This morning I saw this book on John Scalzi’s blog and… Can we pause a moment to talk about John Scalzi? I love Scalzi’s blog. I love the discussions that he has there. I learn about books I want to read there. And I can recognize him as a talented, skilled writer. I just don’t care for his books. Like, I don’t hate them or anything. They’re just not my thing.
I think about that more often than I should, just to remind myself that the relationship between a writer and a reader is more complicated than “you write something perfect (and I do think that Scalzi is pretty much the breed standard for his type of sci-fi) and everyone who knows about you will read your work and love it.” There’s a certain kind of magic, too. Like, I know a lot of people for whom Catcher in the Rye was a formative read. I think I read it too late.
Which is to say that Scalzi stays on my radar because I think he’s a great writer and I love his blog and I wonder if there’s a time when the alchemy will happen. Will I just be browsing along and pick up one of his books and finally get it?
Anyway, I do want to read Southern Gods, so I looked for it in our library and they don’t have it. So I interlibrary loaned it.
But here’s the thing that has been niggling me since I started regularly going to the library. At the doors of every library in town are those upright plastic doohickies that you would think would detect when a book that hasn’t been checked out leaves the library.
But my library has self-check-out. I think only half the time I’ve checked out has someone even been at the desk. And I don’t have to run the books over anything to demagnetize any metal strip. And I have walked into other libraries, through those plastic upright things with books I checked out at Bordeaux to return them. And there’s never been an alarm.
So what do those plastic thing do? Just work as a psychological deterrent to stealing? Or are there things that are strip protected, that I just haven’t encountered yet?