I try to go to the library at least once every month, so I've developed a pretty good relationship with the librarian, a nice old man who sometimes teases me about my broad set of interests. Yesterday, for example, I brought him the following books to borrow:
- The Book of Bourbon: How to Brew Your Own Whiskey, by Moses C. Kerne
- Gramática de la Lengua Española, by Lucas E. La Fe
- Secrets of Freemasonry, by Dave Orsini
- Rhine Stones: Sculpture in the Carolingian Empire, by Alden R. Roofs
- Not Playing Fair: Non-Euclidean Geometries, by Vera Allcub
He looked at the books quizzically and smiled at me:
"You know what?", he said, "I have one right here that I think you'll love. Take it home". He reached for it. Its name was Life in the Weimar Republic: 20 Essays, by Gerr Hinder. I was unconvinced, but he insisted. "One more book won't hurt!"
I sighed and added the book to the pile. The librarian started laughing as I handed him the library card, and mysteriously said: "That was a good game, if a bit short. Maybe you'll win next time."
What was the librarian talking about?
Edit: I removed the pattern tag (I thought about it and it doesn't really fit) and replaced it with a cipher one, which should help.
I came back to the library, and was greeted enthusiastically by the librarian. I still hadn't finished the six books I took home, but a couple of subjects had piqued my interest in the meantime.
"Hey!, I said, "Can you recommend me anything to read about Zoroastrianism? Or Kantian epistemology?"
"Lots of stuff", he replied. "But, after our little exchange last time, I'm afraid those are off-limits".
"What do you mean? Did I do something wrong?", I asked, a little scared.
"Oh, no, not really. But if you want to play again, you'll have to pick something from the Technology aisles".
I didn't want to make an enemy of the librarian, so I decided to humor him. I chose The 100 Most Useless Patents Filed in the U.S., since it seemed to be an easy read. But when the librarian saw it he sighed and said, "oh, not that one".
Hint 2 (not much of a hint, really)
The puzzle is almost solved, with only the deciphering (actually decoding if that helps) part remaining. Once that's done, the game that's taking place should be obvious. Think about why a Technology book is required to start the game anew.
Hint 3 (some story)
I spent much of the week trying to find out how to play the game the librarian was referring too. I had an idea of what game it was supposed to be, but how the books could contain the information to play it was still a mystery. I came back to the library and leaned towards the old man's desk, whispering. "So... 794, right?"
The man laughed and replied, "Right. But I don't know if reading any of those would help". He saw the look of confusion on my face, so he added: "Different rules, you fool!".
"How so?", I asked.
"To begin with, last time we didn't really play, I just made one last move. Half a move, actually, didn't have much of a choice."
"Look, I don't even know how to make moves. So maybe let's start with that."
"Oh, you should head out to the 00x then, mate!. The table should be in some book there. Then when you're ready to start, bring me two books. Then I'll give you two back and so on."
"First one should be a Technology one, right?".
"Or something about the Greek language if you're feeling adventurous...". He scratched his head, like he had forgotten something. "Right, I didn't tell you about the name changes. That one should be obvious enough, and you won't need the other one anytime soon. I hope so, anyway. Good luck!"
About this hint: most parts about the "gameplay" aren't important to solve the puzzle, they're just there to make it a little bit more consistent (and probably more confusing, too). Just focus on:
where you could find the decoding system inside the library, and maybe the 1 book = half a move part.