Friday, February 26, 2010

Confessions of a Library Loser

I have a bad habit.  Well, actually, I have several, but we'll save the rest for other postings.  I am really, really, REALLY bad about turning in library books on time.  Heck, not even "on time", it's more like, I'm bad about turning in library books within a couple of months after they are due.  I have no excuse for my poor citizenship in this regard, I'm just a lazy, forgetful, procrastinator.  In every town I've lived in, I've had a library card.  I love to read, so this is a necessity.  I always start out with good intentions of returning my books in a timely matter, and I'll do reasonably ok for a while.  By "reasonably ok", I mean that they are only a week or two overdue when I turn them in.  Eventually, though, I get distracted by other, non-library related things, and my slacker-ness escalates to weeks, months, seasons..... I always get the books turned back in at some point, but embarrassed to show my face inside the library, the fines haven't always gotten paid.  I feel so guilty admitting that.  In the times in the past, we've always ended up moving to a new town or state, (not because of that!) where I get to start fresh with an untarnished borrowing record, and a shiny, new library card.  I always screw it up.

This past summer, my kids and I made many visits to our favorite local library.  Like always, the books got turned in roughly around the time they were due for a while, and with me feeling proud of myself for my borrowing responsibility, we'd check out new ones.  This continued until school started, and our routine was disrupted.  The three of us had checked out at least 9 books between us, which got forgotten about for a few......ummmm.....months.  Yeah.  I ignored a few letters from the library, thinking that I'd get the books rounded up and turned back in soon, and then promptly buried my head back in the sand.  (I'm such a jerk.) Eventually, my husband demanded that we locate all the books, and we took them to the library's after hours drop box.  Sweet relief.  Fast forward a couple more months, until this morning.  My husband opened up a very angry letter from the library, threatening terrible things if we do not return the books (what books? I thought we returned them all?!) and pay the overdue fines, OR pay $235 within 30 days.  Two Hundred and Thirty-five Dollars.  Considering that I thought we already turned all of the books in, and I've not seen them around, I may have to give up buying Peppermint Mocha Lattes for quite a while. Let's just say that dear hubby is not very happy with me today. I am very much in the doghouse.  He has told me that I can no longer use my library card.  Normally, I'd argue (or let's face it, ignore) this demand (I'm not so good with being told what to do), but what can I possibly say for myself? I'm a library loser, and I'm ashamed of myself. 

Some women get cut off from their credit cards, and I, my friends, get cut off from my library card. 
There ought to be a 12 step program for being a Library Loser.  I can't seem to help myself-just when I think I've learned my lesson, it happens again, worse than before.  For now, I'm keeping the shades pulled, and the doors locked, in case the angry librarians come looking for me.  I'm sure they'll be armed with barcode scanning guns, and they'll arrest me with book binding tape, and drag me off in the Book Mobile to the stacks, where I'll be imprisoned, forced to alphabetize and memorize the Dewey Decimal System.  They might give me one phone call, but I'll have to whisper, so no one will be able to hear me anyway.  If this happens, please come visit me.  I'll be in the "Bethany" wing of the building.  (You know, the one they built with all of my "contributions"?)

What do I do?

What do I do?
This library book is 42
Years overdue.
I admit that it's mine
But I can't pay the fine--
Should I turn it in
Or hide it again?
What do I do?
What do I do?

By Shel Silverstein


  1. Hi! Thanks for following my blog, I'm here to return the favor. I loved this post and have to admit (for the first time ever), that I once got so distracted when returning a library book that I mistakenly dropped it in the trash bin instead of the book return. To be fair, the trash bin was right next to the book return, but still, I did have to fish a book out of the garbage...

  2. Thanks! That totally sounds like something I would do!

  3. OMG I am so happy to find another lazy, forgetful, procrastinator, library loser, that loves Peppermint Mochas! Never Never ever stop buying them, cause then they will stop making them all year round, and I'll be really pissed!
    I so could of wrote this post (not as well), crap I wish I had..hell maybe I'll steel it, but I'll have remove as a follower as to not get never mind...need All I can get.
    Oh and to top it all off...I love Silverstein! Thanks for you kind comment, nice to meet a sister in crime.

  4. Thanks for the comment and the visit! Can you believe that I just found out last month that they sell Peppermint Mochas all year? I had no idea! I'm making up for lost time now.
    I'm so glad I'm not the only library loser-maybe we ought to form a support group, LOL!

  5. Congratulations! I have selected to pass on my first blog award to you -- the Sunshine Award! Stop by for a bowl of Soup to pick it up!

  6. Oh, no! I stopped in at the library today to pay my $.20 fine. Lately I keep racking up $.20-$.90 fines every other week. You've made me feel so much better about being just a little late with those books! ;)

    Stopping by from the UBP. :)


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