The diary concerns daily library operations and notes changes in local procedures and overall operating systems; processing section functions; job descriptions; employee relations; and the ever-changing qualification ratings systems between a part military-part civilian staff; and attempts at cooperation among librarians on local, national, and international levels.
Entries of interest include references to cultural events; daily weather conditions and descriptions of seasonal changes; descriptions of scenery, parks, and hotels; travel by train, plane, bus, and ship; food and lodging prices; overall impressions of people; cultural life in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, and Norfolk; and local entertainment, including the latest books, movies, symphonies and plays.
There is a continuing theme throughout the diary of Thorne's attempts to adhere to the principles of the Christian Science religion. Many teachings are interspersed daily as he contends with difficult personal relationships; physical ailments; and continuing bouts with depression, alcohol abuse, and loneliness. Throughout Thorne's writings, homosexuality is addressed as he deals with social intolerance, self-enforced isolation due to fear of discovery, and anxiety over the possible loss of his job and friends. He also mentions homosexual novels and the writings of Marcel Proust.