Friday, 5 June 2009

Well, I wanted to write about a couple of the books that I've read this week that have really stayed with me, and today I'll write about The giant's house by Elizabeth McCracken. I can't remember where I heard about it but I chose to get a copy when I found out that it was about a librarian; as a librarian myself I love to see depictions of librarians, and I wasn't disappointed. There were lovely passages that really described how I feel sometimes (unsurprisingly perhaps since McCracken is a librarian)...
"Librarian (like Stewardess, Certified Public Accountant, Used Car Salesman) is one of those occupations that people assume attract a certain deformed personality"
"As a librarian, I longed to be acknowleged, even to be taken for granted. I sat at the desk, brimming with book reviews, information, warningsm all my good schooling, advice. I wanted people to constantly callously approach. But there were days nobody talked to me at all, they just walked to the shelves, and grabbed a book and checked out, said at most, thank you, and you're welcome when I thanked them first. I had gone to school to learn how to help them, but they believed I was simply a clerk who stamped the books".
Sad but true. Sometimes I wonder why I went to library school, and whether the people that I help realise that I have a first degree from Oxford and two professional qualifications. Sometimes I wonder why I bothered getting them.
The story too was a beautifully poignant story about the relationship that she develops with an 11 year old boy who grows up into the tallest man in the world. It's an unusual story and one that stays with you for a while.

A confession to make. Due to the hideous nature of Borders' online, I quite forgot that they still owed me two books. I remembered in the middle of the night and went along to collect them today; Making Conversation (a Persephone), and One Fine Day (Mollie Panter Downes). I also had a little indiscretion in Oxfam as I went past, picking up A start in life (Brookner) because it is about someone who loves books, and Zennor in darkness (Helen Dunmore), because I've wanted to read it for a while, it is set in Cornwall, and it was a lovely barely read Virago edition. I also picked up a book in the remainder shop for a friend (who turns out to have read it), The camel bookmobile, but it was only £ so doesn't matter too much! I have also ordered the latest two Greyladies titles (Clothes-pegs and Death on tiptoe) Unfortunately, I also recounted the to-be-read-book-case yesterday, and there were 85 books on it, so that now makes 90 (or 92 when the others arrive). I also realised that I have about 6 other books which are shelved elsewhere which I haven't read (because I love to have my Virago Daphne Du Maurier's together (I must write about book arrangement very soon)), plus 3 Angela Thirkells lent to me by my Mum and The Rector's Daughter loaned from a friend. Ho hum. Even I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed.


  1. As someone who wants to be a librarian, I'm very interested in the Elizabeth McCracke book. It's true, some people perceive librarians as clerks, which is very unfair.

    And oooh, Virago Du Mauriers! I look forward to you post on book arrangement :)

  2. Hi Nymeth, thanks for popping by. I'm interested that you want to be a librarian - it really is a great profession, even if I'm on a bit of a downer at the moment! I've written my post about arranging my books, but need to take some pics, and will make sure I get one of the DDM's...they are lovely!


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