The Long Tale

In my post on Paul Flagon-man, I pledged that his book, Peddling Prosperity, would be the next on my reading list. Unfortunately the county library does not carry this particular work of his, and though Amazon is peddling the book, I would rather wait for another paycheck to make the purchase. What's more, after just having read three nonfiction books--and not liking Thomas Friedman's book much at all--I am primed for some good ol' yarn spinning, and soon settle upon Ender's Game, a sci-fi classic, as my next pick. Much to my joy, the book is carried by the branch library just a short walk from my abode, which is unusual since the library is small. Once there, however, and despite the assurances of the electronic catalog to the contrary, I discover that the book is nowhere to be found among Orson Scott Card's other works. No matter, think I, for it will not take long to snag something suitable with my title-trawling eye.

Aha--my eye catches on Vonnegut. I've always meant to read Slaughterhouse-Five, and here it is....not. Just some of his other books. Drat!

What's this, Orwell! His 1984 has been a hole in my literacy for ages! O frabjous day! But I am foiled again. Though other oeuvres are to be seen, the chef has left the shelf.

And, within a few minutes more, I find Umberto Eco but no The Name of the Rose, and realize that Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude must be living somewhere in isolation, perhaps for fear of catching cholera.

Why a library would stock only the lesser-known works of famous authors puzzles me like an inapt simile; perhaps a clue lies somewhere in the text of The Satanic Verses, the one exception I am able finally to check out.