Library confessional

In 1962, the playwright Joe Orton spent six months in prison for defacing library books.

Two years later, his scandalous and brilliant Entertaining Mr. Sloane, which I recently saw with a friend, hit big in London. And three years after that, he was bludgeoned to death by his lover and partner-in-library-book-defacement, Kenneth Halliwell.

All of this is just to say: in honor of the British Library’s new missing list, George Murray is offering forgiveness for your library book sins. He admits to ripping a “map from the back of a Tolkein hardcover housed in the school library.” I’ve already told my story — the early demise of my library’s Ramona Quimby, Age 8 — but I trotted it out again in the Bookninja comments.

Because, you know, why risk death by hammer when total exoneration is available? (Now where does one confess library crimes that aren’t book-related?)


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