Once upon a time, based on the recommendation of my writer friend Jackie Windh, i put the book If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, by Italian writer Italo Calvino, on hold at the Tofino library. It’s a peculiar book, Jackie said — self-referentially a novel that starts off with a musing on the writing and reading of novels, then branches off tangentially (but rationally) with each new chapter into possibly new stories, each never completed.
I knew it would be at the Tofino library because Jackie had just returned it the day before. So i put a hold on it from VIRL’s on-line site, to keep it there. An automatic email arrived shortly from the VIRL system, saying the book was ready for pickup, and a few days later i went in to collect it.
It was nowhere to be found. Continue reading