i’ve written about the brilliance of Tom Gauld before (1, 2) but there was something serendipitous with the timing of this latest release. The Revenge of the Librarians has pulled me out out the doldrums not once, but twice … and it’s not even been published for a month. The first set of doldrums, i.e the post-EIBF blues, were entirely predictable. The second set are related to COVID and a cancelled holiday. While recent news re precarious pension funds is threatening to create a black slough of despond ..

…but it transpires Tom Gauld has concocted the most efficacious pick-me-up, cheer-me-up self-help guide, which had me positively guffawing from the very first page.

No matter how bad it gets, this is going to be me. There are benefits of having a 1500+ TBR after all.

For those wondering how much effort it takes to get a TBR that size. The answer is no effort at all. This game is really fun!

But what if all those books do eventually become too much? Does he have any culling strategies? Not sure if that’s the purpose behind this cartoon, but I’m pretty sure I could fill a box of books like the one on the right ….

Gauld is obviously well-acquainted with the tricks and flicks of serious bookwormery. He is also fully au-fait with authorly dilemmas, including reaching the tipping point – the moment it should be recognised that a manuscript should be locked in the bottom drawer …

I particularly enjoyed the various tussles between author and editor. There’s a whole series of cartoons depicting editorial strategies for breaking bad news. This cartoon elicted the loudest laugh of them all ….

I feel this is the only way a certain ex-Royal’s “wholly truthful” memoir will ever hit the shelves ..