When I Can’t Just Get Out My Little Red Book the Minute That You Said Goodbye Because I Can’t Remember What It’s Called

I am just loving this photo posted by Blue Reflective Surface (@Metafrantic) over on Twitter.


Besides the fact that I often have moments when I can’t remember any proper nouns, be they of authors or best friends, I also appreciate any categorization system that puts Crazy Love You and The Da Vinci Code into the same category as A Clockwork Orange, Go Tell It On the Mountain, A Season in Hell, and Emma Goldman’s Deportation.

But wait! I would appreciate those books all being together if the libraries actually made them readily available. But I see none of them. Where is your radical spirit, anonymous library? Do you consider these books red?

Can you imagine what this display would have looked like in, say, an indie bookstore in Berkeley in 1968? Half the books would have been just this:


Anyway, I guess what I’m saying, anonymous library, is that you get an A for effort, but an F for “Fucking hell! Where are the actual red books by REDS? This is supposed to be the color of incendiary words, radical fiction, and illicit political ideas! I don’t even see To Kill a Mockingbird in here!” 

And if your argument is “Hey, kids are going to see this. We can’t have books about violence, homosexuality, and radical free love out where the toddlers are,” then I would politely like to point out that you are a shitty librarian who doesn’t even know how to punctuate the title of a book section. How is that going to affect the kiddies?

Don’t infect children with your illiteracy! Here’s a quick fix to your grammar, as well as to your attitude:


Anyway, despite my quibbles, dear anonymous library, thanks again for sorting books not by their content, but by their exteriors! Keep fighting the good fight against memory loss!

Oh, and thank you also for putting this song squarely in my head for the past several hours:

P.S. For all the horrified Harriets out there, please note that I do not endorse all the books in the above bookshelf, only most of them (can you guess which ones?). But they all belong in our libraries!

P.P.S. For all bookstores and libraries coming up with new and better book section titles, you can check your capitalization here, regardless of which stylebook you prefer. (Or is it “regardless which stylebook you prefer?” Dammit, where’s my stylebook? Or is it “style book?”)

P.P.P.S. Is this post completely trivial? Maybe so. But at least I didn’t pull out any puns about how I’m thankful that you “red” it!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: