Some of you may be too young to know this but this is how you used to check a book out of the library. Catalog cards. They were still in use when my first books were published. As libraries around the country began to transition to computerized catalogs they discarded the cards.
By the time I realized there would never be a library catalog card for my books again, it was too late. I kept looking inside of books from libraries, asking librarians to save them for me if they came across one. Nothing. After a while I forgot to look. Forgot about those special cards that tracked books in libraries. An amazing system really.
The bad news is that some of my books are out of print. OOP in publishing lingo. The good news is I can still find some of them on line, used and almost new. I recently ordered a copy of When Africa was Home on line. It was a library edition.
The other bad news? Some libraries are weeding out some of my books.
The good news is there was a pocket in the back of that book and inside that pocket was a card!
I am going to frame that pocket and card and put it on the wall of my office. Most of my books are still in libraries. I know, because when I go to a library I check. The unexpected most rewarding part of publishing a book for this writer is to see it on the library shelf and with this little card I can see it has been checked out and when I look at that framed card I will remember that I have books in libraries.
Who knows, maybe someday that little card will be valuable...but probably not.
But it will remind me of the good old days browsing through card catalogs at the library.