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Buffy quotes for every occasion. Part 4: Librarianship

Willow: "Once again I'm banished to the demon section of the card catalog."

Rupert Giles wasn't just a Watcher and a hero who saved the world on many occasions. He was a librarian, and so beloved of much of the library community that he and Buffy made the cover of American Libraries (see below). Yes, the Sunnydale High library wasn't much of one; it was basically Giles' demonic reference collection and a place for the Scoobies to hang out, regroup, and plan how to eliminate the latest scourge of Sunnydale evil. But the library was my absolute favorite Buffy set. (Although I kept wanting straighten all of the books so that the call number labels were at the bottom where they belonged.)

So here are Buffy quotes relating to librarianship, and Giles being a stereotypical librarian. Let me add that librarians are not usually like the stereotype. They tend to be quite smart and well-informed, they get riled up about censorship, and their whole raison d'etre is to help people find the information they need. I haven't seen a librarian with their hair in a bun more than once or twice in my career. And I have never seen a librarian shush anyone.

Buffy: "You're like a textbook with arms."

Willow: "How is it you always know this stuff? You always know what's going on. I never know what's going on."
Giles: "Well, you weren't here from midnight until six researching it."

Giles: "I'm just going to stay and clean up a little. I'll be back in the Middle Ages."
Jenny: "Did you ever leave?"

Giles: "I'll have you know that I have very, uh, many relaxing hobbies."
Buffy: "Such as?"
Giles: "Well, um... I enjoy cross-referencing."
Buffy: "Do you stuff your own shirts, or do you send them out?"

Giles: "You remember the book that was stolen from the library by a vampire a few weeks ago?"
Buffy: "Yeah."
Giles: "It was written by Du Lac. Damn it! I let it slip my mind with all the excitement."
Buffy: "I'm guessing it wasn't a 'Taste of the Vatican' cookbook."

Spike: "You have your way with him, you'll never get to destroy the world. And I don't fancy spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet."

Snyder: "I love the smell of desperate librarian in the morning."

Buffy: "I mean, I can't believe you got into Oxford."
Willow: "It's pretty exciting."
Oz: "That's some deep academia there."
Buffy: "That's where they make Gileses."
Willow: "I know! I could learn and, and have scones."

Xander: "Boy, it's a good thing no one ever wanted to check any of these books out, huh?"

Willow: "I was in the library during the quake, almost got buried under some nineteenth century literature. And I don't have to tell you how hard it is to dig through some of that stuff."

Giles: "Xander, don't speak Latin in front of the books."

Giles: " The resources that the Watchers Council has at their disposal... I mean the Central Library alone is just..."
Buffy: "Don't talk about the books again. You get all ... and sometimes there's drool."

Giles: "If you think of the store as a library, it will help you to concentrate on service rather than selling."
Buffy: "Yes, and then I'm going to marry Bob Dole and raise penguins in Guam."

(This one is my favorite.)

This might be a good place to thank everyone for their suggestions for future quote-related topics. No promises, though, because fall approaches.

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I’ve always loved Rupert’s ode to the books from ‘I Robot, You Jane’: “Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a - it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly”

    Every time some recommends I buy a Kindle I remember that wonderful little speech (which Steven Moffat all but plagiarised in ‘Silence in the Library’).

  2. This post just made me realise how much i miss Giles. Particularly since pretty much every character the actor's played since returning to english TV seems to have been the opposite of Giles. It's probably intentional but still makes me sad.

  3. Great category, Billie! My favourite book-related line from Giles comes at the end of season four's Halloween episode: "Actual size."

  4. I am loving these lists! But there was one that wasn't one the list that comes to mind, and only because I had the conversation nearly verbatim with my husband when we first moved in together:

    Xander: "I'm not enjoying this."
    Giles: "Well, shelve them correctly and we can finish."
    Xander: "I don't get your crazy system."
    Giles: "My system? It's called the alphabet."
    Xander: "Huh. Would you look at that."

  5. I'm loving these additions. Audience participation rocks.

  6. Xander: Excuse me, but have you ever heard of knocking?

    Jonathon: We're supposed to get some books. On Stalin.

    Xander: Does this look like a Barnes & Noble?

    Giles: This is a school library, Xander.

    Xander: Since when?

    (Transcript found on www.twiztv.com)

  7. I'm so pleased to report that this article was mentioned on Whedonesque!


  8. At the risk of being a little overly Giles-like, technically, from a grammatical standpoint, the title of your post should be Buffy 'Quotations' not 'Quotes.' (see below.) That said, I love the concept of these posts. Thank you for reminding me how much I still love Buffy!

    A quote is a verb and means a cost estimate from a vendor or service provider. Or to repeat or copy the words of another usually with acknowledgment of the source.

    A quotation is a noun and is a set of words that is copied or repeated, such as a passage from a book, speech, etc.; in commerce, it is also a statement of market price of a commodity or security.

  9. It depends which reference you're using.

    The OED lists the second meaning of "quote, n. (2)" as "A quoted passage or remark," and contains attestations from both the 19th and 20th centuries.

  10. Though not an official, card-carrying librarian, I have worked in libraries for over a decade, and I do on occasion wear my hair in a bun. (Mostly in the summer to keep it off my neck. Yuck.) And just to complete the stereotype, I also wear glasses. I don't think I've ever literally shushed anyone, but I've reprimanded and glared at people for loudness, so that kinda counts. :)

    Thank you so much for compiling this, Billie. It's been a lot of fun to read and reminisce.

    And, Mark Grieg, it's not plagiarism, it's an homage. :-p I giggled the first time I heard it, nonetheless. I'm a sucker for writers making fannish references to each other's work.

  11. I just realized that I didn't state it outright -- but I actually am an official, card-carrying librarian. I got my masters in information science while Buffy was running. Just a coincidence, but Giles does mean a lot to me. Even though I made a lot of snarky comments about what real librarians would do in my Buffy episode reviews.

    (Actually, the comment about the call number labels should have given me away.)

  12. Ah Billie. You and your labels LOL.

    Books are cool. I should know, I've got about 40-45 boxes of them ready for the movers next week...

  13. Quoting you (or quotating (?) you) : "Audience participation rocks." Sure does; especially since the re-watch.

  14. "Whedonesque!"

    OH ! That must have been one of your best ten days of your Life !

    Cool, cool, cool.


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