Being Despicable

Update, 27 October 06:

The author whose inscribed book I mis-sent to the Library sale instead of the Library archives, John McNally, has written me an apology, explaining that the whole story started with a entry in his blog which he intended to be ironical. People read it as true outrage, and other blogs picked it up, and within a week New York Magazine found it somewhere on the Web and — without checking with him or me — ran their snide little jibe. He feels bad, and I'm sorry. No apology is due, except to both McNally and me from Rupert Murdoch — and I won't hold my breath waiting for that.


A friend sent me a page from a magazine called New York, a feature called The Approval Matrix, with a picture of me high on the "Highbrow-Despicable" index, captioned: "A fan who sent Ursula Le Guin an inscribed copy of his novel later found it for sale online."

I keep looking at this in amazement. What is the naivety index in New York, anyhow?

I've bought second-hand books with author inscriptions to somebody else, and never gave it a thought — people sell books when they need money, after all. In second-hand book stores I've frequently found copies of my books, inscribed by me "to so and so." I'm not surprised, let alone enraged. My reaction is, "Oh, well."

Because my bookshelves are pretty completely stuffed, most gifts of inscribed books from strangers go in a special box, which goes every now and then to Special Collections at the Knight Library at the University of Oregon, thus relieving my bookshelves while the books are kept in temperature-controlled luxury, pampered by librarians.

All the other books I can't keep go in a give-away box. Obviously I failed the triage on this one. It got into the give-away box and went to the Multnomah County Library "Title Wave" bookstore.

I'm sorry that happened.

It was bought by somebody, profits to the Library, who then put it up for sale online, profits to himself.

The author, finding his book for sale, apparently not only assumed that I rushed to eBay or Amazon to make a buck out of it, but felt that it was such an egregiously awful thing to do that a trendy magazine ought to informed of it so that everybody would know what a stinker Le Guin is and never send her any presents any more, so there.

This is a fan?

Oh, well.
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Updated Tuesday, 18-Jun-2019 10:14:39 EDT