OF all the delightful recreations classed, for divers professional reasons, under the general designation of work, which cause the librarian's existence to be regarded with envious eyes as one of the most joyous and irresponsible on earth, the most delectable is surely that of cataloguing and the moments when the cataloguer feels himself fullest of enthusiasm, when he knows it would be impossible to exchange his lot with any human being, are those spent in the absorbing occupation of correcting proofs, for then to the more sensuous delights of the game are added the zest and ardour of combat. Some day I may, with the editor's sanction, make a few observations on the pleasures of cataloguing in general for the present I am going to consider only this final phase. A curious feature of the pastime or work, to adopt the conventional phraseology, is that some people are unable to see the fun of it and innocently suppose the term work to be meant seriously. Still, when one reflects that every sport is looked upon by outsiders either as a deadly form of depravity, or as idiotically tedious and laborious, it is clear that this feature is neither wonderful nor exceptional. Golf, angling, football, punting, mountaineering, even bookcollecting, are each looked upon as work by those who love other kinds of recreation, which may yet be in reality not a whit less arduous.
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1900
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