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14 March 2004 @ 08:28 pm
Going through your books leads to many discoveries.

-- Many paperbacks from the Fairfax library. They don't mark the spines, so once they got lost in my thousands of books they were impossible to pick out. I think they were already paid for, but I'm shipping them back anyway.

-- A few Arlington library books. Including one overdue since 1986. I know these were paid for, as I had a valid Arlington card when I left Virginia, but I'm sending them back anyway.

-- Victor Turner's copy of _Sorcery In Its Social Setting_. This won't mean much to most people, but he was a big heejeeb in the world of anthropology, so as a former anthropology student it made me jump to turn to the flyleaf and find 'Victor Turner, University of Chicago'. I took a course with his widow at UVA, so I deduce I must have borrowed the book to write my paper for it. Google suggests Edith is still alive and teaching at UVA, so I've emailed her so I can return it.

-- And one moral dilemma. Many years ago I brought several exlibris copies of Octavia Butler books from a used book store. Now, after sorting through my books, including a number of genuine exlibris books, I have the suspicion that they weren't in fact, deaccessioned. They have no stamp, and perhaps more tellingly, they still have cards in pocket. Now, it's unlikely they were stolen from the library to sell. I brought them in the DC area, and they are from the Santa Cruz library. I didn't pay much money at all, since it was some 20 years ago, when she was a much more obscure author. So did someone lose them, pay for them, and then find them after they moved across country? Or did they never pay for them at all and they properly should be returned to the Santa Cruz library?

For two of them, it's not really much of a dilemma. _Mind of My Mind_ and _Patternmaster_ I can easily pick up paperbacks of if I want to reread. But the third, _Survivor_, is Butler's _The Big U_. The first work that she thinks is too lame to allow to be reprinted. Except without the part where she finally lets it be reprinted because the price is so ridiculous. Even paperbacks of it sell for $50.

(Edited because Lois Bujold and Octavia Butler are not the same person)
I'd forgotten how often we saw Magrittecolubra on March 14th, 2004 08:29 pm (UTC)
Octavia Butler, or Lois McMaster Bujold?

I'd frankly hang onto Survivor, in your shoes. It's been years since they lost it, if they were going to replace it, they have by now.
Lauratavella on March 15th, 2004 10:02 am (UTC)
Whoops. Edited.

I'm sort of inclined to hold onto it myself, yeah. The last date in the card is 1982, when the book was easily available to replace. I still feel mildly guilty, though.
Monicarani23 on March 14th, 2004 08:37 pm (UTC)
I would consider contacting the libraries themselves and seeing if they want them back. Alternatively, I would consider donating them to your local library. If they don't need them, they can always sell them.
Lauratavella on March 15th, 2004 10:04 am (UTC)
Well, I actually want them, so if I was going to send them anywhere, I'd send them back to Santa Cruz. Unless you mean the other books that got lost in my collection?
Marithmarith on March 15th, 2004 01:13 am (UTC)
Octavia Butler, yeah, yeah, you know already :)

Ask the library? They might not appreciate the value of _Survivor_ in the way you do and say it's okay to keep it. It would be a terrible shame to return it to them and have them just add it to the book sale bin.

Yay you for returning books!
Lauratavella on March 15th, 2004 10:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, I might call them. There's what looks like it might be an ID number on them, so possibly they can track down what happened too.
Angelachotii on March 17th, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
I mentioned the dilemma about the Butler book to my mother in law, and she said if you bought it in good faith 20 years ago, the statute of limitations protects you. You're not required to return the book. You may *wish* to, all the same (though it would be such a shame if they just 'discarded' it or threw it in the sale bin!), but you're not legally responsible.