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Lost in my library …

December 8, 2022

While I have been unwell and then recovering from ‘flu’ not COVID apparently, and between poorly episodes I have been contemplating and reading or at least looking at books. I was not and remain reluctant to meet the outside world or even the internet, so it has been off the bookshelf for the last few days (why change habits of a lifetime?) After reading about a poem by Frank O’Hara in the newspaper last week I thought I might read a little more from my copy of Lunch Poems, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was a librarian; it should be in the poetry section, shouldn’t it?  But no, misfiled? So, I searched everywhere and assumed it has been mistakenly culled last year. I was considering its replacement but even second handbooks are expensive.

Then encouraged by another prompt I looked for other book I knew I had ‘somewhere, but I could not find that either.  It was a graphic novel by Lizzy Stewart, I have been buying and collecting graphic novels for a couple of years so I suppose they should have a shelf of their own, but I thought it might be just a passing phase and the ‘problem’ would solve itself. Instead, the collection grew, and it became increasingly difficult to categorise. Yes, they are graphic novels and probably located in Waterstones amongst the comic books, but the subject matter is vast I cannot for instance put a book about Woody Guthrie (music)and even that is debatable or Georgia O’Keefe (art) beside a book about a Siberian prison camp (which incidentally I have filed near my poetry books as it has reference to haiku)   I say near because of it size; that it another cataloguing dilemma folio or quarto? Its okay to have separate shelves for larger books in a vast library building … my tiny house is full to the gunnels!

So, this story goes a long way to explain, I did find both books in my ‘walking’ shelves Lizzy Stewart’s book is called Walking distance and by co-incidence beside Frank O’Hara’s called Lunch Poems and the poems are written while taking a lunch break during a walk in Manhattan.  While I marvel at my logic sometimes, I am in despair but not yet ready to digitalise!

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