Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Library Quotes

A description of the library at Brakebills from Lev Grossman's The Magicians.

"Quentin had spent very little time in the Brakebills library. Hardly anybody did if they could help it... To make matters worse, some of the books had actually become migratory. In the nineteenth century Brakebills had appointed a librarian with a highly Romantic imagination who had envisioned a mobile library in which the books fluttered from shelf to shelf like birds, reorganizing themselves spontaneously under their own power in response to searches. For the first few months the effect was said to have been quite dramatic. A painting of the scene survived as a mural behind the circulation desk, with enormous atlases soaring around the place like condors.
"But the system turned out to be totally impractical. The wear and tear on the spines alone was too costly, and the books were horribly disobedient. The librarian had imagined he could summon a given book to perch on his hand just by shouting out its call number, but in actuality they were just too willful, and some were actively predatory. The librarian was swiftly deposed, and his successor set about domesticating the books again, but even now there were stragglers, notably in Swiss History and Architecture 300-1399, that stubbornly flapped around near the ceiling. Once in a while an entire sub-sub-category that had long been thought safely dormant would take wing with an indescribable papery susurrus."

Pages 127-128. Published by Viking in 2009.
(susurrus: a whispering or rustling sound, according to Merriam Webster, yeah I had to look that one up.)

I'm about halfway through right now, but will have to put the book on hold for a little while due to school work. More thorough book review to come once I've finished.

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