Ye Olde Booke

I requested a book from the library for a project I’m working on. This is how old it is.



For anyone reading this who was born after CDs were invented (It occurs to me that you could be old enough to read this and not be entirely sure what a CD is. Oh dear.), that is a pocket pasted on the inside covers of books. Librarians used to put a card in there that had a due date on it. If you wanted to renew a book, you had to physically take it to the library and ask them in person. I feel like this wasn’t actually that long ago, but I also feel like I didn’t graduate from high school actually that long ago either, so I can’t be trusted.

I kind of miss the cards, in fact. If you got hold of a book that wasn’t checked out very often, you could see dates stretching back several years. This was more fun in the college library on one of the top floors in an obscure subject area. I was working on a culture paper for a Latin class once and found a book that hadn’t been checked out in years and had a published date in the 1890s. I cited it just to see if the professor would squawk. He didn’t. I guess the culture of active Latin speakers hasn’t changed that much in the past 150 years.

Unlike the publishing industry. And while I admit to some nostalgia for the old due date cards and the particular smell of a library, I confess I routinely download e-books from my desk at home. And I love it. Because of me, someday your children will only see books in a museum. Sorry. (But not very.)

2 thoughts on “Ye Olde Booke

  1. Our little library here still has those cards ad they stamp the date with a little rubber stamp. The library is only a couple of years old, too. :)

  2. I also enjoyed the check out cards where you signed your name in addition to the date checked out. I loved seeing who else had read the book, sometimes surprised when a particular person would read that particular book, wondered what the others had thought of the book, etc.

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