Monday, December 19, 2011

The Nerve!!

I am reading a book.  This is not surprising.  I am almost always in the middle of a book.  In fact, there are several books that I have been in the middle of for some years now, so it would be much more incredible if I were to suddenly claim that I have nothing to read.

This particular book, The Greater Journey, by David McCullough, is exactly the kind of book that I might find myself in the middle of for a good decade.  I am a dedicated fiction reader with no hope of cultivating the intellectual fortitude to read history books.  I buy them, of course, but mostly I use them to make my bookshelves look smart.  But I'm actually reading this one. And it was while I was reading page 69 this morning (I'm now on page 102--see? I really am reading it) that I came across something that made my blood boil:

Can you see it?  Some boneheaded Philistine prior reader "fixed" the word 'her' so that it would read 'his.' Not even a margin note questioning the accuracy of the word, but an actual change to the text.  How very thoughtful.

Did I mention that this is a library book?

Aha!  Now you see.  It is an outrage perpetrated against public property!! I am incensed, as-- I'm sure you'll agree-- any right thinking person should be.  Not only did this vandal adjust the text of a book he does not own in ink, the stupid bugger got it wrong, which becomes more apparent if you actually turn the page and continue reading before you start editing library books.

I am at a loss for a suitable punishment, although the suspension of borrowing privileges for conduct unbecoming a library patron would be a good start.  Maybe that should be coupled with a "wanted" poster at the circulation desk, just like the FBI posters you see at the post office, warning people not to let this person borrow their books. Or, and I'm just brainstorming here, an elite team of special library operatives could sneak into his house, open up his books, and randomly change words here and there.  They might even move a few of his bookmarks for good measure.  HA!

In any case, I'm going to keep reading and I'll keep my eye out for other transgressions.  Maybe I'll even find the clue that leads to the capture of this criminal.  Then I'll be famous for saving the entire library collection from further defacement by this good-for-nothing.   Who knew history books could be so exciting?

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