Friday, October 21, 2011

What Type of Person Are You?

    My girls are obsessed with the library.  It seems to be their favorite place in the world.  They want to stay for hours, and it makes me happy since I used to work at a library.
    As I stood waiting for my oldest daughters, a librarian approached me.  Now, I'm not dumb and I immediately knew why she came closer.  She would act like she wanted to help me find a book, but really she was just being nosy.  The point is, I know how librarians work!  I've taken lunch breaks with them and everything!  
    See, they reel you in by acting helpful, but when you're not listening, they try guessing what types of books you like.  

    "See that gentlemen," I once heard a librarian say years ago, "he's into romance.  I'd bet a million dollars on it."
    "Him?" I asked, but I knew better than to bet on it.  I also figured old Helen had helped so many people find books, she had all their genres memorized.  "Fine," I said, "what kind of books do I like best?"
    She put on her glasses, these big . . . thick things, and then appraised me.  "By looking at you, I'd said Jane Austen?"
    "Wrong!"  I was so happy I could have peed--well maybe that's a bad comparison, but you get the point.  "Jane's all right, but I LIVE for fantasy."
    "So, you're one of those."  She pursed her lips and nodded.
    "What's wrong with fantasy?"
    "Nothing, I'm just shocked that I guessed wrong.  You look too proper, and I think you're making it up."
    "Am not!"
    She giggled then and went back to her desk.  "I knew it was fantasy all along.  You're always off in your own world anyway."
    I still don't know what she meant.  Hopefully she said it endearingly, but I can't really remember.
    So, anyway, back to yesterday.
    This old librarian approached me.  She had eyes of silver and hair to match.  I knew she was religious because before she came closer, she'd been reading some book about Mormons being right.
    For the record, I AM NOT Mormon, but there are about a million of them around here.  Sometimes it's hard being the minority. When I grow some guts, I'll tell you about that . . .
    Well, the lady looked at me and smiled.  "Can I help you find something?"
    "Sure, do you have any suggestions?"  I asked her because I knew she'd already pegged me for a certain type of reader.  If you ever want to know what people really think of you, go to the library.
    She thought for a minute, then nodded discretely.  "You know what, I have the perfect thing for you!  I've only recently found this author myself, but I think you'll love him."
    The old woman winked at me, grabbed my elbow and pulled me to the back, dark section of the library.  I thought for sure she'd pegged me for an Austen lover--everyone does.
    "Do you like vampires?" she asked, shocking me.
    "Ummm . . . I guess they're okay."  But I smiled inside because she'd still guessed WRONG--ha ha.
    "Well, try this out for size."  She shoved two books toward my chest and I couldn't help but grab them like we were starting a game of football.
    "What are they?" I asked.
    "They're romance.  But us librarians consider them soft porn for women."
    I almost swallowed my gum.  Was this a joke?  The elderly woman probably wore LDS garments that had been dipped in Holy Water and she wanted me to read porn?  "What?"  What kind of a reader did she think I was!  I knew I'd worn a push-up bra, but that didn't make me a porn lover.
    "Just try it out," she said.  "I'm pretty religious and there's nothing wrong with reading a GOOD book every now and then, if you know what I mean."  She winked, grinning like a ghoul.
    I blinked, once . . . twice.  The old MORMON librarian was an erotica fanatic!  I broke down then and confessed all of my sins.       
    "K, the point is that I used to work at a library."
    She nodded.
    "You know how all librarians can usually guess what types of books patrons like reading?"
    "Yeah, I guess," she said.
    "Well, I wanted you to make a suggestion so I could see what you really thought of me."
    She laughed so hard, I thought she'd get Alzheimer's right there in the erotic section.
    "Oh, I like you," she said.  "Maybe you aren't as stiff as you seem.  You want to know the truth?"
    "You remind me of myself fifty years ago.  I thought I could bring you here so you'd loosen up.  There's no point in being wound up all of the time.  Plus, erotica is fun."
    I just gaped, but after a minute I couldn't hold it in.  I started giggling too, like the day I first went to sex ed.  "I like you, too."  I smiled.  "But I don't think I'm ready for this just yet."
    "You didn't expect this from me, did you?"
    "No," I said very quickly.
    "Well, it looks like we're both wrong."  She tapped a book that looked proper even though it was in the spicy section.  "Never forget that," she said.  "You can't judge a book by its cover.  You're not a square and neither am I."
    "Agreed," I said before grabbing a Terry Brook's book and checking out with my girls.  I'll never forget that librarian, or the fact that she'd taken me to the dark side of the library.  I know I didn't actually read Erotica, but I still feel courageous anyway.  After all, I went to the dark side, and I'm still here to write about it!
   On a side note, would you ever read Erotica?


  1. AWESOME!! Loved this! And it's so true, can't judge books by their covers- what an appropriate place to figure that out, the library. Well, I loved this- great way to start off my day.

