It is (almost) a truism that librarians harbour a secret (or not so secret, as the case may be) desire to be writers. It is, similarly, (almost) a truism that keen readers desire to be writers. Now, I am a librarian (retired) and a keen reader but I have never really had a desire to be a writer – well, let me clarify that, I have never really had a desire to write a novel, so those of you who want to write the Great (insert your nationality) Novel need fear no competition from me. But, am I letting the side down?
That said, as truisms go, many librarians have been (and still are) published authors and so I was interested when, in my inbox today, lobbed an email from Abe Books with a list of books by librarian authors. The authors are:
- Berger, Thomas (Librarian, and journalist)
- Borges, Jorge Luis (Librarian, National Public Library, Argentina)
- Breem, Wallace (Manuscripts librarian, Inner Temple, London)
- Larkin, Philip (Librarian, University of Hull)
- L’Engle, Madeleine (Librarian, New York)
- Norton, Alice Mary (Librarian, Cleveland Library System and Library of Congress)
- Petterson, Per (Librarian, translator and bookseller)
- Taylor, Elizabeth (Governess, teacher and librarian)
- Tyler, Anne (Librarian and bibliographer, briefly)
- Wilson, Angus (Librarian, British Museum)
Admittedly, I haven’t read all of these authors, but they do make a pretty respectable bunch don’t they? Being surrounded by books clearly did them no harm. And, if Wikipedia is right, Marcel Proust, Lewis Carroll and Philip Pullman were also librarians at one stage in their careers.
Looking at this rather impressive line-up, I think it is just as well I decided to be a librarian and reader (not to mention blogger), and not an author! But don’t let me turn the rest of you off … someone has to do it.