• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


Libraries have a way of accumulating excess reading material. Periodicals pile up. Ponies who fail to sell off their own books at stable sales decide donations are easier than just waiting for the next go-round. And of course, a truly dedicated librarian will be adding tomes at every opportunity, until the shelves are full -- and then some. There's a cure for this situation, and Twilight's been avoiding it for a few years.

Time's up.

(A stand-alone, no prior-reading-necessary part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group: new members and trope edits are welcome. )

Now with author Patreon page.

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 199 )

Oh... OH.... Poor, poor Twilight. This is going to go right into the annals of stereotypical Twilight behaviour stories. Twilight is going to carry on right up her Khyber, she going to give this idea a monumental monstering, an almighty shafting! Let us observe her bring this idea in sorrow to the grave!
Congratulations, this is right in line with the rest of your work, it's a pleasure to read it.

This is gonna blow up so hard. I can't wait to see this madness unfold.

Poor Twilight. This cannot end well for any concerned party; I suspect that shit and fan will shortly have a fateful meeting.

Ah, it's a spiritual sequel to "Twilight's Escort Service".


Yup. This is going to be something :eeyup:

Ah, Twilight. You're a public servant. While that does mean that you serve the public, there is another part to it. A hierarchy, with the mayor at the top. "Or else" might start with your budget, but it could eventually mean your job...

Spring brings the Remainder sale. I wonder if the mayor might decide that a book amnesty, with late fines forgiven, is due just before winter...


carry on right up her Khyber


Well, this is going to be interesting!

I can see Twilight trying to convince her friends to buy out the extra books and store them in their houses as an impromptu branch library system... and I can see them (well, Applejack and Rarity, mostly) telling her gently but firmly "No."


Ah, the "Carry On..." films. A reminder that British humour isn't all Monty Python and Terry Pratchett, sometimes it can make Adam Sandler look sophisticated.

This Twilight comes off as a little slow witted and inconsiderate, even by comparison to the underwhelming baseline portrayal of her in Tryptich.

This will not end well for Book Horse, especially if she tries to convince her friends that something needs to be done about this uttermost blasphemy. Definitely looking forward to see her attempts to overcome the tyranny of finite shelf space.


You have to remember that comedy has to cater to all mindsets. From the high point of subtlety and allusion that is the late great Sir Terry, all the way to... that. Besides, it's not the worst Britain has to offer. Trust me on this. It all boils down to the quote "sexual intercourse began in 1963". So by the 70's, Britain had gone quite sex mad. Hence... that.


Locally, for raw IQ, Twilight is the most intelligent of the Bearers. It just doesn't mean she always understands how things actually work, especially when compared to the way she believes they should. Her intellect often operates as an incredibly powerful train running along a not-quite-parallel track, aimed directly towards the edge of a cliff. Or put another way: the smarter you are, the more you can talk yourself into. It's so easy to come up with a dozen intellectual reasons for why it only looks like you're completely wrong...

As for inconsiderate? At times. Part of her character development can be measured by the steadily decreasing time between the moment she puts her hoof in her mouth and the second she actually realizes her mouth now has a hoof in it.

7814796 This explains why she had to be informed that the local government is the default authority for a local library? Boy, I'm expecting some Herculean leaps if you want me to swallow that as her initial understanding of government.


Speaking of Pratchett, he famously said "If you have enough book space, I don't want to talk to you". That seems to summarise this whole story in one sentence.


It's more that she had decided "If I do A, then the other party must do B," with all response options from C on rejected because B felt like the only sensible response. Beyond that, there's more chapters to go, which might wind up shedding a little more light on things -- and past that border is the unconquerable barrier known as Individual Character Interpretation. This is the local Twilight and as such, the mileage has its variable set. And if the act of character interpretation is in itself offensive -- deity knows that's happened before -- then I have to go with my standard three-word answer for the situation: so it goes.

I occasionally swear I'd have an easier time of it if I just wrote her as a serial killer.

This was a fun read, certainly and I love how you delved into Twilight's obsession with creating a proper library, but here is something that just plain irritates me:

"In five days," the mayor said, "under the previous custodian, the library would have an annual event. You will revive that tradition, on time, and bring the book population of the tree down to a reasonable number. One which fits entirely on the shelves. And the rotating racks, of course: I expect you to keep those. Five days, Miss Sparkle, and every last column of the eighty-two I counted before reaching your desk will be gone. Or -- yes, this still seems to fit -- or else."

The mayor is being vague. Twilight is being vague. Why? People are specific, but in so many of your stories characters are vague just for the sake of being vague. Is everyone in your verse obsessed with being mysterious? I ask this because otherwise this strongly reminds me of the crap Hollywood likes to spew-you know the kind where they are deliberately vague just to try and create tension rather than for any character reason or trait. It's irritating to see, and it is the one downside I've found to reading pretty much all of your stories, and frankly I don't know why you continually utilize it.

Outside of that, this was a pleasurable read, Twilight and her precious was a joy to read, and overall as high a quality as most of your stories in this verse are.

