Behind the Music: "Bibliophilia"

By “Lucky” Annie LeBlanc

"Bibliophilia" is my favorite song I've ever written (and I love the photo below that Saber took for the cover art!). I'm so psyched everyone can now buy it as a single.

Some background on the song:
1. My mom is awesome and took me to the Rochester Public Library, pretty much weekly, from a very young age (I think my earliest memories of it were when I was 3 years old or so). We also visited the Bookmobile every other week when it came to my neighborhood, though I preferred the main library because they had a dollhouse that changed seasonally, and puppets you could check out! I've had a library card of my own as long as I can remember (and now I have cards for three different county systems, whaaaat).

2. I've always been in awe of libraries - even more so today, recognizing that in our consumer-driven culture, libraries are one of the only places you can go without having to spend a single cent, and you can come away with education or entertainment. You don't even have to physically GO to the library to gain its benefits - through services like Overdrive (which is name-dropped in the song), you can get ebooks and audiobooks delivered to your electronic devices for free. And there's usually a reference librarian available by phone or email to help you answer questions, which is phenomenal.

3. I was inspired to write this song as I was getting ready to go volunteer at a local library for a day. I was flirting with my boyfriend and we started coming up with terrible and wonderful library and book-themed double-entendres and puns, and...well.

4. The song originally had a completely different melody, but when I sang it at rehearsal, it clearly wasn't working. I went back to the drawing board, and came up with the melody you hear today.

5. I do not advocate having sex in libraries. Consent is mandatory, and that includes the consent of people around you in a public place who might hear you, see you, or have to clean up after you. And note that the punchline of the song is that we are actually singing about reading erotica in the library.

6. I had to change one of the lyrics after we'd started performing the song (and after the YouTube video of it was released). Originally we said "I'll meet you in 649.65" because when I Googled "Dewey decimal sex education books," that's what came up. Repeatedly. Buuuut then when I was looking around at my library I realized that section is embedded within child psychology, and consists of books intended to teach very young children about where babies come from, and I was kinda horrified. Not the vibe I was going for at all. So we've since changed the lyric to "Shelf 306.7's where I feel alive," which is the adult sex education book section, my original intention.

7. One final note as a pitch for libraries: libraries may be taxpayer-funded, but have been subjected to massive budget cuts over recent decades. Most libraries have a foundation you can donate to, and sometimes there are special perks for being a monthly contributor. And if you're trying to de-clutter, most libraries accept donations of new and used books for their Friends of the Library program, and possibly for their collections. One of my habits to support my favorite authors and libraries is to pre-order hardcovers from my favorite authors, then donate them to the library as soon as they arrive. The benefit is threefold: 1. The library gets a new release they can either throw into their collection or sell for a decent amount at their Friends bookstore, 2. I'm helping my author friends boost their sales numbers (since hardcover orders count more than ebook orders, and I always order the ebook too), and 3. If it's added to the collection, it can help my favorite authors find new audiences, especially if the library hadn't already ordered a copy.