On Reading

Library Books: an Overdue Apology

Author’s Note: If you’re a librarian and you’re reading this, I’m sorry…


I’m horrible at returning library books.

I thought my mother raised me right, but I guess society turned me to the dark side.

I used to be diligent about giving back borrowed items, particularly those taken from the library, but I’m pretty sure I owe more in fines at the moment than most people owe in student loans.

You know what the worst part is? I don’t even read most of the books I check out.

I just hoard them away like a psychopath.

I hide them from eager readers and leave them in the trunk of my car or my bedroom floor. It’s not like I don’t have good intentions. I’m interested in every book I borrow. The issue is I live in this fantasy world where I have hours of free time that I can devote to reading volumes and volumes of books. Usually, I’m lucky if I can read one novel in a month let alone the five 300 page books I usually check out.

I receive letter after letter from the library, passive aggressively begging for their property back. They usually wind up in a drawer somewhere, crumpled up and forgotten. 


I think I should start a collection of notices at this point. If I cut them just right they’d go nicely in a scrapbook. I could purchase some stickers from redbubble.com and make them look nice. I’m not doing anything with the information on them anyway.

If you think I’m a terrible person by now, I don’t blame you. 

My flawed thought process is this: If I put them in my car, I’ll remember I’m supposed to take them back and everything will be taken care of.

Unfortunately, these are the times I usually recall I have library books due:

At 11 o’clock at night.

When I’m at work.

While I’m out of town.

When the library is closing in five minutes.

During rush hour.

After I’ve taken a shower and changed into my night clothes.

When I have hours worth of homework to do.

Can’t you just recheck them online?

Yes, stranger. I could do this. And I do. But like with most things in my life, I forget. Or I exceed the number of times a patron is permitted to recheck a book.


I have another confession to make as well. I usually skip out on paying fines by doing this neat little trick called Using The Self-Checkout Kiosk Instead of the Front Desk.

You see, if I don’t make contact with a librarian they can’t ask me for money.

Why would you do such a thing?!

Because I am literally Satan.

Also, I am broke about 95% of the time. 

Believe it or not, I am sorry about my abuse of the public library system.

I actually returned all the books that I kept for so long and I plan to pay my library fines when I get my next paycheck.

Until then, dear librarians of the world, I apologize. I just can’t get enough of your books.

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