Return to the Land of Books

Sometime in the past few years, I forgot what it’s like to work in a library.  You’re constantly (or semi-constantly) helping people find books or making lists of books or sorting through new books.  So if you’re someone who likes to read, it’s natural that you’ll find at least one book a day that you want to read.

Can you read a book a day?  Because I can’t.

Which means that every day, my reading list gets less reasonable.  In a week, I will have picked out more books than I can read in the next five years.  Approximately.  It also means that I can bring home books any old time.  Today’s choices were an assortment of gardening books for Scott and for me.


I bet you can pick which books are for which person.  Except that there’s a curveball in the stack.  Outwitting Deer is for all three of us (Peanut being the third).  He needs to learn how to lure the deer to our house so we can have endless venison in our freezer, even if Scott is doing well on that front by himself.  Peanut could always learn some new deer luring skills.

If that isn’t enough reading for the night, the retail industry was thoughtful enough to mail us seven catalogs today.  Seven!  I love a good catalog, but seven seems excessive to me.

It is a helpful reminder that we’re supposed to get our shopping lists together within 24 hours of Thanksgiving OR ELSE.  First come the turkey and parades and football (and thanks!).  Then the mild list-induced panic.  Then Christmas Eve, which is my favorite.

Catalogs. Stacks and stacks of Catalogs.

I’m not normally that upset about the quantity of catalogs I receive in the mail.  I understand that even though I never look inside half of the catalogs and rarely order from the other half, it’s presumably worth it for companies to send me reminders to buy their stuff.

What I don’t understand are the copious number of catalogs that have arrived at my house in the past month.  I’m talking multiple catalogs from the same companies in one week.

It’s the same principle of getting your stuff out there for people to remember when they’re shopping, and I’m sure that people are shopping way more than usual at this time of year.  But still.  If I wanted a Pottery Barn something or other for my family, wouldn’t I be able to remember that I have three of their most recent catalogs in my giant stack of catalogs?  Why would I need four more in the first week of December?  If I get really desperate to order something, I could even go online.  If I’m desperate and without internet connection at home, there’s always my friendly, neighborhood library with free internet access.

I guess it works for those companies though.  They wouldn’t keep sending out catalogs if it didn’t sell enough products to make money for them, right?

photo by the workroom (catalog from Anthropologie)

I feel the same way about telemarketers.  I wonder how it can possibly be worthwhile for them to call a trillion people a day and make most of those people really frustrated.  I like to assume that large, prosperous companies only do things that make monetary sense.  (We’ll pretend that telemarketing companies are as prosperous as Pottery Barn, which is probably rarely true.)  I realize that not all business ideas are good ideas, but those two have stuck around for a while.  Surely they’re profitable.

Anyway, if you ever want to do a project (BFF collage, perhaps?) that requires thousands of catalog pages, there are plenty of those in my recycling bin.  Plenty.