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October 30, 2004

Scuppered Again

I think I've mentioned before that getting books from the library reservation system has a couple of disadvantages. One, you get the books when they arrive, rather than when it would be most convenient. So I put in requests for books that are checked out, and I'm sometimes sixth or seventh in line. Then one day, three or four of these long-term reservations become available at once. Take 'em or leave 'em. Right now, for instance, I've got two on hold and one 'shipped'.

The other problem is that the local library system gives you two renewals on any given book, unless someone else puts in a request. Then you try to grab one of those renewals through their online system, and oops!, can't renew, so sorry. That happened this morning with Stalin: Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore. I'd only gotten about twenty percent into the book, but I was just starting to pick up steam, so now I have to screech to a halt until I can get it again. I could buy it, but I'm not sure yet whether it's a keeper.

Which brings me to the upside of the 'federated' libary system. They have enough of the titles I'm curious about that I can reserve titles, browse them and return them without having to drop twenty or thirty bucks on every book I hear about on Booknotes. This is a good show, by the way, if you get C-SPAN. The host, Brian Lamb, is almost transparent, asking brief drawing questions, and then fading into the background so the night's author can hold forth. I've gotten several ideas for books to read by scanning this show. As the show motto goes: "One Author, One Book, One Hour". Fifty-two weeks a year. Bound to be some hits.

Posted by dpwakefield at October 30, 2004 08:27 AM