Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hoarding Bad. Sharing Good.

Borrowed from The Great Read

My blog friend Michele from The Great Read will appreciate this post. If you haven't checked out Michele's blog, then please pay her a visit because her love for books and the library are contagious. She'll introduce you to such a wide-variety of books, music, and movies, you'll need another lifetime to read, listen, and watch all the ones that interest you.

I rediscovered the library after my son was born. I lost my way to that wonderful brick and mortar wealth of knowledge through my college and early career years. But by the time my son could turn a book's page without tearing it, we'd bring home library books that, together, weighed more than he did. We'd read through the books quickly, and return them quickly, because they were, after-all, not ours to keep.

It was thrilling when my son applied for his very own library card. That meant we could take out double the books we were allowed since we had two library cards available to us - woo hoo! Even though we borrowed tons of books, we always read each one, and returned each one, on time, always.

As my son and I grew older, something changed. We were both still voracious readers but the books were longer, they took more time to read through, and the ton of books we took out would sit there, gathering dust. Our library allows 3-weeks until a renewal and you are allowed to renew up to 20 times. That's a lot of weeks!!! And, they make it so easy as everything can be done online so no excuses really on ever being late, right?

Then last week, it happened. I'll blame it on the blog, I'll blame it on the weather, I'll blame it on anyone but me who is really the one to blame. I went into the library to pick-up some books I ordered per Michele's recommendations see, I'm even blaming Michele and I got the news. The librarian looked down at me upon check out and announced I owed $15.00 in late fees. WHAT?!!!! Yes, $9 on my account and $6 on my son's account. How did this happen? Did I miss the e-mail? Obviously.

Honestly, it wasn't about the money. I considered it a donation where I was the real recipient of the funds, but the GUILT! Oh, the guilt! I couldn't get over it. I'm still having issues as it has wound up in a blog post. I'm dealing, I'm dealing.

When I got home I started investigating all our library stashes, piled high in my bedroom, my son's bedroom, the basket by the DVD player, everywhere in the house. I'd love to say I got a revelation all on my own. I'd love to say I came to my senses and saw the light. But, I have to give credit where credit is due and that would be due to my husband. He came home and, wrought from guilt, I told him about my $15 fine. He took one look at my son and me and said, "When you have over 80 books from the library, you are not reading them, you are hoarding them. The library is not just for you, it's for everybody. You are hoarding. The library is meant for sharing." Glumly, I gathered all the books we weren't currently reading and the ones that were already read, and I'll be returning them all to the library today for others to enjoy. All three bags worth. Enough said.

How often do you visit your local library in a month's time?


Christa said...

This very same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago! I tried to reserve a book from, the very same library, and was not able to because I had library fines that added up to $15! We also have a stack of library books at our house. We love, love, love the library in our family, but we do need to do a better job at returning our books on time.

Suzan Wood-Young said...

A common experience for sure. The truth is, we are not perfect. My eyes are bigger than my belly when I comes to books. I like to say I don't borrow books from the library, I rent them. :)

Anonymous said...

Sweetest Friend! Thank you for the mention. Sorry to hear about your rather large fine. I'm at the library 3-5 times a week (yikes - sometimes more) so I usually get everything back on time, but thank the good library for having the online account so I can renew if needed and emails to remind me.

We regularly check out 80+ books, and I'm forever juggling library cards for holds. But we do read all the books (with 3 elementary kids + the 2 I babysit we have a lot of picture books so they go back every 2-3 days) and like you I have stacks of books in every room of our home (but not the bathroom, won't allow it). Yes, I probably should step away from checking out more - I can see where it would be hoardish...but I do get them back way before their due date (most of them) and if I start a book and by page 15 I'm not glued, it goes back the next day.

Do you have books lined up? I have to have 3-5 books waiting in the wings depending on my mood as to what I want to read next. And we have a very active bookclub in town with so many great recommendations that it is hard to choose one.

Our librarians are thrilled that we check out a lot of books - it actually helps them. Circulation is the key to keeping the library doors open.

Can't thank you enough for the sweetest mention ever! I always feel loved when visiting with you!

xoxo michele

I am LOVD said...

It was my pleasure to share with my readers the wealth of knowledge you share at your blog!

Books are lined up and waiting for me, yes! I have about 3 going right now with 1 book on tape as I drive from place to place.

I like the rule about letting a book go if you're not hooked by page 15. There are, however, two books I was about to abandon after the first couple of chapters but, with some tenacity, go through them and they are now on my list of favorites: The Kite Runner and Atlas Shrugged.


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