Friday, August 24, 2018
Perception and reality
Because of the fact that for any hour I'm allotted to shelve I more or less screw around for half of that time, I am generally eager to make an impression with my shelving within the narrow time limits I have left to me. So I take my cart, teeming with books, up to the library stacks. And I set a sort of quota in my mind. Let's say, for instance, my quota is to get a whole cart of non fiction books shelved. I can just do this if I concentrate, and recently had a coffee, and don't need to write a blog post. So I set to work and then I see it.
A wall full of painful shelving errors.
Or maybe little stacks of abandoned books scattered throughout my shelving area.
Or often enough both.
And this brings up a kind of dilemma in my mind:
I could clean up, reshelve, and fix everything, but go downstairs with half a cart of unshelved books, which looks shabby and incomplete and not very productive. Or I could ignore all our shabby chaos, which totally wasn't my fault, tear through my cart, and go back downstairs looking like a Prince.
And then, in the midst of this debate, I remember both the curse and providence of my work here:
No one really, deep down, gives a fuck what anyone does here.
So I put all the books back in order. And I reshelve all the stuff abandoned in the aisles. And I shelve half a cart of books, or maybe a little less if I find something interesting to read, which I always do.