bonæ litteræ: occasional writing from David Rundle, Renaissance scholar

The Joy of Library Notices II

Posted in Offbeat observations by bonaelitterae on 18 December, 2009

The latest instalment comes once more from the lavatorial nook of an esteemed library: this time, the loos marked ‘Male Readers’ in the Bodleian.

There has been, for what seems many moons, a notice on one of the electric hand-dryers, which reads:

REGRET

TEMPORARILY

OUT OF ORDER

This has set my mind wondering: where in the library’s collection has regret been misplaced? Is there a space in the section for negative emotions, between chagrin and disappointment, where it should have been? It has not been lost, merely wrongly shelved, so where now might it be? In the allied section of memories, snuggling up to nostalgia? Or in a completely counter-intuitive part of the library, like the poorly-lit room given over to gustatory sensations? The Bodleian, at least, is optimistic that it will be returned to its rightful place: does this mean there is even now a wise member of staff hunting down regret in the recesses of the stacks? We wish them luck in their search, and hope that they will take care handling it, when found: regret can be so fragile, so insubstantially bound.

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  1. Stephen Tall said, on 18 December, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    The regret may well have been re-located to Swindon.


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