Which Would You Like First, the Good News, or the Bad News?

Posted: August 22, 2007 in Hot Book News

Let’s just get the bad news out of the way first.

Hey, guess what? No one in America is reading anymore!

Once you’re done hyperventilating (take your time), check this out:


Here’s the back cover blurb on the proof copy the publisher sent me:

“Not long ago, the public library was a place for the bookish, the eggheaded, and the studious – often seeing refuge from a loud, irrational, crude outside world. Today, libraries have become free-for-all entertainment complexes filled with deviants, drugs, even sex toys.

What happened?

Don Borchert was a short-order cook, door-to-door salesman, telemarketer and Christmas-tree chopper before landing a job at a California library. He never could have predicted his encounters with the colorful kooks, bullies, and tricksters who fill the pages of this hilarious memoir.

In ‘Free for All,’ Borchert offers readers a ringside seat to the unlikely spectacle of mayhem and absurdity that is business as usual at the public library. You’ll see cops bust drug dealers who’ve set up shop in the men’s room; witness a burka-wearing employee suffer a curse-ridden nervous breakdown; and meet a lonely, neglected kid who grew up in the library and still sends postcards to his surrogate parents – the librarians. In fact, from the first page of this comic debut to the last, you’ll learn everything about the world of the modern-day library that you never expected.”

Ooookay. Drug busts at the library. Back in my day, I assumed the biggest worry of the average librarian was either paper cuts, from gluing in those due date slips, or maybe some sort of repetitive motion affliction, from stamping all the dates. I never thought about them coming under the line of fire, as cops surrounded the place.

That’s pretty cool!

And I’m starting library school next month. I wonder if they’ll include courses on drug sniffing dogs and the art of self defense?

I’ll have been here at Algonquin two years come September 12ish, and so far the worst thing I’ve seen came from the patron who decided the large print area was the ideal place to go “big potty.” Now that was pretty foul, but not particularly life-threatening. But then again, I wasn’t the one cleaning it up, either.

The mind boggles. But at least now I know it won’t ever be boring.


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