Strange Bedfellows

January 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 12 Comments

As a secretary, nothing makes me shudder more than the idea of something getting misfiled, because if it’s in the wrong place it could be anywhere at all.  Yesterday I went to the library to get my held books, and there at the top of the stack was a completely random misfile.  I’d requested a book from the next county over, and this book was also brought over through that system, but it wasn’t mine!

It was Plain Perfect, an… Amish romance novel.

People should read whatever they want.  That does not, however, mean that everyone should read every genre.  Romance novels are not for me, especially not one that might suggest a woman’s path to perfect happiness involves strapping herself to her oven.  (I think perfect happiness has to include the options to wear pants, speak your mind, and travel freely).  Let’s just say I would be one of the least likely people to form an audience for this book.

I had to wonder what happened to the book I had chosen.  Did the person who asked for the Amish book wind up with Black Tickets?  One reviewer of this short story collection by Jayne Anne Phillips called it an “exhumation of human depravity,” “pocked with sexual deviation and marked with terror.”  Most likely not the first choice for someone with romantic fantasies about agriculture.

Glancing over the checkout counter, I caught a brief glimpse of the patron record for the rightful borrower of the little paperback.  The last name started with a T (the opposite end of the alphabet from mine) and, could it be?  I wouldn’t bet money on it, but it really really looked like an unambiguously male first name.

The question is, was this truly a random mistake, or is there someone bored enough in the back room to play a little switcheroo from time to time?

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