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Friday, September 16, 2011

Library Theft

And just in case anybody out there read my last post and thought I was the only upstanding citizen who has ever committed library theft, let me tell you that according to the StoryCorps podcast (scroll down to the story called "I spotted this book that looked rather risque..."), I'm in good company. Judge Olly Neal also stole books from his high school library long ago, when he discovered on its shelves the novels of African American author Frank Yerby. What Judge Neal didn't know was that the librarian observed his filching the novel, and figured out that he didn't want to check it out because of his classmates manning the circulation desk, who would tell and ruin his tough reputation. So Judge Neal stole the book to see what an African American author might write about (and also because of the steamy cover), read it, and returned it. When he returned it, there was a 2nd Yerby novel on the shelf, so he stole that one too. And then there was a third.

It was at a class reunion many years later that Judge Neal learned that the librarian had been going to a nearby city and scouring used bookstores for Yerby novels each week, hoping to keep him reading. She figured if he was willing to steal a book to read it, there was hope for him.

And  I rest my case.
(And I love librarians.)

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