“I am Senior Subject Librarian Lea Manhardt, and from now on you will speak only when spoken to. The first and last words out of your thesauri will be “Ma’am”. Do you bookworms read me?”

“Ma’am, yes ma’am!”

“This is a library! They can hear you in the crypt under the chapel. You will WHISPER, you filthy bookworms, and you will do it so quietly that my cat will not be able to hear you, and she’s woken up by her own farts! Now whisper like a castrato!”

“Ma’am, yes ma’am.”

“If you filthy bookworms leave my library, if you survive basic training, you will be an open book. You will be a font of knowledge and expertise fit to advise the lowliest hobo and the freshmanniest of freshmen. But until that day you are trade paperbacks. You are the lowest form of literature on Earth. You are not even books, you are pamphlets. Handouts! Ephemera! You are nothing but beat-up, stained romance novels at an old lady’s estate sale, do you read me?”

“Ma’am, yes ma’am.”

“Because I am like unto a hardback book with archival quality leather binding, you will not like me. I am not an easy read. But the more you hate me, the more you will retain. I am hard read but I am a fair one, and my orders are to weed out all the paperbacks and self-published poetry from this sorry box of library donations. Do you bookworms read that?”

“Ma’am, yes ma’am.”

With apologies to Stanley Kubrick and R. Lee Ermey

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