Saturday, October 28, 2017

Librarians Gone Wild

I went out with my library colleagues last night after work. One of them organized a "Librarians Gone Wild" evening at a bar and restaurant near Farringdon. She investigated literary-themed restaurants and when she saw a picture of this table online, with its comforting womb-like enclosure of books, she immediately decided, "That's the place!"

Actually getting this table proved to be a bit of a challenge. She asked for it when she made her reservation and explained that we were librarians, but when we got to the restaurant the hostess was reluctant to give it to us. (Apparently it seats 10, and we were only six.) She seated us in two different places before the manager intervened and gave us the book table after all. Victory!

We had a great time, and eventually managed to both break a glass and spill wine on ourselves.

A casual evening out is an excellent bonding activity!

On the way home I snapped this picture of West Hampstead's rather forbidding Billy Fury Way, a footpath between West End Lane and Finchley Road. It's well-lit at night (as you can see on the left) but I would still do my best to avoid walking it after dark. And the mural, unfortunately, remains defaced after someone tagged it with graffiti earlier this year. One of the grittier corners of our little neighborhood!


  1. Is one of your work colleagues a polar bear? I am only asking as there appears to be a polar bear mitt in the bottom lefthand corner of the picture. I think it has been declawed.

  2. I can't seem to figure out how that book table works. Plus? It looks like a six or eight top to me. Ten would be crowding it! Are the books stacked/piled behind the table like a wall?
    Whatever, it all sounds like great fun and I'm heartily in favor of anything that includes Librarians Going Wild!

  3. I'm glad you got the table but those books must be glued down otherwise wild librarians would have knocked them to the floor.

  4. That is such a cool setup of books. I'm glad you were able to be seated there with your fellow librarians.

  5. Very neato book table. I was wondering about that furry thing too. And I'm with you: I definitely would avoid that footpath after dark. Even with the lighting it looks scary.

  6. Oh dear, am I the only one who feels sorry for the books? Only because, well, I write books, and it pains me to think that one of mine might be used as decor rather than, you know, a beloved memento, lifelong cherished reading experience, heirloom, etc. Once or twice on my career as cult author/spokesperson for my generation I've received a note from a new reader who tells me that they found my book in a thrift shop, and OK, they loved it, but still: why do you h ave to tell me you found it as a hand-me-down, used and tossed away, in a thrift shop?? One reader even gloated that she only paid $1.00 for my book that took three miserable years of my life to write. Great. That makes me feel great. Just great.

    If the books are by Patterson or Dan Brown, who have millions upon millions of copies out in the world, then it's OK to use them for wallpaper. Guys like that can cry all the way to the bank.

  7. I guess every community has it's gritty side. That graffiti on the mural is certainly a crime. It looks like it was a very nice portrait. I love the bookish table. It's a clever idea. It sounds like you had a fun evening.

  8. Wow! I love that table. That sounds like a really good time! :)

  9. I used to go out to eat with coworkers sometimes & I always got embarrassed if things got rowdy. So I would have been hiding under the table when you broke the glass - ha!

  10. YP: Yeah, I have no explanation for the fur. And there were a few too many pillows on that banquette, too.

    Ms Moon: Dave said the same thing! But there really are ten places set there. Whether they'd fit comfortably is another matter.

    Ellen: We didn't test the book wall, which curves around the banquette from the floor and then arches a bit overhead. The books must be fastened down somehow.

    Robin: We were glad too! It's funny how something like a special table can really make a difference in the evening.

    Catalyst: There are sometimes suspicious characters lurking along that footpath, drinking and hanging out. It's a sketchy place, no doubt.

    Vivian: Actually, I said something to my coworkers along those lines. Like, "Wouldn't it be a drag to be an author and find your book in this stack, basically being used as a brick?!" Most of them seemed to be popular books by popular authors -- I definitely saw a Bill Bryson in there. (And I love his books!) As for the reader finding your book in a thrift shop, I guess the important thing is that they found it, and found it sufficiently interesting to buy it! Now they'll be in the market to get your next one at retail prices!

    Sharon: Yeah, it was a good mural and I'm surprised they haven't repaired it. I guess the tag is so big that the art is irretrievable.

    Jennifer: Yeah, we had a lot of fun. Surprisingly we never get to do this -- just hang out together.

    Bug: Ha! We have one coworker who is a bit like you in that respect, and we gave her official permission to leave early in the evening. I think she missed the broken glass part!

  11. Am loving that wall of books! How amazing

  12. "Librarians gone wild" - isn't that an oxymoron?! Just kidding.

    I love that booth!