reviews: books: Librarians engaging in “personal intercourse.” #librarydayinthelife

0451209710 Day in the life of Lisa, the MLIS candidate:

  • 8:30: Up, walk the dogs, shower, and get ready for the day
  • 9:45: Leave and take Mumsy to the doctors
  • 10:15: Leave doctors and grab breakfast
  • 11:20: Drop Mumsy off, grab stuff for the afternoon
  • 12:00-15:00: Interview two ref librarians and then study for the remainder of the time at the downtown branch of the library
  • 15:00-15:45: Come home, walk the dogs, drop off some stuff and grab additional stuff for the evening
  • 15:45-19:20: Drive to Holland, get hair did and head back to GR to the library
  • 19:20-20:55: Study at the downtown library
  • 21:00- now: Eat dinner, walk the dogs, do Mumsy’s laundry, wax eyebrows and catch up on email/Internets stuff.
  • 00:00: Roughly – bed!

Let it be known that librarians apparently have a very dirty sense of humour. How so, one may ask? In one of the textbooks that I’m currently reading for a class, the author suggests that “librarians engage in
personal intercourse with clientèle in order to improve services.” The quotes around “personal intercourse” is included in the book and the quote is a direct quote from the text. I have gone back and re-read that sentence numerous times in the last few days because I have the maturity of a 12 year old boy and that he (the author) MUST have some idea of what he’s saying? Right? No, he doesn’t. The text continues for several more chapters in this totally dry and academic tone. Dude, C’MON!

I’ve started collecting, in a manner of speaking, books on or about librarians, regardless of their usage — whether academic, fictional or what have you. I found The Dewey Decimal System of Love the other day and after reading the description AND reading the first chapter online, I knew I had to have it. This despite the fact that almost every reviewer talked about how horribly wretched it is. But I read the first chapter and thought, “It can’t be THAT bad” and ordered it anyway.

I’m vaguely regretting the decision.

WIthin the first few pages of the chapter, our heroine Allison (“Ally” to her friends — which tends to get confusing when her goddaughter is also named Ally (after her of course) and the author refers to both as “Ally” on the same page…), is visiting her best friend and her family when the said best friends announces that Ally MUST try breastfeeding the best friend’s son. Say whowhatsit? Now, Ally (the elder) is 40 years old, hasn’t had sex in 15 years (something she repeatedly tells you, you know, in case you have forgotten from the last mention several sentences ago) and has never had children. Her best friend keeps insisting Ally MUST try it as it will form an impregnable bond. And the best friend insists that her husband has also has tried breastfeeding the kid, ergo, Ally must try too. So, the 40 year old almost but not quite a virgin does what is set up to do: Lifts her shirt and pops her breast into the kid’s mouth. Not only does this image disturb me but it also renders me to ask, WHAT THE FLYING FUCK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? It has NOTHING to do with the book or the “plot,” so who in their right mind thought this was effing necessary to include?

Clearly, I’m disturbed enough by this image to pass it along to you.

You’re welcome.

The book, overall, is as bad as described, but it is misleading in that the first few pages offered online are not as terrible as the book suggests it is. The author, Josephine Carr, gives the heorine the stereotype of the “uptight and yet sexy librarian” complete with glasses perched on pointed nose, long tumbling auburn hair that is consistently held up in a French twist and body that is taunt but aging. (She is 40 after all.) Ally, of course, falls in love with the conductor of the local symphony and plots her way to getting into his life (without his wife’s obvious notice, of course) while engaging in “harmless” flirting with her boss, who happens to be overly gorgeous and into Ally — even though after working together for 15 years, he has yet to ask her out or etc. We all know how the book is going to end, one doesn’t have to skip to the final chapter to get to that part, but with a book called Dewey Decimal System of Love, what the hell was I expecting?

Here is to hoping that Casanova Was a Librarian, albeit an academic book, will not prove to be as disappointing. I hope.

Now Listening: Girl Talk – Give Me A Beat
Now Reading:  The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr