I suppose most librarians carry around something to read in case they have a spare moment, for example on a train journey or while waiting for the One Really Interesting Bit on the usual dull agenda paper. It is not always assumed that librarians read, of course. Was once stopped walking home in what we used to call the wee small hours by the motorised Law who wanted to know what I was carrying in that large army pack — an enquiry with the heavy and well‐seasoned implication that “we're not taking at face value anything you say, so you might as well show us”. On seeing the load of books they asked, “What are you, then, a student?” Revealing myself as a librarian was obviously insufficient evidence and I was further quizzed as to what I was doing with the books.
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