The Library of Congress exists to house a copy of every book published. However, there also exists a lesser-known institution which concerns itself primarily with books never written. This obscure lump of bureaucracy, quite appropriately, has no official name.
Books never written, one would think, are not normally something to be categorized. One would think that the number of books never written is potentially infinite, and therefore an institution dedicated to cataloging them would be impossible, but one would be wrong. The only books never written that are cataloged by the Library of Untitled, or 'Lou' (an unofficial name invented for the sake of clarity), are books that:
- Ought to be written by somebody, or
- Have not been written, and thank goodness for that.
Books That Ought To Be Written
Whenever an author writes a manuscript for a book that Lou believes should be written and published, that author receives a government grant. Sadly, the books never written that ought to be written are rarely written, because they tend to be difficult to write well.
Why Bad Things Happen To Good People, And How To Prevent It This book was never written by Richard T. McMelvin, primarily because Mr. McMelvin was never born. Some research has gone into trying to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future, but little progress has been made. However, there are still high hopes that someone else will write it, because it would be an awfully helpful book.
The Truth About The Little Light In Your Refrigerator Marcus E. Sucram never wrote this book, despite the obvious public interest in the issue. Shame on you, Marcus.
Reducing Human Stupidity For Dummies By far one of the most hoped-for books never written, Reducing Human Stupidity would create a world of thoughtful, creative, and intelligent people. Lou reportedly has over three dozen agents working full-time to find either the author or the manuscript for this book.
Books That, God Willing, Will Never Be Written
Employees of the Library of Untitled with a more morose attitude towards life usually work in this department, which houses some of the most horrifying, dreadful, perverse, awful, wretched, depraved, and just plain bad books never written.
Examples (but don't get any ideas)
Burning Hair For Fun And Profit Dustin Ferguson never wrote this book, after much persuasion by Lou agents. Even though worse books have been written, it was generally agreed that the world needed less burning hair, not more. A profitable market for burning hair is something nobody wants to see.
A Dissertation On The Virtues Of Mooning Philosophy major Lawrence R. Munglefig graciously agreed to never write the final draft of this illustrated dissertation (and to burn the original copy) in exchange for a passing grade. Academic integrity may have been compromised, but it was worth preserving the mental health of the populace, such as it is.
Growing Locker Pot: A Field Guide To Success High School Stoners never wrote this book, probably because they were stoned at the time they weren't writing it.
Copyright Laws Pertaining To Books Never Written
Although the copyright status of books never written is rarely discussed, primarily because there's never any money involved, at least four authors of books never written have registered their never-written books to ensure no one else would take credit for them. Lou's copyright lawyers are notorious for becoming severely depressed after only a few months, so Congress has been looking at the possibility of passing legislation that would give the poor schmucks something to do.
There is evidence to suggest that, in 1932, a disgruntled non-author once tried to sue everyone else on the planet for copyright infringement of the book he didn't write, Sockless Acupunture. Although the transcript was never written and the details are therefore somewhat unclear, the non-author argued that the whole rest of humanity was getting as much credit as he was for not writing the book, when he should have been entitled to all of it. The case was resolved, but no legal precedent was set on account of the whole incident being "a distressing mark of shame for the justice system as a whole," according to the judge.
Why Were These Books Never Written?
Lou operates a think-tank devoted to figuring out exactly why certain books are never written. Although specific reasons, such as the non-existence of a book's would-be author, are recorded when they are known, Lou is interested in understanding the natural laws of the universe that determine whether or not a book will ever be written. Hopefully, this knowledge will enable Lou to better control which books are written and which books stay unwritten.
Not many theories have emerged from this research as of yet, except for one mathematical formula:
While undeniably true, no one knows how to apply this formula to anything, much less how to use it for Lou's intended purposes.
Hopefully, someday, someone will write a book to explain it.