The wife's been reading a biography of W.C. Fields (W.C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes, by Robert Lewis Taylor). It was first published in 1950 - the hardcover copy we have is from the library, and it's been in the library so long that it was put away into the archival shelves aeons ago. A look through the borrowing dates shows that it was first taken out in May 1953, and then about once a month till October 1954, after which the frequency dropped to once in two months or so till mid-1956. Then the borrowings fell even more to about once or twice a year, and there was a long pause where it gathered dust between 1969 and February 1972, the last year stamped on the borrowing slip.
1972! The wife wasn't even born then. She was very excited to be holding a book that was so old. Plus it had the smell of old books that we love so much. We took turns taking deep whiffs. Then I saw the sign on the borrowing slip that reads as follows:
SURREY COUNTY LIBRARY140 HIGH STREET, ESHER
This book should be returned to the Branch from which it was borrowed by the latest date entered below: if not, fines will be charged. If the book comes into contact with any notifiable infectious disease you should follow the instructions of the Medical Officer and notify the Librarian.
ENQUIRIES ARE WELCOME
Notifiable Infectious Diseases?! And we've been breathing them in? Head for the hills. Nobody is safe.