Saturday, February 11, 2023
The Old Archbishop
I'm getting a late start this morning. I went out with some co-workers last night and wound up staying several hours and having four pints of beer, which for me is a lot. It was over a pretty long period of time and I did eat somewhere in there, but still, I am moving slowly this morning.
I asked my brother whether he sent the mystery postcard. He said, "That looks like something I would do but I can neither confirm or deny my involvement." I told him that sounded like a yes, and did he know if they were supposed to come regularly, because I didn't get a no. 1? He replied, "That I can neither confirm nor deny, but yes there was a 1. "
So the mystery of the sender is, if not definitively solved, at least somewhat clearer. The mystery of what happened to the No. 1 card, and whether or not I will ever get it, is still in question.
I spent yesterday doing more weeding in the library. Some of you asked about our criteria for weeding, or culling, old books. It's usually a mixture of condition, use (or under-use) and contents. We discard fiction books when they get too old or battered, or when we have too many copies (though our library seldom has more than two of any given book), or when they don't get borrowed. Non-fiction may get weeded when it contains outdated information. We normally do not pull books just because they're controversial. For example, I will not be weeding Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" anytime soon, except to replace an old copy with a newer one.
Anybody want a book on supernovas from 1989? Old science books, particularly about medicine or space, are ripe for culling, and I did get rid of that one. I'm thinking our knowledge of stars has probably advanced in the last 34 years. I also discarded a book about the marvel of the Hubble Space Telescope from 1993 and a book that touted a "new space station" due to open in the futuristic year of 2004.
A perfectly good book, content-wise, but this was a dreary copy. People say "don't judge a book by its cover," but the fact is, readers do -- and old, yellowed, tattered paperbacks with outdated cover art are not appealing. No kid, or adult for that matter, is going to want to read that.
We've had it in the library since January 1974! Richard Nixon was still president!
And as you can see, interest in this particular copy basically collapsed about 15 years ago. It had 14 checkouts or renewals in the '70s and '80s, and only five in the years since -- perhaps because it was looking more and more tired. I weeded it and we bought a fresh copy.
So, yeah, that's how weeding works. Aren't you glad you asked?
Dave and I made some last-minute changes to our Florida trip. My stepsister, who we'd planned to stay with for a few nights when we first land next Saturday, wrote to say that she's actually going to be in New Mexico next weekend (!). So Dave and I got a hotel in downtown Tampa and we'll stay there for two nights before I go up to Jacksonville and he goes to Bradenton. That way, I can see some Tampa friends and get rested before driving long distances.
(Top photo: A Japanese restaurant in West Hampstead.)