So I’m thinking about books and research, as I’m driving back home from turning in yet another handful of library books, several of which were brought to me via the courtesy of Interlibrary Loan — a true lifesaver for me, in regards to getting some of the less well-known works which I’m reading for either class texts or dissertation proposal research. Consider this a shout-out of gratitude to the San Jose Public Library system, which is linked with the San Jose University library as well, thereby marvelously expanding their collection!
My housemates have been real troopers too, in that they have allowed me to borrow library books using their cards as well as mine. This was enormously helpful during my two comps classes, when I had to check out, read, and review — and manage, since if I accidentally got an overdue book fine it was my responsibility, not theirs — about 35 books per three-month semester. I get my brain candy from the library too, which is a financial blessing in that I don’t have to pay for a book which I’ll tear through in about an hour or three to relax, then likely be done with forever — since I tend to only read those once.
So I’m still driving, and considering all this as I drive: via the miracle of the internet, when I call for them, these marvelous books come from all over the country to me! It is thanks to the internet also that I can so easily find the varied, unusual, and sometimes eclectic works I need; I can likely count on one hand the number of times the vast and wondrous US interlibrary loan system has failed me. Further, I’ve had these books, magazines, and articles being placed on hold for me, checked out to me, reviewed by me, and returned by me for… goodness, it’s been well over five years now! That means for the past five years I’ve had anywhere from one to 15 books stacked on my desk in the library book spot, so I don’t misplace them — though that is not a perfect system, since they do tend to wander with me while I’m reading them. Nevertheless, there is no dust or random other-stuff in that always-filled spot of my often-messy desk.
Except, it just occurs to me… for today. For the first time in all these years I picked up all the books to return. There are no library books sitting at home waiting for me. I am… library-bookless!
Can you DO that?!
Uh-oh. Should I turn right around and drive back to the library and hastily check out a book, so my academic-street-cred remains untarnished? Or… wait, wait! I have four books on hold! It’s hardly my fault the system lagged a bit in book transport to me, right? Okay, good — I should still be in good with the academia-nut crowd. If anyone gives me a hassle before at least one of those books arrives, I can always loftily inform them that my sadly library-bookless condition is merely symptomatic of the epistemological ramifications of oligarchic violence produced and maintained by and within the consumerist industrial-war system — then make my escape behind that shield of impenetrable verbal nonsense.
Whew, that was close! :)