Tuesday, August 16, 2011

VINTAGE BOOK : I Want To Be a Librarian (first installment)

          I'm not sure where I picked up this discarded old library book, but I find it charming and amusingly lame. And kind of sad in this day and age when I bet there are fewer and fewer people who want to be librarians, considering all the budget cuts and layoffs happening in our public library systems!
          I will transcribe the text of the book faithfully, and leave my snarky comments in red.

I want to be a LIBRARIAN

by Carla Greene
illustrations by Frances Eckart

copyright 1960, Childrens Press USA

     Jane walked toward the library.
               That is an ACTION-PACKED opening sentence.
     She had never been inside the library.
     "I wish Joe had come with me," she thought.
     Joe was Jane's big brother.
     He would not come to the library.
     He had a fine new boat.
               Wait, what? What does his boat have to do with anything? Oh, I get it- he doesn't want to come to the library because he's too busy "playing with his fine new boat." But doesn't that sound like a non sequitur at first? And then it sounds like a euphemism.
Maybe Jane can help out this angry, stupid little girl who got her dress caught in the door.
     Jane went up to the door of the library.
     She read what it said on the door.

STORY HOUR
9-10

     Then she opened the door and went in.
               Where are her parents? Do they know where she is? What if instead of walking toward the library she had walked toward the old abandoned lumber mill where the crazy homeless men hang out getting drunk? Somebody needs to keep an eye on this girl.
"Miss Brown, if I join your story time will I be able to turn my head 180 degrees around as if I'm possessed by the devil, like that little boy there?"
     "What a nice room," thought Jane.
     There were books and pictures everywhere.
               No shit, Jane, it's a LIBRARY.
     Boys and girls sat in a half-circle.
               In the center was a freshly-slaughtered goat lying upon a pentagram.
     Miss Brown was the librarian.
     She smiled at Jane.
     "Come and sit here," she said.
     Miss Brown told a story that Jane liked.
     It was about a boy who had many animal friends.
               It took place in Mexico, and the boy particularly liked donkeys.
     "I want to read all the animal books in the library," said Jane.
     Miss Brown smiled.
               "That's stupid, dear."
     "That will take you a long time. There are many animal books here."
               "And many people who enjoy doing things with animals, Jane."
     "May I have a library card of my own?" asked Jane.
     "Yes," said Miss Brown.
     "Write your name here and take this card to your mother. Bring it back next week. Then I will give you your card."
               Next WEEK? I think Miss Brown must spend a lot of time sitting around on her bony ass when she should be processing library card applications.
I actually find this picture very pleasing, and just look at how dear and polite little Jane is!

She had heard many good things about a new book called "Go the Fuck To Sleep..."

     "I like dog stories," said Jane.
     Miss Brown showed Jane some drawers full of cards.
     "Let's look at the cards with the word DOG at the top. These cards have the names of books about dogs. See the number on each card. That tells me where to find the book."
               "Whoa, Miss Brown. You lost me at 'drawers full of cards,'" said Jane.
This illustration would make no sense at all to most kids now.


Stay tuned for the next scandalous installment of "I Want To Be a Librarian," in which Jane hears filthy rumors about her beloved Miss Brown. -ed

2 comments:

  1. You are hilarious. The book is sickeningly saccharine (redundant but true). Your commentary makes it tolerable. Thanks Tommy. Keep me laughing.

    Oh, by the way, do I still get a TK original bookmark?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, totally! I forgot about the bookmark- thanks for reminding me! :)

    ReplyDelete