I am finding it rather amusing that the day I reference Nicholson Baker in a post is the day I spent doing the librarian chore he so abhors: throwing away books. Yes, that's right, sometimes I throw out books. Shock, horror! It is the dirty little secret of librarianship. Yes, I know, "every book, its reader
", but some books reach a point where that just isn't true any longer, and you have to chuck them. I feel no guilt for not trying to find a home for medical textbooks that are over twenty years old. Or ten-year old first aid guides. In some cases, that can be worse than nothing. So out they go.
One of my biggest complaints about Baker is his tone, the impression he leaves that librarians are gleefully cackling over the books and newspapers they throw away
. But I have to admit, there was something satisfying about getting rid of these. Most of them were already "deselected" from another library. They were of no use there, and they are of no use here. And they were too advanced for our programs anyway. No, their time had come. The empty space can be better filled by other things.