Abusing My Library Card

June 2, 2009 at 1:11 am (Library Late Fees)

In addition to buying too many books, I also check out from the library.  This usually ends up being a mistake because I forget to return them.  I also forget to read them.  Every week I visit the library at least once, accompanied with my trusty list of reading material.  While gathering the books on the list I usually hear other books calling out my name.  These books always have a catchy cover or poetic title promising hours of entertainment.  Needless to say, they must come home with me, doomed to sit together in a pile until they are overdue. 

I have the best intentions of reading these books, but somehow they remain unread as I move on to some other novel I read a review on or even a book that just happened to be resting beside my bed.  Last week I had to pay $4 in library late fees.  In my head I was cursing myself and thinking of the $1 hardbacks on the For Sale table, and the four treasures I could have found.

After being inspired by Nick Hornby’s essays on buying books and then not reading them, I will try to establish some library accountability by posting a list of library books I check out.  Maybe this will help me read them.  Or maybe it will just reveal the depths of my illness.

Before I share my list keep in mind that I have an explanation for checking out each book.  Something led me to each one.

The Song Reader– Lisa Tucker

Anthem Of A Reluctant Prophet– Joanne Proulx

Big Mouth & ugly girl– Joyce Carol Oates

Swann’s Way– Marcel Proust

I will keep you updated on my reading.  Or maybe my disappointment in myself for allowing them to collect dust and more late fees.

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4 Comments

  1. Mindy said,

    Chaney, I believe I have such a sickness that you speak of. I find that I am addicted to purchasing and borrowing books that I never have time to read and usually know I have no time to read. I visit my local library and check out only after my arms are overflowing with books and I cannot carry even one more title. I read maybe 2 or 3 of them and rack up $12 fines sometimes. Speaking of library books, you have just reminded me that my books are due on June 4th. Hopefully I can get them there on time, this time. 🙂

    Mindy

  2. Sarah said,

    Chaney!
    I was wondering who this was. I’m glad you like that Neko Case album, I’ve had it on repeat for like 2 months and I’m going to see her in Nashville next month, even though I went and saw her in Birmingham in April. If you get a chance to see her on this tour you should try to, she’s amazing.
    I also check out lots and lots of books, I’ll end up reserving like 10 books to pick up, kind of forget, and then have to carry out a pile of books. I’m not that great at returning them either, but I try to always return a book whenever I pick one up. I paid $18 in library fees a few months ago and I tried to think of it as giving it to the community, not as being punished for turning in books late.
    Question: Is that “putting a positive spin on things” or “justification”? Something to ponder.

    Hope you’re doing well, glad you are blogging!
    -Sarah

  3. creativelandslide said,

    Sarah, thanks for letting me know I’m in good company. My guilt is gone and I’m patting myself on the back for being such a good citizen. More people should care enough to have late fees, support the community, unless I’m waiting for a particular book. In that case it should be turned in early.

  4. mary said,

    I loved The Song Reader and Big Mouth and Ugly Girl. Lisa Tucker is one of my favorites. I love your blog.

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