7814866 So your Twilight The Librarian really doesn't see the mayor as her boss, just some other participant in her one sided logical dance? Because yes, that is more like a serial killer than a librarian.


(First, apologies in advance for this. I have been sick (as in physically ill) for a few weeks. I'm probably well past the point where I should be replying to anyone about anything.)

Well, I could have done it this way.

Twilight had been buying too many books for the library, and it had reached the point where the shelves had overflowed and produced columns of hardcovers on the floor. So the mayor came in and demanded that Twilight have the excess stock sale which she'd been avoiding for years, or else forfeit her new book budget.

And I'm pretty sure that could be edited down to well under fifty words. Of course, then I wouldn't be allowed to publish it as a chapter, but doesn't it look so much more clean and concise than the total garbage I always post? Really, someone else should be writing this concept. All my concepts. Would anyone like a copy of my master notes file? Be warned that judging by my typical style, you'll need to delete 98% of it. Minimum.

As with most stories, there's a problem which has to be dealt with. I felt it was more entertaining to not detail exactly what the problem was in the first ten seconds. There's a sense that something's off in the library, then Twilight suggests that state is deliberate, and then we find out what's wrong.

Mayor Mare is deliberately leading Twilight on: she wants to see if the librarian can figure this out on her own, and she's also taking what faint amusement she can gather from the process. Twilight is trying to avoid coming to that conclusion because while she may realize what she's being ordered to do, she doesn't want to do it. One isn't hiding the goal so much as stringing it along, and the other doesn't even want to look at the end of the yarn, much less pounce. But in the end, it comes out, and so the rest can proceed. What should proceed next is some Twilight-style avoidance of issues.

Put it this way: the title of the next chapter (which should go up tomorrow) is Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Denial, Denial, Denial...

And past that, when it comes to writing style, there's another three-word answer I get to pull out now and again:

Hi. I'm Estee.


...and I'm out.

Next week: Twilight Kills The MLP Universe. That Comments section is going to be so much fun!

Pity the Crystal Castle isn't part of this continuity - she'd have the room for a half-way decent collection. (For a few years, anyway. :twilightblush: )

Perhaps she can use the Castle of the Two Sisters as a branch library? It already has its own collection, most of which aren't even cursed. Of course, there will be some small risk of being eaten by a Manticore en route, which will discourage patrons, but how better to separate out the true scholars from the filthy casuals?


And I'm pretty sure that could be edited down to well under fifty words. Of course, then I wouldn't be allowed to publish it as a chapter, but doesn't it look so much more clean and concise than the total garbage I always post? Really, someone else should be writing this concept. All my concepts. Would anyone like a copy of my master notes file? Be warned that judging by my typical style, you'll need to delete 98% of it. Minimum.

Total Garbage? What? I would hardly consider most of your work garbage. I'm...did I offend you here? I'm not entirely certain where this came from, but if I did, I apologize.

Okay, just let me explain where I'm coming from. In my own writing, I consider character first and foremost of any story, and I spend excessive amounts of time on deciding if one action or statement from a character was in character. To that extent, I also try and consider real world experiences, and the vagueness so often in your stories is, in my experience, only found with those being deliberately vague.

I'm not saying or implying that you have to shorten and clear everything down to under fifty words. I loved the opening interiority with Twilight in regards to her library, but it's just you actively avoid specificity. It's primarily the dialogue that puzzles me, because, well, dialogue I base on what I've heard in real life and I can't recall anyone I've ever had a conversation with being this vague on a consistent basis.

I suppose this is just your style, but, well, it's still puzzling to me, and goes against several things I've learned in writing courses I've taken.

Now, don't get me wrong. You're still one of my favorite authors on this site, and I love all of your stories. It's just the dialogue of your characters that sometimes feels off.

Estee: Is the chapter title a reference to To your scattered bodies go
", or are you going straight for the John Donne?


The Carry On films were a great feature of my youth - some of them (notably the earlier ones) were very entertaining, and Carry On Screaming is generally considered a classic. I grant that they aren't to everyone's taste (and some of them are very much products of their time), but they never tried to put themselves forward as anything other than what they were: light entertainment.

Is that the library from Ghostbuster's? In the cover art.

7815117 Check the source or google it. The image is very apropos for the story. As well as the story behind it.

Spike strolled up to the library door, still chuckling at what Apple Bloom had said to him while they were playing tag. "Twilight's rubbing off on me. Sure she is. Just because I had to schedule--" He stopped talking once he gave the door a good tug and nothing happened. A second tug followed, somewhat stronger, but still cautious, because even a small dragon could cause significant damage to an ordinary door. Then the sign on the door caught his attention.

"Twilight?" Spike tried to pitch his voice as softly as possible but still loud enough to be heard through however many books had been piled up against the door. "Is something wrong? Why is the 'Closed' sign up?"

The voice he heard in response was rough and terrifying, somewhere between a growl and a roar.

"Twilight WANT!!"

