I’m not a big believer in buying books because one, I don’t read much, two, if you buy a book then you have to find somewhere to put it when you’re done and I don't want the clutter, and three, it's too expensive and libraries are free! This particularly speaks to my sensibilities. Unfortunately what doesn’t speak to my sensibilities is the concept of the world not revolving around me and the idea of having a DUE DATE on a book.
You know when you’re looking for a specific book and you go to the library’s system to see if it’s available? And the library only has three copies of the most popular book since Edward put the “V” in vampire and they are all checked out? As you peruse the list to see when the books are due to return, hoping they will come back sometime before the suspicious mole on your right arm lands you in hospice with an IV drip, you notice that one of the copies was due back before Adam roamed the earth. And you think to yourself, what kind of numskull hasn’t found the time in the last three U.S. presidents to return that book? Well, that “numskull” might live somewhere in the Denver metro area near my house. Fine. IN my house. She has poor taste in music, had 17 Dove chocolates before 9am today and desperately needs her roots done. Anything else?
I didn’t know I was in trouble with the library until I got a notice in the mail the other day. FROM COLLECTIONS. What the…? As far as I knew I didn’t even have any items checked out from the library. When I called to work things out I had two questions: What were the charges for? And why was I just hearing about it now? It is customary to get some kind of notice when books are late, a notice I had come to depend on rather than the notion of personal responsibility, but had never received. As it turned out, notices HAD been sent. To the house we lived in TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO. In the meantime we had racked up SIXTY THREE DOLLARS in late fees and replacement costs, and the collections agency was on our case. Knowing these charges were negotiable, I sucked up big time to the lady on the phone. I was so nice you would have thought I was trying to negotiate for a life saving kidney, and it worked. She knocked off over half of the dues and I was left to pay her $25.
It’s been a good lesson for me because now I know, I can’t afford the library either.