Saturday, February 09, 2008

Apparently I'm not the only one

From the moment I first learned to read, I've been a bookworm. (There's a word I haven't heard in a long time: bookworm.) I've read zillions of books, though I must confess without much discipline. I could so relate to Wolf Larsen in Jack London's The Sea Wolf when the narrator, Humphrey Van Weyden, says something to the effect that he is surprised to find that Larsen is so well-read, but also surprised by how random his reading has been. "Hump's" implication is that this has somehow interfered with Larsen's ability to think critically. I have to add that this is probably the only thing Wolf Larsen and I have in common, except perhaps that we are both atheists.

Today, I have more money to buy books than I have time to read them, but when I was young, it was the other way around, and so I was a frequent customer of the library. It helped that the town library was literally next door to my grade school. I could walk over and check out a book during recess, and I often did, returning it the next day. The Laconia Public Library -- a wonderful building -- still makes an appearance from time to time in my dreams.

So why bring this up? Because this was the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon on GoComics yesterday, and it struck a chord in my soul that I had long forgotten:

Calvin Fears the Librarian

When I was young, I was terrified of librarians. I still fear them to some degree. And, apparently, I'm not the only one. Calvin, at least, shares my fear. Why do we feel that way? What is it about librarians -- quiet people, after all, who are overwhelmingly female -- that allows them to project such an aura of authority? The librarian frowns at you -- she never looks, she always frowns -- from behind her desk, and your insides go deathly cold. The librarian is ruthless. Kneecapping? Yeah, I can see it.

Now, okay, before I start a range war, I need to say that I know librarians are actually warm and helpful people, and I enormously admire the heroic librarians who stood up for our civil liberties in the face of the speciously-named Patriot Act. I'm not asking why librarians are ruthless, because I know they aren't. I'm only asking why we perceive them to be ruthless. Calvin and me, at least.

Labels: ,

it's the crap pay. that would make anyone a perpetual grumpypuss.

well that and the superiority that comes from a librarian's level of knowledge.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?