Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book mutilation

Several years ago, I read a library-related curse in a book of quotations. I own that book, and I think it's somewhere in my apartment, but I don't know where it is. I didn't feel like digging through all my books, so I Googled "library curse" and came up with a blog post with the curse. So, I quote the blog, which is quoting a website, which is quoting the Harvard Magazine, which may or may not be quoting the doors of a 16th century monastery library in Barcelona, Spain:
“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand & rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, & all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, & let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, & when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.”
I would like to add to the first part of that quote - I believe it should also include something like, "or mutilates [mutilateth? lol] what he hath borrowed." As a longtime fan of graphic novels and manga, there have been many times when I have wanted to curse those who mutilate books. The first volume of Chobits, which I got via ILL and which I currently have sitting on my desk, has inspired me to hunt this curse down. Was it really necessary to cut panels out of 6 pages (12, if you count the other sides of them, which I guess I should)? And, by the way, I've read this series before - if you're reading this, oh mutilator person, I know what scenes you cut out. If you want to add a nearly naked Chi or a drunken Ms. Shimizu to your scrapbook, that's fine, but please don't mutilate library books to do it.

Grr. And so ends the rant. Still not sure what the post is going to be for tomorrow...

Update: The blog's link to the Harvard Magazine doesn't take you to the article anymore (one more point for link rot's score board), but I think it might have originally linked to one of the "Bibliokelpts" articles. I haven't seen the quote yet, but it's still interesting reading. So, does your library know how many of its books get stolen or mutilated every year?

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