One of the hardest tasks a librarian faces is getting rid of a book that he or she treasures. Today I was reviewing a cart of books that one of the clerks had pulled for me and stalled when I reached "The Impressionist" by Hari Kunzru. A report that I had done showed that it had only been checked out a total of 5 times in its lifetime, and never in the past 18 months. In fact, no customer had removed it from the shelf since June of 2005.
I think I read "The Impressionist" after Sandy Schultheis reviewed it in a library book review column. I don't remember any of the details -- just that I sunk readily into its glorious pages. The library catalog blurp says "At the age of fifteen, a boy is thrown out onto the streets when the truth of his parentage is revealed, forcing him to reinvent himself to survive as he journeys from Victorian India to Edwardian London." The Barnes & Noble website shows it won several prizes and was translated into 19 languages. It was quite the buzz in literary circles in 2002.
So where's the movie? Where's the miniseries? Where are the dog-turned pages? Where is Oprah?
For now, I think I will just leave it on the shelf. I feel better knowing that it is there.