A little help from the library geeks in the audience: Why is it that libraries shelve paperbacks and hardbacks separately?
So the hardback of say, Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis is in the hardback sci-fi section, while the paperback of Perelandra is in the paperback sci-fi section. And if you don’t get why that’s inconvenient, they’re both the first and second novels respectively in Lewis’ Space Trilogy. I don’t care if it’s hardback or paperback, I just want to read the trilogy.
Or an even simpler example, I’m looking for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein (I told you I was on a sci-fi kick). But I can’t just check the paperback section (which didn’t have it), I also had to check the hardback section (which did have it).
How screwy is that? I love libraries, but I don’t get this. Is there some rhyme or reason to it? Is it easier to shelve books when they’re all hardback or all paperback? Does it save shelf space? And whatever the rationale, does it justify making it harder for patrons to find books?
Hmm… it makes about as much sense as having to call Northwest Airlines five times at three different numbers to finally talk to a human (and no, the “customer care” line did not result in talking to a human, no matter how hard I tried). I hate to put libraries in the same category as a bankrupt airline–but that’s where I’m at.