tonyu at roava.net
Mon Oct 17 16:34:11 EDT 2005
At 12:49 hours 10/10/2005, Hubert A Smith wrote:
> It is my opinion at this late stage in my life that the best deal
>is to steal the books you like from the library. They usually prorate
>them by their age. I came to that conclusion because a couple of times I
>have gone back to check a book out again only to find that they have
>disposed of it as they rotate in new ones. This has happened to me twice
>on books relating to Corvairs. I get screwed out of using it again and
>it usually ends up in a used book shop where it eventually gets sold for
>scrap. I won't have a problem with my conscience doing that next time at
On occasion you can actually buy a library book "legally" by claiming
it was lost whereupon the library will charge a stipend replacement
fee for the book. You pay it and get a receipt for [ your favorite
book title here] and stick it on your shelf.
Not exactly a fine example for a morality play but if the book is
something that's not been checked out for decades and obviously would
end up in a dump (that's what happens around here since for some
reason they won't accept paper for recycling downtown unless it's
"non-inked"), it's something to consider.
Some years back, I approached my old high school (which was in the
process of being closed down, eventually to be restored and
recommissioned as a community civic and arts center) and visited the
school library which had been moved out of the school itself and into
a separate building which used to be the girl's gym, behind the high
school. Like other schools in town, my old high school library had
gone to the "corporate" library card system, meaning that the
standard library card for the public libraries also works for school
libraries and thus the library was open to the public and not just
students. Odd that the school library remained open while the
school itself had closed.
Now, being interested in the history of my home-town city, and
knowing that the city's premier city historian and career newspaper
journalist had previously written a very detailed and generally
fascinating book, "A History Of The City Of Roanoke" which all city
and county (and many others) school and public libraries had
preordered copies, I fully expected to find a copy of this fine book
in my old HS library. I'd checked it out/read it at the main
branch of the public library but wanted a copy of my own as
reference; out of print and not easily obtainable meant that my
chances of turning up a new copy was slim.
I perused the shelves. Found a copy as expected, noted that:
It hadn't been checked out for years.
It had formerly belonged to another high school library.
The other school also been closed down about a decade earlier and its
library liquidated/redistributed. No word on what had become of the
original copy that my high school had preordered from the
publisher... perhaps it had been "purloined" the way I was planning
with this copy...?
I approached the librarian and asked what was going to become of the
books in the library there since the school was officially shut down
and the school library was likely to follow sooner or later. He
said that many would be redistributed to other city school libraries
unless they were redundant duplicates whereupon they would be
"disposed of". The rest would be recycled or taken to the city
I told him of my mission to turn up a copy of this book, rationalized
that since other schools had copies of the history book in question,
this one was a redundant item and could well end up in the landfill,
would he have any issues with it if I were to walk back to the shelf,
pick up the book and leave after placing a 20 dollar bill in its spot
on the shelf... providing he would turn his back and thus not see
anybody actually taking the book.
He cracked a slight smile and said "I have some books to reshelve in
the back, so good luck with your quest and have a good day." He
then disappeared into the back.
I went to the shelf, got the book, put a 20 in its place, and
left. It's still on my bookshelf and is a highly valued tome. I
also have the recently published highly detailed separate index for
the book that was published by the city's local historical society,
makes finding things in this very large book considerably easier than
flipping through the pages via the books somewhat inadequate
(considering the huge amount of info) original index.
Not long after this "exchange" took place, the high school library
was deemed redundant itself and was shut down and most of the books
(only a few were redistributed to other school libraries) went to the
city landfill. I felt OK with the "exchange" since it's likely that
this 1000 page chunk of local history would likely have become worm
food if I'd not "purchased" it... and I consider it a rescue rather
than something "less legal".
If a local library had any books about Corvairs and they were likely
to be dumped soon, I'd not have a problem with rescuing them as well
via a similar proposition. I just have an issue about anyone
destroying a book for whatever reason... whether it's simply
obsolete, or subversive, or worn, or redundant or just
ignored. I've bought books that I still haven't gotten around to
reading yet, some several years older than their purchase date but
they will get read.
I did note that my copy of Naders book UAAS came from a book store
and had been marked down a number of times before finally selling for
50 cents to a buddy of mine who bought it just to give to me, since
it was on a cart out front marked "Liquidation Specials!". I was
I'd not want even his book to end up destroyed.
PS: my old high school (dates back to the 1920s) has been restored
inside and out and is now a community arts and cultural center and is
absolutely beautiful. You really should see the auditorium in my
old high school... magnificent, it would blow your mind today and it
wasn't half bad at all even when it was just a high school
auditorium. Nobody was any more glad to see the old school regain
its glory and just due than I
was. http://www.jeffcenter.org/history.htm And yes, I once
rode to and from school in a Corvair, '64 Monza convertible, palomar
red w/black interior, 110/4-sp. that belonged to a fellow band
member. I always remembered that Corvair and it contributed to my
taking up interest in the marque again in the late '70s when I bought
what was the first of what would become a fair number of Corvairs.
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