donation of a book

The British grammar-technical school for boys of South-Shields, Co. Durham, where I was the French assistant in 1965-66, has an impressive site for alumni. I am listed among the staff, so I left my e-mail for those who wanted to contact me.

A sixth-former did, a couple of months ago. He is now a grand-father, and retired somewhere in the south. He disclosed he now wrote books, and I confessed I wallowed in the same vice. He bought my Concombre en Absurdistan, in which I devote a whole chapter to my stay in South-Shields. I bought his The Five Stone Steps based on the notebooks of a policeman in active duty in South-Shields between WWI and WWII.

My former student said he particularly enjoyed the chapter on South-Shields. I asked him if I shouldn't donate a copy to the school library out of sheer courtesy. He said it would be a waste of money because it is no longer a grammar-school, but a comprehensive one, and he suspects French was discontinued a couple of decades ago.

He rather suggested I donate a copy to the town library because it has a small but good French department. He e-mailed the head librarian to introduce yours truly, and advised me to send her an e-mail stating the donation. Three weeks have elapse, and I have received no answer so far. Perhaps the librarian is embarrassed because, who knows, there is no more French department in her library.  :D


  • It's possible that they have simply not realized that a reply was appropriate. I am in the process of tracking down one of my old English teachers, intending to give him a set of my books, but there is a non-zero possibility that he will throw them at me. Since he will be very old by now, I am confident that I can outrun him in the event that things turn truly ugly. Not that I expect that. :^D
  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    This is why I am happiest when total strangers buy my books. Give someone one of your books and they might make appropriate noises, but if a stranger buys one of your books they might actually read it.

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