Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Asking for it

A few weeks ago I took six copies of my anthology, Wild Nights, to my local public library. My husband had discovered online that authors could donate their books to the library.

I have to admit I felt strange explaining to the librarian that I was the author and wanted to donate the books.

Why strange?

I expected her to ask me to prove it.

I mean, after all, I’m just saying I’m the author. I could be anyone. I could even be an author trying to impersonate a better known author. The possibilities are endless.

Though later I thought, Why would she ask me to prove who I was? I was donating the books. I had six copies of one book. If I’d bought six copies to donate just so I could impersonate an author, why would the library care? And the librarian was certainly appreciative about my donation.

Last night, my hubby checked on my books in my home town’s library system and I was stunned to discover that my library has all four of my books, including the one I donated.
What completely knocked me off my feet?

The online system showed requests for those books. That means that there are people on waiting lists to read my books. Thirty people are on the list for Blood Rose. And thirty for Wild Nights. Each book, actually had a list of 20 – 30 people.

Now of course I had to put it into perspective. So I checked Nora Roberts. 522 people are waiting for High Noon. 50 are waiting for Amanda Quick’s latest. But I was still stunned, and touched, and thrilled, and amazed at my 30!

I adore my local library. I loved taking my kids there for story times and I met other new moms there who are very good friends. I love having the resource so close to hand for non-fiction books. And I love the serendipity of browsing shelves and finding a book I never would have gone searching for. This is how, years ago, I found "The Unruly Queen" by Fiona Fraser. She writes a terrific biography of the Regent's wife, Princess Caroline. My heart certainly went out to Caroline after reading it. I was fascinated by the fact that if Caroline took an English lover the man would be arrested for treason. Obviously, I realized after. Since any child of hers would be a future king or queen. Caroline was very clever, however. Her lover was reputedly Pergami, an Italian.

What are most intriguing biographies you’ve read lately? Or have you made a surprising find at your local library?


Kate Pearce said...

I agree with you about the whole 'prove you are the author thing'. I've been into stores and offered to sign stock and they usually are just fine with it-I could be anyone!

I have Nelson Mandela's autobiography on my list of to be read-looks fascinating!

Pam Rosenthal said...

It's great to be on a library waiting list, isn't it, Sharon? I was equally thrilled when I found that I was. Congrats.

Sharon Page said...

Hi Kate,
That's exactly the way I feel about signing stock. At first I wondered if I should take a copy of my contract along, just in case :-)

Though the last time I signed stock, I'd left the family to peruse the children's section of the store. They found me in mid-signing and my daughter wanted to know why I was writing in one of the books!

Sharon Page said...

Thanks Pam!
It was definitely a thrilling moment! Congrats also to you.

Celia May Hart said...

Man, I really should get my books to the local library....

Jane Lockwood said...

I showed my driver's license at one store and they looked really surprised--said no one had ever done that before!

I love libraries! My most recent poking-around success was Fay Weldon's autobiography, Auto da Fay, which is wonderfully weird and witty.