On the morning of April 14th 1989 I decided to take out from the Bedford library two books that I had taken out before: Science confronts the Paranormal by Kendrick Frazier
and The Flight from Reason by James Webb.
Both are sceptical views of the paranormal.
When the girl at the front desk ran my card through the computer a problem showed up and she informed me that I could not have any more books until I returned one that had been overdue since September 1988: The Flight from Reason by James Webb.
I laughed incredulously. "That’s the very book that I have just taken off your shelves!"
She was bewildered.
An examination showed that it was the same book and not a different copy. I had returned it seven months earlier and it had been taken out of the library six times in the interim, although never by me.
I had been into the library more than a hundred times in those seven months and had taken out dozens of books, but there had never been any computer reference to a problem with any being overdue.
Not, that is, until I attempted to take out The Flight from Reason.
I should perhaps make clear that presenting my card into her computer would not have given any indication of which books I was then attempting to take out.