Tag Archives: libraries

Marvin Goes To The Library

Remember Marvin, the desperately depressed robot from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy?

Well, I just witnessed an interaction with a real life “Marvin” (or perhaps “Mavis”, since she was female).

I was in the library avoiding the chaos of the house construction to work on Book 12, when an elderly lady came in accompanied by a younger woman.  It was unclear whether the younger woman was her daughter or merely a hapless stand-in, but in any case their mission was to get some audiobooks for “Mavis” (the older woman).

Mavis was blessed with one of those voices that is perfectly pitched to carry with maximum efficiency – quite an attractive voice, but very… audible.  And she had one of those dry British accents:  the kind where you suspect the speaker is making fun of you but you can’t respond in kind because you’re not certain.

So I couldn’t help overhearing.

It started as soon as Mavis came in the door:  “My daughter got me a bunch of books but they’re all science fiction and I hate science fiction.”

I missed the first bit of the exchange because I didn’t immediately recognize the comedic value, but here’s a transcript of the conversation after I started paying attention:

Daughter:  “…How about Robert Ludlum?”

Mavis:  “I don’t like Robert Ludlum – I never understood the Bourne thing.”

Daughter:  “How about Danielle Steele or Debbie Macomber?”

Mavis:  “I don’t like girly books.”

Daughter: *Reads off a title, something about joy*

Mavis:  “I don’t fancy that; I don’t have any of my own.”

Daughter:  *reads off another title:  Ten Steps To (something)*

Mavis:  “Well, I don’t believe in that.”

Daughter:  *reads off *A doctor’s guide to (something)*

Mavis:  “Pooh.  It’s too late for me.”

Daughter:  “This one’s about Zimbabwe…”

Mavis:  “Oh, no, I don’t want to read that.”

Daughter:  “Well, do you have any authors that you’re interested in?”

Mavis:  “No, not really.”

Daughter:  “Do you like Shakespeare?”

Mavis:  “No.”

Daughter:  “This one’s about the Persian war…”

Mavis:  “I don’t like old stuff like that.”

Daughter:  “How about…”

Mavis:  “Are those scary? I don’t like scary stuff.”

Daughter:  You said you like biographies; here’s one about Oprah…”

Mavis:  “I don’t like Oprah.”

Daughter:  “Here’s Marley and Me; it’s about a dog…”

Mavis:  “I’m not into dogs.”

Daughter:  “Would you like this one?”

Mavis:  “No, probably not.  Well, I’ll take it anyway.  I’m getting tired.”

Daughter:  “Here’s a book on end of life…”

Mavis:  “Oh, good, maybe it’ll tell me how to end it.”

*

I fully expected her to moan, “Oh, what’s the use?” in Marvin’s gloomy tones.

And then…

Super-Librarian to the rescue!  In only a few short minutes, the brilliant middle-aged librarian determined Mavis’s interests and loaded her up with biographies of Katharine Hepburn and Steve Martin, and an account of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  Mavis brightened visibly.

As they moved toward the checkout counter, Mavis’s voice receded:  “You know, I enjoy biographies.  I liked the Schwarzenegger one.”

Librarian:  “You like Schwarzenegger?”

Mavis:  “Oh, yes!”

So, just in case there was any doubt… librarians rock.  But Mavis’s over-the-top gloom and doom gave me my chuckle for the day!

P.S. If I ever get that negative, please remind me of Mavis – it’s sure to make me laugh.

 

 

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Filed under Humour, Life

What My Library Says

A little while ago, I ran across a link to the website of artist Nina Katchadourian, and I was instantly captivated by her Sorted Books project.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I decided to play, too.

But first, a disclaimer:  Obviously, she’s an artist and I’m not.  Her books are beautifully arranged and photographed, the subjects are carefully chosen, and the whole thing is a meaningful artistic expression.

I’m just a copycat, and a poor one at that.  My photography sucks, my arrangements look like they were stacked by an inebriated orangutan, and my subjects are distinctly low-brow.

But I’m a rabid book lover, and I’m endlessly fascinated by the variety of titles we all have stockpiled on our shelves.  And besides, this was fun!

Here’s what I came up with from my personal shelves:
In the “Philosophical” category…

Some days...

Some days…

I usually feel this way about half-way through writing a novel.

I usually feel this way about half-way through writing a novel.

In the “Contradictory Advice” category…

So... what am I supposed to do?

So… what am I supposed to do?

In the “Okay, That Makes Sense” category…

Sounds like a standard action-movie plot...

Sounds like a standard action-movie plot…

Can anybody else relate?  P.S. "In A Fix" is by my blogging buddy Linda Grimes - check it out!

Can anybody else relate? P.S. “In A Fix” is by my blogging buddy Linda Grimes – check it out!

Seems like a natural progression to me.

Seems like a natural progression to me.

In the “I’ve Got A Dirty Mind” category…

'Nuff said. But check out "Trousering Your Weasel" by another blogging buddy, Murr Brewster!

‘Nuff said. But check out “Trousering Your Weasel” by another blogging buddy, Murr Brewster!

When you find a title like "In The Wet", it's hard to avoid saying something inappropriate...

When you find a title like “In The Wet”, it’s hard to avoid saying something inappropriate…

In the “What Was IN Those Brownies?” category…

Aaaawww... man... now I've got the munchies...

Aaaawww… man… now I’ve got the munchies…

And in the “Lines Forms Here” category…

...and if you really believe you'll find such a thing... please take a number.

…and if you really believe you’ll find such a thing… please take a number.

The line forms to the left - please, no pushing!

The line forms to the left – please, no pushing!

What is your library saying?

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Filed under Writing