Friday, January 5, 2007


My Minders have finally sorted me out a library card as I would have had some difficulty in furnishing the utility bills, passport, character references, DNA sample etc required to enable me to lend up to 12 items at any one time including 4 DVDs or music CDs. Honestly! It's easier to open a fraudulent bank account or to obtain a bogus passport. Believe me.

I love libraries. They are shrines to anonymity. And I suppose I can forgive my local one for following the trend to devote half the available space to a creche, a Blockbusters outlet and a typing pool. And the ubiquitous reference section which I presume is required under some statutory provision to hold the serried volumes of Halsbury's Laws of England and Meetings of Thanet District Council's Highways Committee.

But there are still books to read although these seemed to be arranged under the Hueyduey'odecimal system favoured by the second hand bookstores hereabouts. There are sections for "fiction" and "non-fiction" (no "facts" here Mr Gradgrind). Fiction is helpfully alphabetically arranged by author unless it is in "Science Fiction", "Adventure", "Crime", "Westerns" "Horror", "Historical" "Humour" or "Romance" which covers a fair old bit of the literary spectrum. Or it is by Dickens or Thackeray or Eliot (George or T.S.) etc in which case it is displayed museum style only lacking the admonishment "Do Not Handle The Exhibits". Non-Fiction is more orderly, as it should be, with sections labelled History/Science/Travel etc. But with the labels often at knee or shin height some migration and confusion is inevitable and could explain why Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" was in Cookery and Darwin's "Voyage of the Beagle" in Pets.

In the end I adopted a Vordermanesque approach taking one from the top two from the middle and one from the bottom. Yippee! A biography of our very own Chas!

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