Friday, October 30, 2009
I try not to fetishize books. I work in a library, right? Surrounded by books. And by the third time you've helped shift the entire nonfiction collection, books have come to look and feel a lot like bricks. Heavy. Oblong. Kind of filthy.
When I was in library school, I had already worked in several libraries. And when I heard some of my MLS classmates pipe up with, "I want to be a librarian because I love books!" I would look at my feet and make a sympathetic little face. I already knew that the books are only part of the job. Most of the job is (oh my god you sweet little bookworm you are in for an extremely unpleasant shock on your first day of work) people. Brr.
On the other hand, it's not like I became a librarian because I am indifferent to books. Books, after all, are neither demanding nor rude. They don't usually smell. If a book is not interesting, you can close it and put it down. You try that with an uninteresting person, and now it's you being rude.
So, it's a significant daily pleasure for me to scan the New Books cart that we keep in the office at work. I get to browse, flip through, and in some cases, I admit, caress the big fabulous fancy things that I could never afford to buy. Art books. Big gorgeous bird books. Images of eternity.
I've been blurbing the most interesting of these on Facebook, and recently added them all to Goodreads, under the category "your neighborhood librarian's fetish books". You can see the entire list here.
I'm not saying, "GO! Marvel at my taste!" I'm actually saying "The holidays are coming! These are good gift ideas!" I already recommended that my friend Josh buy Renaissance Secrets: Recipes and Formulas for his wife, so that she can make anti-poison potions and glass. I myself am likely to snare New York City Museum of Complaint for my husband, who misses NYC like he would miss a limb. The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death is an orgy of pleasure for aficionados of crime, mysteries, and/or dollhouses.
There's a wide range of nonfiction on this list, from classics like In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made by my late favorite professor Norm Cantor (old man, I hope your afterlife finds you on a balcony outside Tel Aviv, watching the sea and eating oranges) to seriously trashy skeeve like High Glitz: The Extravagant World of Child Pageants or The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll. I cannot look away from either of those books, even though I know they're wrong.
And in case you question my deployment of the word "fetish" (and hi, Japanese porn sites! You're already leaving unwelcome comments courtesy a previous post's use of the phrase "hairless teen," so I might as well give you more of what you're looking for!) (Thanks are due to Token Boy, for identifying the offending term. Kind of more quickly than his new bride might be comfortable with), there really is plenty of porn on this list. Travel porn. Design porn. Food porn. Porn porn (Lotsa naked models in that one. Just because they're shot all arty doesn't mean they're not sexy).
Books. Sexy. Fetishy. Kind of expensive. "Hairless teen". "Orgy of pleasure"! I should really go back to writing about the garden, shouldn't I? I am just asking for perverts and trolls. Hi, trolls! Enjoy my parentheses! Read good books!