Greg's Reviews > Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian

Quiet, Please by Scott Douglas
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Apr 07, 08

bookshelves: biography, libraries
Read in April, 2008

A review where I find I'm writing more about myself than the book at hand, only because the farther along I read in the book the more I saw myself in the book -- which might not be the best way of reading a memoir.

When I first came across this book I thought 'oh cool - a book about being a librarian', then I thought it will be nice in the biography section with the other book that came out a few months ago about being a librarian, and I'll mean to read it and probably not, or at least until it comes out in paperback, and then maybe still forget about it. Then though I happened to open the book up to an early page and noticed first footnotes (and not that I would phrase it as a man-crush like the author does, I will admit being a complete sucker for David Foster Wallace (and Thomas Pynchon, but not Mark Twain who I avoid like the plague because of a horrible first experience with him at the hands of an incompetent English teacher)), which (I'm back on footnotes here) are an instant selling point to me and on the same page the story about trying to impress a librarian by reading Thomas Pynchon, only to find out the librarian thinks Pynchon is maybe some actor in a Julia Roberts movie. That's all I needed to see, the book went right on top of my to buy pile of books and actually made it out of the to buy pile in the first week it was there (no little feat let me tell you, books can live in that pile for quite awhile).
Parts of the book were a little disheartening, since I'm currently enrolled in Library School, and hearing some of the bad things about being a librarian, and the way he questioned his decision to become one and stuff, but as the book went on I found myself seeing that it's not so bad, and that a lot of the humorous horror stories he's relating could be lifted out of my own experiences working at the bookstore, with maybe a few little details changed (for example, he has a patron come up and tell him there is a man sleeping in a restroom stall, I had a woman come up to me and tell me there was a woman scratching her skin off in the ladies room, or perverts jerking off on the computers compared to some guy blowing his wad on a woman's leather jacket (while she was wearing it) in the Woman's Study aisle). Besides taking an amused solace in similar kinds of experience I also loved reading his short tales of going to Library School. I was also happy to find out that there is some kind of web-page out there for Librarians with Tattoos, it's nice to know that in the future I could belong to something bigger than myself.
I found the book to be overall really enjoyable, I'd recommend it to people, especially people who don't work in places where the homeless and crazy come to spend their days just for the wonderfully bizarre tales they bring with them.
Good stuff.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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The Crimson Fucker I found the book to be overall really enjoyable, I'd recommend it to people, especially people who don't work in places where the homeless and crazy come to spend their days just for the wonderfully bizarre tales they bring with them. Good stuff. <--- GUAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA I agree M. Creg... what kind of sick bastard goes to a book store to read books for free?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

love that you picked this up b/c of the footnotes.


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