Creative Writing - Prose

The Old Library Book


Though the colors faded over time, the image is still clear. The dust jacket shows no rips or tears, nor fraying at the top or bottom of the spine. For an old book in a public library, this hardcover copy is in good health. Aside from the fading colors, the other slight imperfection is also cosmetic. The top cover juts out over the bottom cover when resting flat. This gives off the perception of an overbite, but books don’t worry about such matters. They do not need to concern themselves with appearances of this nature. These are signs of use, not abuse. One may not love the story within the pages, but they respect the book for no other reason than that. It is a book, and that is enough.

The copy of this book has a 1951 copyright date. The price on the inside jacket is over $20. That is a most surprising aspect. Is this the original dust jacket? The price is a hefty sum for the copyright date. They don’t fit together, but perhaps they do. I wouldn’t think they would, but I don’t know.

There is an old ink stamp with the old name of the library below a stamp with the name it goes by at present. I’ve never known it called by the old name. As far as I know it’s always been the county public library instead of named by the street. I wonder how many years ago that was?

Also, I wonder how many times someone checked out and read this copy? How many people have turned these pages? There’s the imprint of where the old card pocket once was. For those who don’t know, they’d stamp the return date on an index card placed in a pocket on the first page or back of the cover. Then stickers with a year 2000, the next step up in library technology. When I checked out this book, I received a small slip of paper that resembled a receipt. On it was my name, the check out date, the book title and bar code, and the return date. This was my first visit to the library in close to 15 years. How things have changed over time.

Copyright © Drew Martin 2016


2 thoughts on “The Old Library Book”

    1. The first thing I noticed was they no longer had the card catalogue. It’s all computerized and a bit difficult to read as it showed the same book in all the surrounding libraries, not just the one I was standing in. Took me a while to realize if the book was in or not.


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