Chasing Today’s Hot Property

Typically, this is how it goes down: You read a review of a new poetry book (say, Chelsey Minnis’ Baby, I Don’t Care), and it intrigues you. Going on interlibrary loan, you find the book, place it on “hold,” and see you are hold number #23 on 2 books in the system.

So you get in line. If you were in England Comma Jolly Olde, you’d get in queue, but in the Very Unjolly (These Days) Estatos Disunitos, you get in line with the other 99%.

Then it dawns upon you, sun and all. This poet has written previous books (say, Poemland). So you search and find one of them on the library site’s digital catalogue and, of course, there are zero holds on it even though it is the same poet of the moment.


This is because the old book is yesterday’s news, and if there’s one thing people cannot abide, it is old news (and people).

Canaries are one thing. They read old news lining the bottom of their cages. Ditto puppies, who are traditionally trained to leak old news on the floor. Before they learn to take it outside, I mean.

Anyway, happily, the voice of the searchable poet is the same in the old book as it is in the new book’s excerpts. And if you read enough of the old books, eventually your hold on the new book will inch up the line and you will be notified that it’s ready and waiting on your beloved public library’s “reserved shelf.”

Only then you’re on to something else. Some other poet. Your interest in the old “gotta read” has waned.

Why, you wonder, is interest always waning? It’s like the interest on your savings account at the bank, which has waned to 0.86 APY.

Whatever APY means.

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