Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wild Library

An author I rather go on about a bit here, Jasper Fforde, has, on his ornate, entertaining website, a section called "Wild Library Tales". It is devoted to library stories that others have submitted. There are almost no stories there, but there is a funny picture of the author. The link seems semi abandoned and outdated. I decided that it was my sort of thing, so I am sending Mr. Fforde some of my library stories.

I have a lot of them.

This is probably a violation of my non marketing vow, but I've decided to pretend it isn't. It remains to be seen how hard I will need to pretend.

But the real reason I am telling you this is because it got me thinking about my library tales and how they aren't wild at all. I'm pretty sure most of the good library stories have to do with things being incorrectly filed. I know, weird. But it's a library, and stories in a library are naturally ornate, low key, humorous, thoughtful, ironic, whispered.

Yes, wild things happen in my library occasionally, but they are not at all my favorite stories. Once, many years ago, a mentally disabled young man with a group home, generally a pretty friendly kid, came running down the checkout lanes and leaped on one of the group's leaders. He knocked her to the ground in one of the most visceral attacks I've ever seen up close. There was an intense thud of flesh and bone and flesh and bone and pure rage all meeting as hard as they could. The young man was like a bulldog, utterly compacted, stout, dense. He was pulled off the group leader quickly, but five hard working people were required. The group leader was not lastingly hurt. The whole thing was over in seconds, and they were all gone from the library in minutes. But for 20 seconds it was absolutely wild in the library.

I do believe that Mr. Fforde, when he includes a wild library tales section, means it with a certain touch of playfulness and irony and a wide sense of the word "wild". And I eagerly take the suitability of my stories in that guise. It's my bread and butter here.

Nevertheless, if a tornado rips through my library sometime this summer, I'll probably give you a straight up account...


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