Friday, July 11, 2008

Make a Book Happy...Take It On Vacation

In a library, books go through a sort of aging process. Like newborns that eventually grow up and don't receive as much attention as their newer siblings, books can be overlooked. In fact, they can even be forgotten.

Imagine the life of a book. It comes into the library all shiny and new. Its pages are unmarked and its cover not splattered with labels. It lands on the New Fiction bookshelf for the first six months and enjoys wide popularity. People pick it up and look at it. They leaf through its pages. The lucky ones get taken home by various folks. The very lucky ones get taken on vacation.

But over the years, the book's popularity wanes. People don't take it out as much. Its sits on the shelf and occasionally gets picked up by a browser or somebody who loves its author.

I see once popular titles like "The Bridges of Madison County" by James Waller that have now developed a layer of dust. Like a puppy in a pet store, it strives to get noticed and taken home and, when it isn't, seems to despair that it will never go home with anyone.

You can help these lonely, once-popular-but-now-forgotten books. Pick up a bestseller from years ago. Browse the hard to see bottom and top shelves in the library. The books on these shelves are always forgotten because people don't look up or are too lazy to kneel on the floor.

Make an old book happy again. Read one! Take one to Bermuda! Just don't leave it on the plane.

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