Saturday, March 2, 2013

To Every Library Book, Return, Return, Return

I requested a volume from Borrow Direct, the Ivy League-plus-MIT library lending consortium, and Cornell's copy was delivered to me.

The 2009 due date for the first return? That one was mine.  So I'm sitting here in Philadelphia reading from the exact same copy of a library book I read in graduate school in Ithaca.

(And yes, this does mean that at 1:30 on a Friday-night-into-Saturday morning I have my iPhone, iPad and laptop in bed with me along with a large percentage of the contents of the Cairo Genizah.)

This still wasn't quite as special as when I went to check out a medieval lexicon at NYU and realized, on the basis of the dates (the early 80s) that my adviser, whose first job was in (a completely different and no-longer extant department at) NYU, must have been the last person to have checked it out before me.

There's some sort of doctrine of cyclical book-borrowing, no?

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