A library in Massachusetts has a special shelf to help visitors who can only remember the colour of the book they want to loan.
With a sign reading: “I don’t remember the title, but the cover was red”, the library has a wealth of popular books with covers in different shades of the colour on display.
When libraries troll their patrons. pic.twitter.com/Hn8a96f8je— Dark Tyrant, the Horror of the Living (@Metafrantic) February 4, 2018
Bart Leib took the picture at Framingham Public Library where he works part time.
Among the red books in the display are Lisey’s Story by Stephen King, H G Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien.
Asked if he had any favourite red covered books himself, Bart told the Press Association he would go for Terry Pratchett’s Soul Music, or JY Yang’s The Threads of Fortune.
According to the replies to his tweet, apparently inquiries by book colour is something libraries get quite a lot.
“It was always blue when I worked in public libraries,” replied Twitter user Andrew S.
Yeah apparently we had a blue version of this display some time ago, but I missed it!— Dark Tyrant, the Horror of the Living (@Metafrantic) February 4, 2018
Apparently people asking for blue books tended to be after travel guides, allowing librarians to impress visitors by leading them to just the right book.
. Usually used to be blue travel guides. We used to stun people by leading them to the exact book they wanted.— Andrew S. 🇪🇺 #FBPE (@Irr_Orbit) February 4, 2018
And visitors don’t always get the colour right either.
But like 60% of the time, they had the color wrong.— Christine Whitlock (@StineWhitlock) February 5, 2018
One librarian shared their story of finding the right book in a giant library despite being given only the vague subject and the wrong cover colour.
My proudest moment was working in an episcopal library of 200,000 books, someone asked for 'that book about bishops with a yellow cover' and I got it straight away *even though it was purple*— Anna James (@superteadrinker) February 5, 2018
And apparently there was a just as annoying record store equivalent of this question too.
Not unlike working in a record store (millennials: these were places that sold music recorded onto compact discs that you would play individually). “What’s that song on the radio that goes hmmm hmmm do do do whaa whaa”— Lady Glitter Sparkles (@ldyglttrsprkls) February 5, 2018
One cheeky bookshop worker even relabelled their new age reads section “blue and white books about light” after a common shopper request.
Luckily their manager approved.
Some booksellers could impress shoppers by knowing exactly what they wanted from a vague description (and because they’d already sold a load of copies).
Customer: "It's this big," *indicates with hand gestures* "and it's red."
Me (Bookseller): "It's 'The Dangerous Book for Boys'."
Customer (unaware that I'd sold 15 copies that morning as it was the book du jour): "YOU'RE A WIZARD!"
Me: "A BOOK WIZARD!" 😂— Leilah Skelton (@Leilah_Makes) February 5, 2018
So next time you’re after a book, give the bookseller or librarian a little break and maybe have a Google before you leave the house.