Thursday, December 11, 2014

Greatest author in the world with proof

Space on our library shelves has grown desperately precious. There is only so much room here in our library. The addition, at this point, of a single row of shelving, hardly enough to stave off our weeding for two months, would wipe out a bank of Internet computers that is so heavily and constantly used that most of the popular keyboard keys, like "e" or "t" have worn away to smoothed organic nubs, like the marble toe on the statue of a beloved saint that pilgrims have been kissing for hundreds of years.

So we weed.

There goes Richard Brautigan. And Israel Zangwill. Do we need this old Mary Oliver? Daniel Pinkwater? Ursula K. LeGuin? Yes, we do, but there is no room! That nice book on the bay area figurativists can go, indeed it has to go, no one has checked it out for a year. And we certainly can't afford to keep two biographies on Emma Goldman. Weed, weed, weed!

We are not casting aspersions on these books, but new ones are coming out all the time, and we have to put them somewhere. So the old must make way for the new. Will you be happy to eschew new books to save the treasured old?

I thought not.

Nevertheless there are certain books that, year after year, remain untouched, fundamental, and free from the dangers of weeding. Catcher in the Rye, the Jane Austens, To Kill a Mockingbird all maintain a rock steady presence on our shelves. And what shall we make of our permanent wall of Kristen Hannah books. We have at least eight copies of each of her 15 books. I have never read one of her books, but I have worked here long enough to be able to read the writing on the wall, or, perhaps, the writing on the shelves. There is only one reasonable explanation for this richly stocked collection of books:

Kristin Hannah is the greatest author in the world!

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