Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Friday, September 16, 2005

A Sad State of Affairs

I'm reading John Steinbeck's classic novel "East of Eden." It's a fascinating read, alternately making me laugh out loud and cringe in horror. That's why I was extremely disappointed to read that my copy of the book is missing almost a hundred pages. Apparently, the book binder mixed up a sheaf (I don't know the correct book-binder word) of pages, so I have pages 1-566, then pages 695-758, and then it goes back to 631-947. In the binding process, the sheaf that should have come after page 566 got switched for the wrong sheaf, leaving me with a big hole in the story.

Well, this doesn't take a genius. I googled up the local library, got a library card, and checked out a copy so I can read the missing sections (and alert the federal government to my interest in American fiction; I assume Dick Cheney is reviewing this information as we speak).

The reason this post is titled "A Sad State of Affairs" is because the library had less than one shelf section for Steinbeck books. This is the man who wrote, inter alia, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, Tortilla Flats, The Pearl, etc. The dearth of Steinbeck is made depressing by the fact that the library had about seven full shelf sections full of Danielle Steele novels. Hey, I can't say I really blame the library (which caters to what the public wants to read), or Ms. Steele (who has made a highly successful career out of catering to what the public wants to read), but it seems the public's taste in books is seriously out of whack.

Note: This post fills my "pretentious snob" quota for the month.