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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Just Borrowed From The Library...

These days I'm only borrowing occasionally, when I can actually get to the local library, but my local library is very good. It has an entire bay of speculative fiction. 

I remember when the new head honcho at the library merged everything together, all the SF, romance, mystery just being shoved in with the non-genre stuff, despite all the genre fans using the library. My mother loves crime fiction and when there was a crime section she used to browse her way through and choose her borrowings that way. When they shoved the mysteries in with the literary fiction, she stopped choosing her own books and made me do all the borrowing for her, which I'm doing till this day. Fortunately, the books do still have labels on them to let you know if they're mysteries, romance, etc., or I'd have to look it all up in the catalogue. I'm a librarian myself, but I have no patience to do that unless there's something specific I want. The place is too big to look it all up in the catalogue under "mystery", then write it down and hunt for individual books by author all over the place. 

I asked the staff, who said they had tried to explain to the new head librarian that their library users liked having separate sections, but she wouldn't listen. So they carefully sneaked genre books on to the "new books" display shelves, even if they weren't new. They didn't say that, but it was obvious. They suggested I send a letter to the head honcho, which I did - and regretted it... She phoned me at work and earbashed me for forty-five minutes or more about why she was right and I was wrong! I finally escaped from her; that was forty-five minutes of wasted work time I never got back. 

Anyway, these days, while you still don't get separate crime or romance sections, there is a bay just for spec fic again! I guess the spec fic fans must have made the most noise. Really, I do like to find new writers, not just the old favourites. I spotted some anthologies of Nebula winners, which I noted down for my next visit. There was a cute Connie Willis story about political correctness gone haywire in the school library, which I must get back to. 

But tonight, I have found a new - to me, anyway - book in Tanya Huff's series featuring Henry Fitzroy! Yay! I've only read a couple of the early books, but I know what they're about. In modern Canada, a woman detective who had to leave the police force because of her night blindness has found a partner who can do night things very well, but needs someone to do things for him in the daytime, being a vampire who's been around for a few hundred years. He is Henry VIII's son, who died in his teens(and yes, he was a real person, in case you haven't heard of him, who may have died of TB)and became a vampire from choice, after meeting a sweet young thing who had been around since the 1300s and only turned him very reluctantly, on his insistence. These days he is making a living as a novelist writing historical romance. He doesn't harm anyone - when he needs blood, he romances a woman or two and sips just a little blood from them in the middle of fabulous lovemaking! They never notice. 

I know the books are not everyone's cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoy them. I also like her Confederation series of space operas/military SF. There just aren't enough these days, with Lois McMaster Bujold mostly turning to fantasy(but not entirely!), ditto Elizabeth Moon. So when I find well-written space opera I grab it. Unfortunately, none of the Confederation series are in the library, so I may have to buy the ebooks. 

So, that's my library borrowing for this week! What's yours?


Lan said...

I don't think I've ever been to a library with specific sections for genres except romance. That gets it's own section and all the other fiction is separated into age groups. I go to the library every week because I don't buy books unless I know beforehand that I love them so I borrow them from the library. Shame the head honcho felt it necessary to phone you up. That was quite unprofessional!

Sue Bursztynski said...

We do have a children's section - the non fiction goes up to the end of the 300s and the rest of the non fic is mixed in with the adult books, so the assumption seems to be that children only like fairy tales and such. Any child who likes science, say,Mir history, has to know what they're looking for and find it among the adult books - and yes, there are children's books on science among the adult books. The YA fiction is in the children's section, but you have a hard time finding anything it because it's mostly in revolving racks - just as well I have my own library from which to borrow YA fiction!

Very wise of you to stick to libraries for your reading! I am not that wise, so I still buy more books than I should, though most of them are in ebook format nowadays. I remember I used to have a procedure with Terry Pratchett. Books. First borrow the hardcover from the library as it became available. Wait for the paperback, then buy - I knew I would be rereading those.