I work p/t at our local library. As p/t jobs go, it's a great job, especially for a writer. Several of my co-workers are aspiring writers, and in speaking with one of them after I first began working there, I was told I could submit my works.
Last week I did.
I worked the early shift so before we opened the doors, I handed my book to the branch manager. I've gotten to know her since working there and I thought how cool it would be to walk by the T section of the adult fiction books and see mine among the stories.
Before I handed it over, I was a little nervous, which surprised me, to be honest. I didn't expect that. I mean, I'm proud of the book and can stand before thousands of convention goers and sell it with confidence. Why was I nervous? I don't know--I just was.
"I heard that we can donate books to the library?" I asked the manager. She said it was. I handed over the book.
Then she said something. "You know, once you donate a book to the library, it becomes the property of the library."
I nodded like I understood.
She continued. "And because the book belongs to the library, we're free to do whatever we want with it."
I nodded again.
"Which means, it can end up on a shelf, or a library book sale, or the dumpster."
"Oh yeah," I said trying not to sound surprised. No author likes the thought of having someone judge your book and deem it worthy throw it in the trash. I never considered that when I decided to donate the book.
It makes sense, though. They get thousands of books, movies, magazines donated to their system. The buildings just aren't big enough to contain all of it. I don't know how long it will take for someone to make the call as to what happens to my little collection of stories. Nor do I know who will make that determination. It could very well end up in the garbage, or on a shelf. Either way, it's still pretty cool to be able to donate something with my name on it in the first place.
I'll keep checking the shelves as I put books away. Who knows? Maybe one day my book just might be found among the others.