Monday, April 20, 2015
I like it when people at the front desk of the library are impressed:
"Uh, I'm looking for that book by that author. I forgot the author's name."
"Patty Janes House of Curl?" I inquire on a hunch.
"How did you know that!???!!!???" They exclaim.
But that's not usually how they respond.
"Patty Janes House of Curl? Yes, that's it. Do you have a copy?"
I thought it was a pretty good magic trick, but, okay, I can take neutral. I just don't like it when the expectations are too low, when the meaning of my knowledge is misread.
"I want to know if you have a book called Redshirts." A patron says to me as I sit at the front desk.
"By John Scalzi? Yeah, sure, I'll see if we have a copy checked in."
"You know John Scalzi? I guess he's a lot more popular than I thought."
"No, he isn't." I don't reply. "I just work at a library. I'm just reasonably knowledgeable about books!"
Or there's the man who came in tonight. "I'm looking for a couple documentaries by a man named KEN BURNS." He says the name slowly and carefully like he might say "DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?" And he might as well be saying exactly that.
"No." I don't say. "I have no idea who this exotic, unfamous person is you're talking about. Besides, we're a library. We only check out books."
For a talkative person sometimes I find I don't say much.