• One of my colleagues recently posted an intriguing question on my favorite Facebook Librarian hangout: “If you were being sold in a library book sale, which table would you be on?”

    She had her first response within seconds:

    Damaged.

    Quickly followed by:

    Mystery!

    Adventure.

    Bible stories. (I’m born again.

    True Crime (I work in a prison library.)

    Humor books! (They’re easy to read and you walk away smiling.)

    As more librarians got into the game, the comments poured in:

    Withdrawn.

    Ephemera.

    Inspirational (I want to make a difference in the lives of others.)

    Overlooked gems.

    Bedtime stories.

    Audio Books. (I never shut up.)

    A few responses were both insightful and descriptive:

    I’m the book leveling out the table the other books are arranged on.

    I’d be under the table, out of sight and forgotten, in a waterlogged box full of baby spiders.

    But most of the comments were limited to a few quick words:

    Staff picks.

    Oddities.

    Fantasy!

    Trivia.

    Self Help.

    I’m a trashy romance!

    Some answers would seem to reflect low self esteem:

    Hurt.

    Distressed.

    Never checked out.

    Fragile. Handle with Care.

    Others, not so much:

    Rare finds.

    Classics.

    One-of-a-kind.

    Valuable.

    A few comments referenced the fact that some of us are getting on in years:

    Old and unusual.

    Used but useful.

    Cover shows wear but contents still good.

    Vintage and fabulous.

    And then there were the librarians who walk on the wild side:

    Banned Books.

    DANGEROUS! ADULTS ONLY!

    Forbidden… but alluring.

    Sexy!

    Cheap & Easy [snickers]

    My very favorite response? (And entirely realistic, given this crowd?):

    Scratched by cats.

    In conclusion? One of the many joys of library work is having such clever, fun-loving colleagues. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all Rare Finds.

    How about you? If you were a sale book, which table would you be on?

    Post your response in the Comments Section.

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    Article by: Roz Warren

    Roz Warren (www.Rosalindwarren.com) writes for the Funny Times, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, the Jewish Forward, Reader’s Digest and the Huffington Post. And she’s been on both the Today Show and Morning Edition. Roz is the author of OUR BODIES, OUR SHELVES: A COLLECTION OF LIBRARY HUMOR, which collects her most popular essays about library work.

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    Tell us what you think - Please make your comments

    1. micmic_mouse@yahoo.com' Mickey says:

      I’d be in the recycle bin if the store put books there or maybe in the dumpster or maybe out front in the ‘free’ pile. If I had a dust jacket, it’d be torn, dirty, coffee stained, is that pumpkin cake or cream cheese frosting?, or maybe taped with packing tape. Ha! Thanks, Roz. Oh, YEA! Our public library has TWO copies of your book on its shelves! Yea!

    2. slmbfaith@yahoo.com' Lavern says:

      Self Help: Change is inevitable

    3. dtolley@shaw.ca' Diane says:

      What an intriguing question. An what descriptive answers! Hmmm . . . I’d be (hopefully) a perennial favourite!

    4. beverlylarock@comcast.net' Beverly La Rock says:

      Historical Fiction. I have seen enough of it. I love history especially from the side of the losers and that view point is often the fiction part.

    5. energywriter@cox.net' Sharon says:

      Great story, gives us much to think about. With just a moment I think I’d fit into
      Humor
      Inspirational
      Used but still valid

    6. ladydi538@verizon.net' hillsmom says:

      Guess I’d be on the “Buy One Get One” table 😎

    7. aeblum@wesleyan.edu' Amy says:

      Really fun! I laughed out loud at work… hopefully no one heard me. My colleagues aren’t don’t seem to be as fun loving as librarians.

      1. rozspam@aol.com' Roz Warren says:

        NOBODY is as fun loving as librarians.

    8. mollystevens@roadrunner.com' Molly Stevens says:

      I would be on the table with the classics…that is, the Reader’s Digest Condensed versions of the classics. Because I’m shallow. And I like getting to the point. Great post!

    9. mollystevens@roadrunner.com' Molly Stevens says:

      I would be on the table with all the Classics…..that is, the Reader’s Digest Condensed versions. Because I’m shallow. And I like to get to the point. Great post!

    10. kelly.siderio@gmail.com' Kelly says:

      A long fantasy series- because once I get to know something, I want to be able to enjoy it for a long while afterwards.

    11. micmic_mouse@yahoo.com' Mickey says:

      I should know better than to click on something unknown. I wrote a long comment and it got erased. Never mind. I’d be a cookbook or an anthology of mystery writers from the Golden Age to present. So many choices. Love you, love your writing, Roz.

    12. micmic_mouse@yahoo.com' Mickey says:

      That was wonderful! I happen to be reading a stack of books by Nicolas Bisbanes who has written and published seriously heavy tomes about books, book collecting, book collectors, and not in the least important, paper. All of the comments listed in the article are spot on about books and book collecting, book buying. I love the one about the water logged box filled with baby spiders (?!). Spiders in water? The Dangerous Adults Only instantly brought to mind, eww, Borat. There are 14 copies of that (you fill in the blank word) book in our public library here in Tucson and my personal feeling is they should all be in the land fill or, okay, at the porn adult book store on Miracle Mile. Awful, creepy book. When I asked to have it removed, the response was that it got good reviews on Amazon. Right. Did you read those reviews?! They were tongue in cheek! I digress. What book would I be? A cookbook? An anthology of my favorite mystery writers? So many choices. Thank you, Roz. Love you, love your writing.

    13. StaciaFriedman@gmail.com' Stacia Friedman says:

      I already am a trashy romance novel reipped from the pages of my sordid life, available on Amazon! It’s entitled Tender is the Brisket. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0692245103?keywords=tender%20is%20the%20brisket&qid=1445289179&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

    14. perry.block1@gmail.com' Perry Block says:

      Pop-Up Picture Book.

    15. ceruleanbill@verizon.net' bill says:

      I’m a telephone book. From France. Lots of characters, not much discernible plot.

    16. ceruleanbill@verizon.net' bill says:

      I’m a telephone book. From France. Lots of characters, not much discernible plot.

    17. Donna Cavanagh says:

      How to books! I think it’s my calling nowadays! Fun article Roz.

    18. MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com' Laura Lee Carter says:

      You probably won’t like this Roz, but: Recovering Librarian, or perhaps midlife PSYCHO!

    19. dastor@earthlink.net' Dave Astor says:

      Delightful post, Roz. If the library needed some air to be circulating, I would hope to be fan fiction. 🙂

    20. carla@cb.com' Carla says:

      Oh I hope and pray I would be on the banned books list 🙂

    21. roxanne@boomerhaiku.com' Roxanne Jones says:

      Short Story Collections and/or Satire.

    22. bcoffee@1010parkplace.com' 1010ParkPlace says:

      Love this question because it’s so fun! I’d be a best-selling, nonfiction, adventure story. Every word is true! Brenda

    23. haralee@haralee.com' Haralee says:

      I love these. I would like to be Young Adult. Hah!

    24. haralee@haralee.com' Haralee says:

      I love these. I would like to be Young Adult! Hah!

    25. julieack@gmail.com' Julie Ackerman says:

      Unlikely travel destinations

    26. info@thewordmavens.com' ellen says:

      I love “cover shows some wear.”. but I think I would be “still useful vintage” thanks for sharing

    27. genre1837@aol.com' Mister Wonderful says:

      Wonderful!