Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Everybody's A Critic
I've mentioned that I'm cleaning out and cataloging the books in our library conference room. They're housed in glass bookcases and, to be honest, mostly serve a decorative function. They're generally older volumes that were either donated to us or used to be in circulation and were discarded. (I think "Clarissa" may be going there shortly!)
No one ever reads these books. But we wanted to know what we had back there, and maybe make up a list, in case someone asks for something and it happens to be available there. We could then check it out to them.
(This begs the question, why don't we just put them all in the general catalog -- and I admit I've asked myself that!)
Anyway, this is a long lead-up to showing you this particular book, which I found yesterday. It spent a few decades in the collection, was last checked out in 1995, and then discarded and added to the conference room shelves, I suppose because of its rather antiquated appearance.
I found this note inside the back cover...
Everybody's a critic! I think this must have been written some time in the '90s, don't you? That seems like a very '90s speech pattern. (If you're really motivated to see for yourself how "interesting" the book is, there's a copy available on Amazon UK for just 42 pence!)
Most of what's in the conference room are old classics, many of them big Heritage Press editions with fancy covers -- the kinds of books that are designed to look good on bookcases. Curiously, a lot of them we don't have in the general collection -- Melville's "Typee" and "Omoo," for example, or Max Beerbohm's "Zuleika Dobson." So that's why a list will be good to have -- on the chance, however slim, that some future high school student shows up with a burning desire to read "Zuleika Dobson."
Hey, it could happen!