To have and to … whatever

Imagine our delight here at the Key West library when we saw that our inaugural One Island One Book program , featuring Ernest Hemingway’s Key West novel To Have and Have Not, had made the pages of American Libraries, one of the premiere professional journals of libraryland! And it was the issue with library god Neil Gaiman on the cover, even. How cool is that!

Until … we turned to page 12 and saw the nice write-up that explained our book of choice was Ernest Hemingway’s … To Have and To Hold. Huh?

Having written for publication for many years I understand how this sort of mistake happens. Once in awhile your brain just takes a little timeout — and next thing you know, the action of your misfired synapse is set in type. If you’re lucky, you have a smart editor whose brain is working better than yours that day and she catches the goof. If not … it’s mortifying. One of my favorite things about blogging is that you can go back and fix these kinds of screw-ups as soon as you, or someone else, notices them.

Unfortunately for the good folks at the American Library Association, and for us, you can’t do that with print. So there we are, for eternity, with Hemingway’s To Have and To Hold.

By the way, there is a novel with that title in our collection — we came across it the other day while moving the large print novels. It’s by Fern Michaels, the prolific romance writer. It’s probably a fine piece of entertainment — but it’s unlikely to be chosen as a One Book One Island title. (And not to be confused with To Have and To Hold by Jane Green, which it looks like we used to have in the collection but no longer do.)

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