I’m going for a Halloween theme this week, which isn’t easy. After all, when you check this blog, don’t you think “Trick? Or treat?” But there have been a few horror stories this month.
ZOMBIES: I don’t know where one of our donors stored these books, but I’d like to find out, so I make sure I never put anything there. A touch of mold is not new to me, but one of the books had actually begun to rot away completely at the bottom. The books next to this one had an unhealthy grey complexion, so I sent them all to recycling. I don’t know whether I’d rather see a movie about these old textbooks walking by night and forcing former students to read them, or think about evil vampire books made of paper recycled from these zombies of the book world.
NIGHTMARES ON OAK STREET II: Someone threatened me with 100 boxes of books, but they turned out to be primarily boxes about one foot square, lessening the shock. Somebody else asked if I could pick up 10,000 books her neighbor needs to clean out. That’s TWO horror stories: first, that someone might want me to pick up 10,000 books and second: that I might have a neighbor like that one day.
SLASHERS: A nice collection of books came in, but the value was limited because the previous owner had carefully cut his or her name out of every one of them. I’ve mentioned this kind of book mutilation before, haven’t I? If you’re that ashamed of having owned the book, you shouldn’t have put your name in it in the first place.
BIRDS: Something rather large was flapping around the ceiling when I came to work one day last week. I occasionally get sparrows, and that’s pretty frightening, because there are lots of places for them to hide, and they WILL not get the idea that they need to leave, even when I open the back doors and turn all the lights out. (I have customers like that, too.) But this was a large and very frightened curlew of some kind, and though I understood his panic, it is hard to have sympathy when the owner of a beak that long is not careful where it’s going. He didn’t like my looks (I have customers like that as well.) but we eventually split the room evenly: I had the inside and he took the outside.
He was quicker on the uptake about the back door than the average sparrow, at that. Sparrows sometimes take a couple of hours, and I have to resort to meowing at them. Yeah. Go to bed tonight with THAT image in your head.