Contrarian librarians


Library bookshelves

So many books, so little time. *Sigh.* Library image courtesy of Raysonho on Wikimedia Commons.

I’ll finally admit it. I’m a book addict. I cannot go one single day without reading (or at least leafing through) a book. Drat it. I blame those wily librarians.

All my life, librarians have been my enablers. They presented me with a wide choice of nefarious temptations, slyly accompanied by the line, “Oh, you’ll enjoy this!”, until I helplessly surrendered and took the books home with me. Thanks to these librarians and the enticing events they host (a.k.a. “book fairs”), my bookcases are exploding and I have books stashed in just about every storage location I have. Bags, boxes, crates, drawers, my vehicle’s glove compartment — you name it, there’s probably a book in there.

Traditionally, these librarians have been kindly and helpful souls willing to point me toward whatever I wanted to investigate that day. I could curl up in a comfy chair beside a library window, with my stash sitting next to me, and browse through the books to my heart’s content until it was time to check out and leave.

Hollywood movies have interesting views on librarians, have you noticed? In The Music Man (the 1962 version with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones), Shirley Jones is “Marian the Librarian,” the stereotypical, straitlaced librarian with very little sense of humor. This year, there was also the gentle Morris Lessmore of the short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. By contrast, the 1994 movie The Pagemaster features Christopher Lloyd as a librarian who is the sinister gatekeeper to an animated world for Macauley Culkin.

But I think the best movie librarian is Flynn Carsen of “The Librarian” TV movie series. Played by Noah Wyle, Flynn is a funny, geeky hero/librarian with a set of encyclopedias for brains, working for a library that holds the world’s greatest mythical treasures. The poor guy gets beaten up, shot at, tossed around like confetti, ambushed, robbed, shoved out of an airplane, almost crushed by falling rocks, dumped or abandoned by his girlfriends, tied up and scratched by swords. (If anybody ever needed Worker’s Compensation, he’s got my vote as the ultimate candidate.)

Plus, librarian Flynn is a fellow book addict like me, judging by his living room. I’m sure he and I, plus other book addicts, would get along. See for yourself!



Filed under Writing

24 responses to “Contrarian librarians

  1. I suffer the same addiction. 😉

  2. I -love- the Librarian movies! They’re just such a blast to watch. I secretly like to believe that every librarian goes on crazy adventures to save the world on the sly.

  3. How fun! The Music Man is one of my favorite movies, but I’ve never heard of the one with Noah Wyle. I’ll have to see if I can find it. Maybe we should start a Book Addicts Anonymous in an effort to clear out our houses. 😉

    • Amazon’s got all 3 of “The Librarian” movies. Or you could probably find them at Target or anyone else selling DVDs that go back a few years. I like the Book Addicts Anonymous idea, too. Maybe a bookmark could be our special symbol? *grins wickedly*

  4. Having grown up in the Iowan town that The Music Man’s River City is based upon, and having frequented its library over many years, I am fairly convinced that I have met Marian the Librarian in passing. I think the quiet, librarian façade is just a cover, and inside she struggles with the same, uncontrollable book addiction as us all. Of course, working in a library isn’t going to help her recovery. But then again, recovery is highly overrated.

  5. My addiction is now a benefit. Since I live in a granite house, the 4,000-odd books on the outside wall of my office are now insulation. And the other 3,000 books (they’re the ones I read for pleasure, rather than reference) do a similar job in the sitting room. Now all I need is some money to get the place heated so we can keep the heat in!

    Meanwhile, I do not want a cure for the addiction. Books are wonderful, and if I had ebooks, my office would be much colder…

  6. 7,000 books??!! Wow. And I thought that I was an addict. You, sir, have just reached superhero book addict status.

  7. SandySays1

    My human loves all you book addicts. Naturally, he’s an author. He loves librarians for another – since he writes a lot of historical fiction, the librarians — whether the Plummer, Jones or Wyle type — all get his thumbs-up for their help. He has a book coming out in August dedicated to one.


  8. Enjoyed your post! We didn’t have public libraries where I grew up, it was only the school library. And later there were no public libraries in Dubai, or if there were they didn’t have English novels. But I have always dreamed of becoming a librarian…:(

  9. The Librarian rocks! It’s about time the world understands the true powers that lurk beneath our mild exteriors. Sorry. Once a librarian, always a librarian. For now, I daylight as a teacher. One day, I will once again don my spectacles and best “shushing” ways to rejoin the ranks of daring librarians.
    Happy Pages,

  10. Noah as a librarian – Wow! Think I might have to look out for this one, I don’t think we’ve seen it down here in Aus.

  11. One of my first jobs when I left school was in a library. I did try to study to become a librarian, but the first year was the history of books…..quite dull and I gave up and went to Italy instead, and the rest is history.

  12. I will definitely look for it on DVD! At the Half Price Bookstore. I didn’t know about this. I love Noah Wyle. And I was a librarian in a previous life and often frustrated by the gray-haired, pursed-lipped old woman librarians in movies.


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