Thursday, May 19, 2022

emergency library visit

So the finalists for the Mythopoeic Awards have been announced. I'm on the committee for the scholarship awards, and while I'd read most of the finalists, there are two I'd only seen online excerpts of. But I have to read them all in full for the final vote, so it was time to check their library holdings.

Stanford is still out, but WorldCat shows one in hardcopy at Berkeley, the other online at Davis. I figure I'd better grab the hardcopy one as soon as I can, before somebody with borrowing privileges checks it out. The afternoon of the next day, Wednesday, is my only free day for the remainder of the week. Berkeley is on intersession at the moment, and the stack privileges desk is only open by e-mail appointment. Amazingly, I get a reply early Wednesday morning that they could be there in the afternoon. So I fire back confirming, and drive up there to discover it's the middle of graduation week: people in cap and gown are wandering everywhere, stopping to get their photos taken, etc. (Berkeley doesn't have one mass graduation ceremony: each department holds its own in various venues at various times over several days.)

Fortunately I'm able to find parking, trudge up to the library, get in, find the book, and spend the next few hours speed-reading its fortunately brief corpus. I also find that Berkeley also has on-campus online access to the other book, the one I'd thought I'd have to go to Davis to get, so I download that one onto a flash drive and take it home. No long drive to Davis next week after all.

I enjoy the book I read a great deal, despite the fact that it's a study of something that I don't know much about. Whenever it touches on something else I do know, it seems impressively insightful, and the rest appears coherent as well. Will get a good rating from me, but all the other books in the category are good too, so cogitation will be necessary.

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