Saturday, August 6, 2016

Just a glimpse into someone else's life

A patron I don't recognize comes up to the desk, shows me a piece of paper, and asks, "Where would this number be?" It's 616--I recognize it as medical but don't know the specifics. I describe where that section is, but, seeing the look on his face, I offer to walk him back there and he accepts.

On our way, we run into one of the regulars and the two guys greet each other, "Heyyy, Jimmy, long time no see!" Jimmy (new guy) has just returned from the area's middle-of-nowhere mega-casino and recounts that he almost won $777. He did win $100, though! Where's he staying right now? How'd he get down to the casino? He's staying at one of the local homeless shelters. The two guys talk for a little bit about the renovation and reorg that is going on there, then we get to Jimmy's call number--psychopathology and sociopathology.

"I'm revisiting my old boss!" he says. He has a call number but not an author written down and there are three books at that number. He asks for my help in picking one out:
Me: They say don't judge a book by its cover, but I think that's bad advice. Looking at these, it looks like this one is more about how to deal with people like that in your everyday life, and this one is more about the science behind it.
Jimmy: I'll take the how to.
Me: The good thing about the library is that the books are free! You can always take them both!

He sticks to his original choice and leaves happily with  The Sociopath at the Breakfast Table : Recognizing and Dealing with Antisocial and Manipulative People.


  1. sometimes patrons seem very reluectant to take out more than one book, like they can't afford it

    1. Indeed! I feel bad about that so I try to remind them that they don't have to have that attitude, but I don't have a lot of success. I think some people also feel(or think that they are) obligated to read everything they check out. I think this is another reason that some people who aren't big readers often unnecessarily limit themselves too.

  2. sometimes patrons seem very reluectant to take out more than one book, like they can't afford it

  3. yes I think that's true sometimes, like it's an assignment