Thursday, February 3, 2005
There are 11 different reading books listed for my class this semester…and when I went to buy them, Gray’s was sold out of one of them.
"That’s okay", I thought, "I’ll try the U of L bookstore…"
No bookstore in town had the book…I went online to order it, and Amazon.com said it would take five to six weeks to get, since it was OUT OF PRINT.
Why did my teacher assign an out of print book for reading in this class?
I called every new and used bookstore in town, TWICE, and they didn’t have it. Either time that I called.
No one had ever even heard of the book.
Except the guy at Twice-Told Books in the Highlands…he said, "Oh, about the Wobblies?," and I excitedly said, "Yes!", and he said, "No, if I had that I would probably keep it."
The public library didn’t have it.
The U of L library had two copies, one already checked out, one lost.
I was too embarrassed to contact my teacher about it, since I’m already on the high maintenance list, having emailed him twice so far this semester…
My supervisor overheard me telling Barnes & Noble that I would drive to the edge of the earth if I had to, if they could just tell me where I could get this book (I’m exaggerating slightly here), and told me to find out if the University of Kentucky library had it…if they did, she would tell her son who goes to school there to check it out for me if I was willing to drive down to Lexington to get it.
She was probably just joking, but I did it anyway.
And that’s how I ended up driving to Lexington and back last night after work just to pick up a book for school.
In the car, for four hours.
While it snowed, rained, and sleeted.
I can’t decide whether I should be frustrated at professors who assign out of print books for class and bookstores who don’t/can’t buy enough of those books to supply the students…
or if I should be delighted at the kindness of regular people, like my supervisor’s son, who doesn’t know me and still checked out a book on his card for some flaky girl, and my sister-in-law, who, instead of me driving alone in the dark and not knowing where I was going, agreed to go along for the ride…
We had a pretty good time.
When I got the book in my hands, it was like the skies opened up and the angels were singing…
Usually when I go to Lexington, it’s only to go to Rupp Arena … this time, we went via Versailles Road … and, I’ve heard of this, and seen pictures of it, but it was still disconcerting, when…
We drove by a castle.
We finally got home about 11 p.m.
I fell asleep reading the book. I think I made it to page 2. That’s not the book’s fault, though, because the book is really great, I know now why he assigned it.
Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology by Joyce Kornbluh