Earl isn’t fooling anyone but himself when he makes this claim about his book, Savage Coast: “It is held in private collections and libraries worldwide, including the Prince of Wales collection, the Bodleian library in Oxford and the Shakespeare public library in Paris.” No, it’s not. ANYONE can call or write to the Bodleian Library and the nice librarian will search and confirm that they do NOT “hold” a copy of Savage Coast. I just did. Very nice librarian. Explained the whole thing to her, and she explained the whole thing to me. No Savage Coast at Bodleian. This is another one of Earl’s obsessive efforts to associate himself with things that are IMPORTANT and have GRAVITAS (like the Bodleian Library).
Far more amusing is the reference to the Shakespeare public library. There is NO public library named after Shakespeare in Paris (they have their own literary lions to name buildings after). There is a PRIVATE bookstore called Shakespeare’s and it is a perennial hub of things to do with literature in English. They do not “hold” a copy of Savage Coast, according to the person at the store who kindly spent time with me talking this whole thing through. He and other staff did a quick search around the public reading area of the shop and could no copy of Savage Coast. He did explain that it is an old tradition that authors drop off (freebies) copies of their books in the reading room. Maybe Earl, like thousands of authors, dropped off a free copy of Savage Coast sometime in the past. It’s possible. But the store doesn’t take any notice of books dropped off. They are literally just dropped off. When a book is “held” by a library, the implication is clear: that the library consciously chose a book because they recognize its value. That is simply not the case here, as much as Earl wants you to believe it.
If Earl leaves a copy of Savage Coast in the bedside table (with the Gideon Bible) of a Motel 6 where he stayed last night, no one except Earl would claim that Motel 6 “holds” a copy of Savage Coast.