Don’t be a twerp! Don’t borrow books!

Bücher, Books

In his Armageddon in Retrospect, Kurt Vonnegut has something to say about the practice of borrowing and lending books:

“But don’t borrow it [sc. the book]. For God’s sake, buy it!

I consider anybody who borrows a book instead of buying it, or lends one, a twerp.When I was a student at Shortridge High School a million years ago, a twerp was defined as a guy who put a set of false teeth up his rear end and bit the buttons off the back seats of taxicabs.”

Vonnegut has a lot of good words to say about libraries (and librarians), but here he calls us and our users/patrons/clients/readers/— twerps.

Well, considering the present discours on abandoning books and (re)defining libraries as social spaces etc., sans books, maybe librarians took Vonnegut’s objection too seriously and just don’t want to be twerps anymore?


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