Wednesday 21 March 2018

This library has a special shelf dedicated to books with red covers after visitors kept asking for them

‘I don’t remember the title, but the cover was red.’

The library shelf with a sign reading
The library shelf with a sign reading "I don't remember the title, but the cover was red" (@Metafrantic/PA)

By Grace Rahman, Press Association

A library in Massachusetts has a special shelf to help visitors who can only remember the colour of the book they want to loan.

With a sign reading: “I don’t remember the title, but the cover was red”, the library has a wealth of popular books with covers in different shades of the colour on display.

Bart Leib took the picture at Framingham Public Library where he works part time.

Among the red books in the display are Lisey’s Story by Stephen King, H G Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien.

Asked if he had any favourite red covered books himself, Bart told the Press Association he would go for Terry Pratchett’s Soul Music, or JY Yang’s The Red Threads of Fortune.

According to the replies to his tweet, apparently inquiries by book colour is something libraries get quite a lot.

“It was always blue when I worked in public libraries,” replied Twitter user Andrew S.

Apparently people asking for blue books tended to be after travel guides, allowing librarians to impress visitors by leading them to just the right book.

And visitors don’t always get the colour right either.

One librarian shared their story of finding the right book in a giant library despite being given only the vague subject and the wrong cover colour.

And apparently there was a just as annoying record store equivalent of this question too.

One cheeky bookshop worker even relabelled their new age reads section “blue and white books about light” after a common shopper request.

Luckily their manager approved.

Some booksellers could impress shoppers by knowing exactly what they wanted from a vague description (and because they’d already sold a load of copies).

So next time you’re after a book, give the bookseller or librarian a little break and maybe have a Google before you leave the house.

Press Association

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