a bit of a fix on him. My fabulous choice is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss! I sing its praises. He should read it immediately. It's perfect! It's also not checked in.
Rats. Lemme see. Oh! That book Marcus suggested, The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley. It's a bit more modern, but I really liked that a lot and have a feeling it will work. Or it would work, if it was checked in. Which it isn't. But that's okay. This direction opens things up. "Nightwatch" by Sergei Lukyanenko is golden and in every way as good a choice, maybe even better. If only we hadn't weeded our last copy. How can we not own a copy of this? It was insanely popular, more so in Russia, in the nineties, but still...
And then he's gone. And it's all so unfinished for me. My day will be a little haunted by this failure, and I'll keep thinking of new, perfect solutions that I can never get in his reading hands. When I think of one I'll be compelled to search it in the catalog, or even go check the shelf. Invariably there will be three or four copies, just sitting there, as there should be. Because it's an awfully good book. It would have been perfect. Maybe I'll just take one home and read it again.