"Ho, boy." Spike turned around and began sprinting over to Rarity's boutique. He needed to send a letter now!

i feel for twilight. So will she invent a magic e reader?

I wonder if the Mayor accounted for if no one actually wants to buy the books on offer?

... Fluttershy might want some of those bio books for her animal caretaking, and other ponies have other interests, but history books and stuff... Does the school have enough of a budget to buy those?

Unless Cheerilee buys them for her own personal collection or something?

Then there's pricing. I bet Twilight will overprice a few times, until Rarity arrives and sorts it out, unless Twilight gets her help immediately?

Hmm... One option might be to donate them all to the Mayor's Office! Making it still the Mayor's problem, but not Twilight's anymore! :rainbowlaugh:


What, like "Hulk SMASH!!"


Nah, it's a reference to the episode "The Secret of my Excess" where Spike's greed runs away with him.

Personally I like Neurotic Twilight, and I miss The Grin.


Of course, no man or Pony is Conan's master, and he sets his own budget by looting illiterate civilizations.

Boy, this certainly doesn't do anything to dissuade my headcanon that Cranky had done some covert work for the Crown in his long wanderings (which explains their attendance at his wedding). Based on what we've seen, a donkey's magic may be to endure both mentally and physically, in a sort of parallel to a minotaur's strength. So an intelligent, insightful donkey who is going all sorts of places anyway? A perfect recruit for the Equestrian Intelligence Service. Plus donkeys strike me as the type who will do whatever needs to be done, pleasant or not.

Twilight's always had an 18- maybe even a 20- Intelligence, but it seems clear that her Wisdom score has only improved from a 4 to a 6 or so at this point.

As always, it's the really smart people who make the really catastrophically stupid decisions, because a) the idiots generally don't get to make the momentous choices, and b) the smart people are really good at justifying their stupidity to themselves and others.

(In game terms, Twilight has put all her point buy in Int, and skimped on Wis.)

Any chance this is a refernce to The Remains of the Day?

Nice fanfic. It's hard to be a librarian!

So, why isn't Twilight researching a spell to create 'expanded space', so that everything fits on the shelves despite not normally physically being capable of doing so?

Also, I want to see a follow up to this after Twilight's gotten her wings, and the new Ponyville Library is essentially inside her castle - and Ponyville technically now belonging to her.

"Mayor Mare, let's discuss... shelving requirements."


Publicly accessible tesseracts. Do you really want a list of all the reasons why that could be a really bad idea?

Magic is a tool. It's a tool Twilight will consider and experiment with, but that's all it is: a tool. It's not a catch-all, it's certainly not a solve-all and in the wrong field, it causes more problems than it solves. "Let me just make up a new spell on the spot!" isn't begging for disaster: it's hanging a sign on the library doors. Disaster About To Ensue. Come Inside!

L-Space remains the domain of another: I know better than to venture there. And if Twilight even takes too many notes about the concept, she may find an empty space where her papers used to be and a few strands of strange orange fur on the floor.


But... but! THE BOOKS!

Sure there's some... ahem, risks... involved. But the preservation and acquiring of knowledge is surely worth it or we'd not have SCIENCE!


Replace "bargaining" with "bargain-binning".

7816210 I remember plsting dnd and trying to find my way out of a tesseract. We had to do some intense math and in the end my chat acted died of hunger still looking for the exit out of that 5the dimensiona horror.


I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this, but honestly, the first place my mind went with this was also swapping "shelf space" for "friendship problem" in the "if I can't find it, I'll make it" scenario and running from there. The episode in which Cheerilee's entire class have to be rescued from some dement[ed|ing] Escherian hypericosahedron just writes itself after that...

(Disclaimer: I have a chapter of my own in the future works involving Inadvisably Applied Space-Distorting Magic, which may explain why it leapt to mind.)

Or, hey, if the problem is stacks falling over, she could always just turn off gravity...

If gravity is turned off, how on earth are ponies gonna walk around in the library? Earth ponies and unicorns aren't going to be too happy about floating to the ceiling every time they want to borrow a book.


One problem at a time! :twilightoops:

(Insert image of Twilight grabbing patrons in her field and moving them over to the shelf they need, with a cheery, vaguely manic "Hang on tight!")

Otherwise, any affected object left to itself would eventually snap back.

I call it the Nefario Principle!

Aw, Twi it's for the best! Think about all the love those books are gonna get once somepony new gets their hooves on them rather than them sitting there gathering dust next to their duplicates at the library.

Another enjoyable chapter. I love how in her own head Twi is in this fic. It's gonna be a rough next chapter with Rarity.

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Denial, Denial, Denial...

Yes. That is what's happening. And it's cringe comedy, no? But it is funny! And sad. But funny!

She'd been that desperate exactly once, just a few weeks ago. The exact issue of Equestrian law she'd needed dealt with had placed the issue into Luna's custody and... it hadn't worked out.

Should we know what that is?


Hmm... We've learned about more magic...


It's about this.

(And to keep this as 'no prior reading necessary', you just have to know what's written here: that Twilight went to the last resort once and it failed.)

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