I admit to checking the Missed Connections on Craigslist with some regularity, not so much to see if I have been mentioned (okay, maybe a little), but more out of a certain morbid curiosity. Perhaps there’s an element of Schadenfreude, but I take a little comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one who routinely squanders potential romantic opportunities and then spends an evening alone in what if speculation.
In this collection of short comics edited by Julia Wertz and inspired by Missed Connections and similar personal ads, there’s plenty of that sort of thing, people idly wondering what might have been had they not had to catch that bus or been interrupted by friends or lacked the courage to speak up, how a transitory situation played differently might have led to romance, instead of one person alone posting on Craigslist in the vain hope that it might be read by the right person.
Josh Hadro over at Library Journal has reported that Harper-Collins has announced significant changes to the way it licenses its books to library eBook vendors. Under their new license, each eBook can be borrowed only twenty-six times before the license expires and the library required to purchase the title anew. Two other major publishers, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, already do not allow their digital titles to be lent at all, and this adds yet another disincentive for libraries to add downloadable digital content to their collections.
Sarah Houghton-Jan, over at Librarian in Black, is calling upon libraries to contact Overdrive and Harper-Collins to express their discontent and to boycott digital content from publishers who place onerous restrictions on digital lending.
This weekend’s protests in the UK against plans to shutter some 450 libraries brought out quite a few celebrities and notable authors, including one of my personal favorites who made an appearance at St James library in his own Northampton…
“Libraries are constantly under attack from people who fear knowledge, politicians who think guns are more important than books, and people who want to ensure that multi-millionaires pocket even more money. As an author, father, and a reader, I beg you: please support your local libraries in any way you can, and if you enjoy reading, take a moment to thank a librarian.”
“When it happens, this is what happens: I shoot myself.
Not, you know, my self self. I shoot my future self. He steps out of a time machine, introduces himself as Charles Yu. What am I supposed to do? I kill him. I kill my own future.”
Time-travel technician Charles Yu has found himself stuck in the very kind of predicament he is employed to help others extricate themselves from: Yu is trapped in a time loop, initiated by shooting his own future self. With only TAMMY, his time machine’s overly apologetic operation system, and Ed, his “nonexistent but ontologically valid dog,” for company, Yu sets out to unravel the mystery of his present difficulties, the key to which seems to be a book he received from his future self.