I apologize to librarians, writers & publishers everywhere

When I was a senior at St. Andrews University, I did this wonderfully terrible thing: I wrote in a library book.

I spent a lot of time in DeTamble Library. And when I say “a lot” I mean every day. It wasn’t that I was a good student. In fact, I wasn’t a good student; I needed the study time.

As one of my last acts before graduation, I took down a book in the 800 section — literature — which is where I spent much of my time; I was an English major.

I pulled down the book, turned to the first blank page, and I wrote a letter to both my future self and to any student who happened upon that page. I loved my time at St. Andrews. The learning I received there and the friends I made have guided me my entire life. I wanted to share that love with others. I wrote about my four years there, and how I expected it would serve me as I became a mature, independent adult. I remember it as well-crafted and charming.

I was at St. Andrews last week and, out of curiosity, wandered into the library to revisit the book and “my” page.

As I walked into the lobby, I realized: I can’t remember which book it was.

And I never found it.

2 thoughts on “I apologize to librarians, writers & publishers everywhere

  1. Ah, that is the dilemma of many librarians. Patrons come in to ask for that book with a red cover or a mystery written by a woman. My children at school would come to ask me if we had a certain book not realizing that I did not remember all 8,000 titles we had
    Any sad thought for you. At most libraries we weed books depending on age because usually there is a book with newer information (I always kept Silent Spring & a few other titles, depending on the age of my children.) After a while the older books don’t circulate and you want to have room for the new books, and you don’t want books on your shelves that are worn out or defaced.
    P.S. Overall, I think of your book missive as a personal time capsule or letter in a bottle.
    P.P.S. it took me years in grad school to be brave enough with the books belonged to me, I could highlight, write notes, etc. If I wanted to (which was my learning style.)

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