Friday, 12 January 2018

"Dear Fahrenheit 451"

   The subtitle of this book is: "Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks".  The author, Annie Spence, has spent ten years as a public librarian in the American midwest.
  This book is filled with short letters to a wide variety of books, expressing the author's love or dislike for each individual book.  The book is advertized as "a celebration of reading".  It has short, snappy chapters- one for each of her book choices.  And so, in response, I write my letter to her book:

Dear book,
  This is really weird, writing a letter to a book, that writes letters to books.  But I was a librarian and now I'm a book club lady and I know many of the books that are the object of your letters.
   I was delighted that you wrote to "Yertle the Turtle", talking about the moms and tots at the park, where a mom had you tucked into her bag.  There was an interesting letter to "The Hobbit", suggesting that he smoke some pipe-weed and hang out more with other hobbits.  I recognized lots of popular books as well as obscure ones. You wrote to "Penguin Roget's College Thesaurus in Dictionary Form", apologizing for not appreciating it more. You refused to buy "The Twilight Series" when you saw it at a yard sale, because it takes up most of teen's prime leisure-reading years. And I loved when you said you were going to kick "Fifty Shades of Grey" to the curb.
    I wanted to love you because 'books about books' are delightful and you are so creative!  
  Your choices are disparate and I had anticipated that you would use delicious words like that.
   But...can we talk?  What is with the potty mouth?????  You are a cute little book that lives  in a beautiful, cozy library- not down the street in the pub!  Your lewd, crude, rude language ruined you for me.  I will be returning you to the library and hiding you in some obscure corner so that no more readers have to put up with your squalid and odious language.
                          Straighten up and fly right!
                          Book Club lady
P.S. I appreciated the list of reading suggestions at the back.  But, even there....your mouth!  Please learn some words that don't start with" f"...or "sh"...  Thank you!

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