Monday, 20 December 2010

Never judge a librarian by his cover

Bit of  a drama this morning when I went to return some library books only to find the library closed . In the last few years , as my income has dwindled (along with my celebrity status), my use of the library has become a daily ritual,and so my heart started to palpitate when I suddenly had the recollection of last weeks announcment that the goverment had made cuts and closed all  libraries in Somerset . What if they were extending this policy to Primrose Hill too?That would mean PAYING for books.

In my more affluent days whilst I was on"The Tv Show" I used to just waltz into Waterstones, paying full whack for the latest Besteller, even going for the luxury of a hardback if I so wished, moving on to charity shops, as the telly jobs started to dry up, where I would often play the game of Book Tarot. (Book Tarot at the charity shop consists of standing at the shelf of scond hand books asking God to help you pick one which will give you a secret message and change your life...alot of actors I know play this game ). However in recent times of being an out of work actress in a recession (which is not very different to being an out of work actress in a booming economy actually), I have had no choice but to sign up for my little green card and stand side by side the students and local tramps who come in to keep warm, in order to fuel my reading habit. And I have been pleasantly surprised. In fact, I sometimes wonder why I didnt do this sooner. Not only can you borrow books but they also loan out Films and  CD's . (Although I had to calm down my download habit for a while after the lady at the desk asked me what I was doing with 5 CDs a day. )
"I just love music" I had gushed, and tried to hide my ipod.

Anyway, I had nearly gone home to get my protesters parka and placard when some of the staff turned up and let me in. Turns out that they were all a bit delayed by the snow in Kent.(why does everyone seem to live in Kent whenever it snows?!!) ,
As I entered, though, I noticed something different .They had just changed the front desk to a new self service system which means you check in and out yourself, like those tills in the supermarket that noone uses. Given no human option, I tentatively approached the machne and attempted to follow the instruction.
It seemed easy enough.

1.Put membership card into slot.

So I did. And nothing.
I tried again.Still nothing.
A little old lady taps my shoulder.

"Put it in the other way love," I do and the machine springs to life, giving me an array of options to choose from. I press the returns button and it tells me to swipe my books over the panel, so I do just that. Again nothing.
A queue of impatient OAPs, arms laden with large print Agatha Christies, is starting to build up , I'm panicking.  I try again. No Joy
"Its not bloody working." I say loudly
"Would you like some help?" says a male voice and I turn to see a rather good looking young man standing there smiling.
"Yes please," I say churlishly
He takes the book from my sweaty hands and glides it over the panel effortlessly.The machine accepts it without a struggle.
"You're from that TV show arent you?" he says
"Yees," I whsiper shyly
"Not seen you on our screens for a while," he continues,
"Well, I've been writing a novel actually," I say and he looks up.
"Thats funny. So have I."
"Are you an actor too?" I say and he laughs.
"No, I'm a writer" the screen makes a different funny noise as he glides the last book over."Its saying you have some books still overdue," he says frowns and presses a button on the screen and up comes a list, to my horror, of my outstanding loans   And I have never felt so naked and exposed in my whole life.

1.Prozac nation
2.How to overcome OCD
3.How to overcome Low Self Esteem
4.He's just not that into you
5 He thinks he's not that into you how to convince him that he really is
6 The Bell Jar
7 Why am I always the One before The One
8 Freedom by Joanthan Franzen

and I look at the screen hopelessly and then back at his grinning face and he says, "I've just read Freedom. Its really interesting I'd love to discuss it over a coffee sometime?"

My mind flashes to Suit Guy. He's not officially my boyfriend. We're just dating. One coffee with an intelligent young writer isnt infidelity.
"What has happened to Suit Guy ?" I hear you asking....well, I'll cover that next time.


  1. Nice! Obviously he's looking for a slightly depressed, OCDish, single woman with low self esteem ;) (or at least just thinks she is). I would claim it as research for the novel ;)

    On a slightly selfish note: why does that never happen to me?! Maybe I need to check out this library thing.

  2. Don't let me start about Kent folk. Recently when the Big Snow fell (I'm talking about this one from two weeks ago) my friend living in Kent proudly presented her 50cm outside her house and husband sitting by the fire drinking wine/working from home. And what did I get? Nothing. No snow. Nada. And Boyfriend went to work. Metropolitan line worked.

    As usual, great post! I've read He's just not that into you in the poorest quality kind of book - long time ago it was attached to Glamour magazine. :P

  3. He'll probably turn out to be a tomcat! All the quiet ones usually are (here's hoping anyway!)