  2. My dad reads romance novels. seriously. He gets the books from my aunt after she's finished reading them. I personally would like to hear about your mormon have me curious now.

  3. haha you need to grow some guts?, geez must be a scary story on Mormons. I never knew librarians could be so fun, most I've seen always seem to have a stick up their you know. Yeah I'll read anything once.

  4. Since you asked...true husband's sweet as apple pie, LDS grandma was getting rid of stuff she didn't use anymore and she pulled me aside and handed me some fabric and a stack of books to take home. They were all, uh, "romance" novels. Now I know how she got seven kids! If you get brave enough, read the ones written by men. They're better.

    - Fellow Minority

  5. LOL...I don't know what I would've done in that situation, probably just laughed my head off after walking awkwardly to the car..hahaha My mom's a librarian, and luckily her suggestions are usually along the line of fantasy. We're both big fans. Although, I absolutely love Jane Austen, as well.... Oh Veal..LOL

  6. No erotica for me--too BORING.

    Do you remember Dr. Laura, the radio shrink? She absolutely hated librarians. That's OK, I hated Dr. Laura!

  7. Use the force young one. Stay away from the dark side Luke. lol Only you!

  8. I couldn't help but smile throughout this post. Makes me wonder how many children she has...I don't read erotica but I do read the bible and let me tell you, the old testament can get pretty kinky....

  9. I know they have those sections in...certain stores, but I never knew there was an adult section in the library.

    Never had occasion to read it. However, back before I had a smartphone of my own, I borrowed a recently-divorced co-worker's iPhone to look something up (to get around work's firewall), and she had lesbian erotica open in the Safari browser.

    I laughed, and she about died.

  10. Loving Jane Austen means you are prim and proper??? Crap, I guess I'll have to shape up since she is one of my favorite! My mom-in-law reads 'romance novels' and has even bought me one in hopes of getting me hooked. I don't think you can be a realist and like erotica. Branden got quite a laugh out of me reading it though because instead of getting all 'hot and bothered' and would get frustrated and angry with bouts of, "OH yeah! Like the virgin girl is done in 2 minutes!" and "These men aren't sexy take charge types, they are practically rapists!". Yeah so erotica just puts me in a pissy mood. I do like fantasy too but my reading genres change with my moods.

  11. That librarian is a treasure; I hope she jolts someone every day. Maybe it is early onset dementia, but she has something special.
    Erotica? It used to be fun, when I cared.

  12. I am easily tempted to the dark side and I read everything as long as the writing and the story is good :)

  13. I'd read erotica if it were written by Jane Austen, and maybe if it were written by Anne Tyler or Amy Tan. If you wrote it? Definitely. It would be the most hilarious erotica ever.


  14. Well, crud. I had a long response typed out but it said I can't post on your blog (certain Google accounts do that lately and I'm hoping that gets ironed out quickly) just let me say your post was hysterical. I loved it!

  15. A big old NO for me, but that story is HILARIOUS! And good for your girls that they love the library so much.

  16. I have two funny erotica stories, but they are too long to post here. You'll have to ask me another time. My french teacher nearly wet himself laughing and the Romance Writers of New Zealand too. That was writing though not reading. Great story you have there!

  17. Honey, I've written it. ;) Loved this post. I was raised mormon, (am not one anymore), and so understand the back story you're not writing. ;) Btw, huge fantasy and sci-fan here too. :D

  18. I love LOLA's idea! Why don't you write some erotica? I'd be happy to edit.

  19. I think my mouth would've just dropped. I'm a very shy and timid person and try to keep to myself and dress and act conservatively so I'd be shocked and speechless if a librarian suggested erotica to me because she thinks I'd like it. But because I'm the nice girl who likes to please everyone as best as I can, I would just smile, take the books, thank her, put the books back when she wasn't looking, and have a different librarian check me out.

    I've actually never liked erotica and the smutty romance novels. Beginning in about 7th grade, I started to notice my mom reading them and could not understand the appeal of books with a hot, shirtless guy holding a skinny, scantily-clad girl on the cover. I still don't understand it though I don't mind a scene or two like that between the male and female leads in my chick flicks ;)

  20. Write some smut!!!!! We dare you!!!
    (Have I told you how much I love Lola and Fishducky?)

  21. Oh my gosh LOL! I blush when I write about kissing. *still laughing* No wonder I didn't know what The Clap was :0)

  22. OK. I totally didn't get what all the controvery was about this post. But I'm late to the game, and things often escape me. :)

    As for reading erotica, no. Writing, yes. I write "steamy love notes" to Tony at least two or three times a year. He loves them. And that's all I'm sayin' about that. :)

  23. Read a few as a teenager by mistake. My tongue was on the floor, and I was like, "REALLY?" I really don't care for them at all, and do not go looking for them. If I see a book that looks racy, I pass it by. But the saying is true, "You can not judge a book by it's cover." I have picked up a few, and had to throw them in the garbage when I was done so the kids would not get ahold of them.