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2005 06 03
Where Out of Date Ideas Go - Reprised
imageThere are many many many very wealthy people living in Toronto. There are lots more somewhat wealthy people. Because of this Toronto has the best garbage you'd ever dream of rummaging through. And when it comes to rejected books people can make a pretty good living selling the books the affluent people throw away. Beyond that, there are events where one pays a pittance to take away unemployed books. I have waited for such events, waited longingly, me and a jar of loonies, sitting at the kitchen table just before sunrise. Not any more. The Robarts Library has always been there for me, but I didn't have a plan. Now my plan is activated daily, reliably, effectively and more inexorably than a TTC train pulling into the Bloor/St. George subway Station. All that my plan requires are surgical skill and surgical calm. I know the stacks in the Robarts Library that hold the books that no one has read in the past twenty years. These books don't even have bar codes on their backs. One such book, for example, was Rawling's Landmarks and Surface Markings of the Human Body, seventh printing, call number 611 R259 1935. With the deftness of a moyl I had held that book gently and with my scapel slit the front and back covers off. Without its covers it doesn't look like a book amidst the tufts of unbound paper in my messy handbag. Without its cover it has no protective implant to set off the alarm at the Library exit. You cannot judge a book without its cover. If you are The Robarts Library, you can't hoard it either. I have quite a library of my own now, the library of out-of-date ideas. It has no value to anyone but me. I am the only person who ever wanted to read these out-of-date ideas, the only person in Toronto over the past twenty years. These naked tomes are the garbage of human imagination. Elsewhere on the planet besides Toronto perhaps they would not be known as garbage. At sunrise, in the company of out-of-date ideas I am elsewhere on the planet
[email this story] Posted by Jeanne Randolph on 06/03 at 08:55 AM

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