Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Library delinquent

It all started with the Bookmobile.  One day I came out of the change rooms at the pool, and there was a little white trailer parked in the corner of the arena parking lot.  Curious, I went over to investigate.  I clambered up the fold-down metal steps and stepped into a paradise:  I was completely surrounded by books.  I left the Bookmobile with a shiny red plastic library card carefully rolled into my pool towel and a wealth of new adventures tucked under my arm.

Seven years later..."Fifty-two dollars?!"  My poor father almost drove off the road.  "How on earth did you rack up fifty-two dollars in library charges?"  In these pre-Internet days, research for my biology presentation entailed checking out thirty books and a few video cassettes on cellular structure, which I had promptly forgotten in my locker over the Christmas break.  After sacrificing my paper route money for the month to the library gods, my account was back in good standing, but sadly the lesson wasn't learned.  I continued to rack up the fines and generally be the bad girl of the library system.

On one memorable occasion, I was reading a novel in the bathtub and accidentally dropped it in the water.  I whipped it out right away and gave it a good warm up with the hair dryer.  Good as new!  Or so I thought until the library called and informed me I had dropped off a wet book and would have to pay for it.  I tried to play it cool, but the clerk wasn't having it.  When I went in to get the book I could see why.  It had looked okay when I dropped it off, but apparently the hair dryer hadn't been as successful as I thought, because the book had morphed into this splendid condition:


My latest library misbehaviour involves holds.  One time I brought in a book to renew it a few days before it was due.  Someone had placed a hold on it, so I couldn't renew it, but what I didn't anticipate was that the clerk then confiscated the book and refused to give it back!  In vain, I pointed out that it wasn't actually due for several days and since it was already checked out in my name, I should be able to keep it until it was due.  As I was right in the middle of this mystery thriller, I left the library with reading "blue balls", no book and a determination not to let this happen again.

So now I only renew books online.  And if there's a hold on the book, I just keep it until I'm done reading it, fines be damned.  I know this is terribly selfish, antisocial behaviour, but what can I say?  I'm a Library Delinquent.
I'm so far behind in my 30-day music challenge that I'm just going to pick up where I left off, rather than trying to catch up.

Day 22 is a song that you listen to when you’re sad, which is Soma by the Smashing Pumpkins.  It gets really loud about 3.5 minutes in, so brace yourself boys and girls!


  1. Ohhhh that is awesomeness to the nth degree. I too hold onto the books until I finish them. I'll go online to check to see if there are holds on the book and if there are I won't even try renewing it I'll just keep it. But I try super hard to read it and return it before it's late. Our library has a grace period so I can turn it in the day after it's due and not get fined. I hate having late fees. I always feel judged when I go pay them. I wish I could pay them online. *sigh*

  2. Okay so, I once racked up THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of library fines with books I checked out for my classroom. Which is crazy. The library was all, 'if you don't pay, there will be a warrant out for your arrest!' which would just be ridiculous. Can you imagine being in jail and someone asks you what you're in for, and you have to say "Um, overdue library books?" That isn't a scenario with a happy ending, I imagine! So I paid my fines and now I stay far, far away from libraries. It's cheaper just to buy the books outright!

  3. You just told me you were a good girl. LOL

    But in your defense, my wife is famous for not returning books to the library. She simply forgets about them. Over and over and over and....well you get the idea.

  4. I'm a library delinquent too. When I was 10 I for whatever reason didn't turn in a couple Choose Your Own Adventure books and then a few years ago I was so late with books (of course I check out many at a time) and racked up a $50 late fee fine. Right now I'm at $3.00. I too will keep a book if I have to. I'm on many wait lists for books, if I didn't want to wait I'd buy the book right?

  5. hah - I'm a library delinquent too. I can't tell you how many times I've racked up a $40 library fine.

    My problem is I check out SO many books at once, and then the due date passes and I forget to renew them or drop them off.

    I've been better about it lately though because I really enjoy the library, but I don't enjoy shelving out $40 in fines everytime I go, haha

  6. I love the library! It's like a crack house for avid readers!

  7. At my library, they won't even let you get over $10. Once you hit that magic number, you get no more books until you pay up. I'm slightly jealous of all the library delinquency I am missing out on...but I will try not to be bitter.

  8. thanks for stopping by my blog!! your cat story is hysterical/definitely traumatic! WHAT is with our cats and the underwear fetish?! hahaha! (if you have any other crazy stories or want to expand on that one and guest post for me under my 'freak of the week' feature, please let me know! sounds like you've got some good material!). also i i posted about bookmobiles too a few months back, so i'm glad that someone else appreciates how awesome they are!

  9. I'm always late taking my books back too! :( I suck! LOL!

    I'm also a new follower of your blog! :)

  10. Thanks for coming over today! Your comments really made me smile!

  11. "reading 'Blue Balls'"?!?!?
    Now THAT is awesome! Great writing! Excited to follow. :)

  12. Ah ha ha! I can so relate. I have 50-60 dollar library fines pretty regularly. I look at it as a donation to a good cause. One that I get to benefit from directly. Once though, my fine got to the point where they suspended my card until I paid it. That was not good at all.

    Here in Kingston they used to have a program called 'Food for Fines'. Once a year, you could donate one can of food for every dollar of fines you owed. I just saved up my fines until that time came.

    I loved the book mobile as a kid, too!


Lend me some sugar!