Last week I posted about Cinoc, the word-killer, from Georges Perec’s Life: A User’s Manual. I checked the book out on my way to a lecture at the library. The librarian hosting the lecture took a seat next to me, noticed the book, and told me it had been hers and she had donated it to the library. I never did get around to reading the book and had to return it a few days ago. I went to library again today and normally I would walk by the sale cart since there is usually nothing there to interest me, but today I felt a distinct urge to have a look. What should I find there but the very copy of Life: A User’s Manual I had taken out! I guess I was the last person to take it out of the library. Since I do want to read it at some point I figured I’d better grab it in case the library is not going to replace it. The book is rather beat up so I hope they are just making way for a new copy, though the only edition in print now is a paperback (I think libraries prefer hardcovers for literature), and the catalogue says “withdrawn” rather than “on order.” In any case I now have my own copy of this peculiar book and look forward to puzzling it out. Do you have any stories of bookismet, of books that seem meant to come into your possession?


8 comments on “Bookismet

  1. Melwyk says:

    Indeed! I had a textbook for my South American history class that I’d only taken out of the shrink wrap days before a paper on it was due. The index came in useful! Then I donated it to the library. A few years later, I was now living with my boyfriend, a manager at that same library, and saw it sitting on his shelf — he’d bought my copy in the library booksale! I figured I’d better finally read it πŸ˜‰

  2. Melwyk says:

    Oh, just one more! I had an absolute favourite novel in university, Volkswagen Blues by Jacques Poulin. I’d even written my name in it, something I rarely, rarely do. I put it down somewhere and lost it. Two years later I was talking to a guy I’d just met at a party (same university years) and when he mentioned that he liked Volkswagens I recommended this novel to him. He paused, and asked, “What’s your name again?” He had my book! And he gave it back!

  3. Melwyk says:

    But those are just tales of my own books boomeranging back to me. Not sure If I have one about a book that forced its way into my hands….will think on it….

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