Philistine at the front desk

The purpose of this blog is to share my reading experiences and most are good but today there was an exchange with a librarian which was so bad I still feel incensed about it.

After taking back Volume I of the Proust book I read over the last fortnight I had to ask for the next volume. After making it obvious that going to the stock room was too much trouble the librarian then shuffled back to the desk holding the copy of Volume II and uttered the following words:
“Here is a book where between pages 1 and 10,000 nothing happens. It is a book where nothing happens nothing at all,” said in a voice that implied the book was not worth reading.
he then stamped it and handed it to me.
I’m left wondering:
* Proust is a world renowned author and if “nothing happens” in the seven volumes of Remembrance of Things Past then why is it such an accepted masterpiece?
* Why is a librarian being so rude about literature and what on earth is someone like that working in a library if they clearly have a problem with certain books?
* Surely there should be some sensitivity about spoiling the enjoyment of a book for a reader and saying unhelpful comments might detract from the enjoyment of reading that title?

Maybe I’m overreacting but don’t you agree it seems crazy that you go to get a book out of a library and the staff behind the counter do their best to dismiss the literature.


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