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Doug Dorst once retweeted this picture (tweeted originally by the Cincinnati Public Library). Perhaps it is simply a reminder that “S” points to many other works. Or, perhaps it is a deeper clue. What if we are to find answers to the mysteries of “S” within the library itself?

  • This is where our story begins – the library at Pollard State University. It is where Eric studies and leaves his copy of Ship of Theseus – the one that Jen finds and where their relationship in the margins begins.
  • Jen works there.
  • Eric’s copy of Ship of Theseus was stolen from his high school library.
  • There is a mockingbird outside the PSU library that sings all night and has been there every Spring that Eric has been at PSU.  (p44)
  • The library has quick access to the steam tunnels (“The way out was down. Is down.” P197)
  • The Straka Archives at PSU are in the library.
  • When S first meets Sola in the tavern, he notices that she is reading a book in such peaceful solace – as if this chaotic, drunken hovel were a library (p16).
  • There is a library on Obsidian Island, where S meets The Lady and has a significant opportunity to view The Book of S (p290).
  • The word library comes from the Latin liber – meaning “the inner bark of trees” – also related to the word cork. Books were once written on the inner bark of trees and the word expanded to mean book. Liber is the inner bark. Suber (as in quercus suber – the cork tree – otherwise known as Sobreiro) is the outer bark. Metaphorically speaking, this could symbolize that the library is the inner bark of the tree and the cork, the outer bark which is harvested and remains separate from the liber, is the marginalia. The cork represents the harvest of reader response, discussion, interest, etc., that is dispersed and transformed and distributed. Something to ponder.
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