Das Buch she wanted fanns inte

The old librarian sat on an old chair, behind an even older desk. On the desk layed neatly stacked papers, pens and pencils in different colours, and piles of books. The librarian swept his grey hair out of his face, and squinted down at the letters in the old tome that layed in front of him.

“God dag” The librarian lifted his eyes, and saw a woman standing in front of the desk. She had black, shoulder length hair and soft, amber eyes. She wore a blue scarf around her neck, and a green kånken-rucksack dangled from her shoulder. If the old librarian had to guess her age, he would say she was in her late twenties.

„Guten Tag. Wie kann ich Sie helfen?” he asked.

“Jag letar efter en bok – The Fellowship of the Ring, alltså den första boken i Lord of the Rings.” the woman replied.

„Oh ja, das Buch ist sehr gut. Kommen Sie bitte mit” said the librarian, and rose from his chair. The floorboards squeaked slightly when he walked around the desk. He made his way towards the fantasy section, and the woman followed.

„Hier ist das Buch” said the man, pointing at an old paperback, tucked between several hard covers.

“Ja, men det exemplaret är ju på tyska?” said the woman, biting her lip.

„Ach, entschuldigung. Das Schwedische Exemplar ist da drüben” The old man pulled out another paperback from the shelf, and held it out for the woman. „Bitte”

“Ja, förlåt, men jag vill hellre ha boken på engelska. Författaren har ju skrivit den på engelska, och jag tycker bättre om att läsa på originalspråk” the woman smiled nervously.

„Ach, so?”

“Ja, då är det författarens egna ord en läser, istället för att det ska ha gått genom en översättare. Och namn brukar också översättas, i Harry Potter-böckerna till exempel har Tom Riddle översatts till svenska Tom Dolder, och Gilderoy Lockhart till Gyllenroy Lockman. Det blir inte alls samma känsla”

„Aha okey. Vielleicht haben wir auch das englische Exemplar irgendwo. Warten Sie bitte hier” The old man walked quickly away, back to his own desk. There he picked up a huge book, and hurried back to the woman. „Hier ist die Inhaltsverzeichnung über alle Bücher in der Bibliothek.” he told her.

“Så om ni har The Fellowship of the Ring, så står det där?”

„Genau” The librarian opened the section of the book called „Fantasy, foreign languages”. Only a dozen titles was scribbled down there, and even if some of them was in English, none of them was The Fellowship of the Ring.

“Ni verkar inte ha särskilt stort utbud av böcker som inte är på tyska eller svenska” the woman commented.

„Nein, tut mir leid, weil die Nachfrage von Büchern auf anderen Sprachen sehr klein ist” said the librarian, and smiled an apologetical smile.

“Jaha, då får jag väl köpa boken då” The woman sighed, and turned around to leave.

„Warten Sie bitte!” yelled the old man.

“Ja, vad är det?” the woman asked, her eyebrows raised in surprise.

„Ähh…” The old man didn’t know what to say. It was just that so few people came to the library nowadays, and he didn’t want to let a person go from the library without being content. „Ähh… Vielleicht können wir das Buch kaufen. Ja, ok, wir werden The Fellowship of the Ring in Englisch kaufen” After all, it was a while since they had buyed new books for the library.

“Åh, tack” The woman gave him a big smile “När kan jag komma och hämta den?”

„In einer Woche. Auf Wiedersehen”

“På återseende” The woman glanced around at the books a last time, and went out of the library.

A week later

The woman zipped her jacket open – it was warmer in the library than in the windy autumn outside. She was greeted by the same sight as last week – loads of bookshelves filled with books, and in the corner the old librarian, sitting at his desk reading a book.

“Hej” smiled the woman “Har min bok kommit in? The Fellowship of the Ring?”

„Oh, ja” The librarian rose, and pulled out a book from the shelf above his head. He gave it to the lady. „Bitte schön”

“Tack!” The woman opened her book, and glanced down at it. Then she saw the book lying on the librarians desk.

“Vad läser du?”

Oliver Twist, von Charles Dickens. Du hattest recht, es war viel besser in Englisch!”

Ingrid Bjerre (Med hjälp av Ebba Nilsson med tyskan)