Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wherein I Overshadow My Addiction To Chocolate With A Story About Irresponsibility


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.

15 comments:

Garden of Egan said...

OK, that's funny!
Who'da thunk you'd be sent to collections by a library? A safe place? A place of learning?
A place of "shhhhhhh"?

Ours does it too.

So, do ya think they might just let you buy a brand new book. Or maybe the collectors edition? It would be cheaper.

I didn't have a dozen dove chocolates before 0900 but I did have that many hershey kisses.

Kristina P. said...

We are just the opposite. We are book buyers, not library goers. But I don't read a tone either, so it's not horrible.

Marianne & Clayton said...

How funny. Today I have to return a book otherwise I owe $24.50. The book in question? "The Book Thief". Not even kidding.

mormonhermitmom said...

Wow. That's one way to pad the budget.

Vern said...

Marianne: Ha ha!

Carly said...

I'm remembered a time when I was a laurel and you were giving a lesson about talents and you said you had recently started blogging because you discovered you have a knack for writing. Well, Vern, you have magnified that talent. I LOVE reading this blog. You should write a book, but you may have to make sure it's at the library so you can read it.

just call me jo said...

My daughter is the same way. Come on people, remember those due dates. (They loom before me each month like April 15th. I'm sure the gov't. will come reposess my soul if they are late. I'm paranoid like that.) Your way is much more enjoyable to read about. I think $63 is waaay ridiculous. Isn't there a ceiling on a fine, for heaven's sake?

Lani Wendt Young said...

LOL! The Auckland library is chasing me right now for some overdue books - only not 2.5 yrs, thank goodness.

Stefani said...

Ok, except for the part about living in the Denver area... this could be me you're talking about... including the part about roots needing to be done and 17 Dove Chocolates before 9. Hmmm, I haven't had one in over 3 hours. I'd better go take a break and have a couple.

Paige said...

I hear ya. You'd think I could just go ONLINE and renew those dang books, wouldn't you? Still, my lovely children continue to LOSE books, and I just paid a $16 book replacement for what was probably an $8 book. Arg.

KS Photography said...

Hahaha. I used to use the library when I was poor. Then I just got tired of it and starting buying the book I wanted to read and doing less of something else. Probably eating sandwiches.

Meg said...

Travis makes fun of me because I have issues if I miss my weekly Tues. 1:00 p.m. appointment to our local library. My kids love to check out movies and they are due back the next week. I get to go to this little library in Iona that is part of our main one in Idaho Falls. This library is really small and now I hate to go to the big one. My librarian knows my name and once I went at 2:00 and she was wondering where I was. I know, I know, I need a life.

Patty Ann said...

Yep, I have so been there. Now we have a shelf just for library books. Mostly, it works. So, the fees have been a little less lately.

Greg said...

I am so frustrated because I couldn't play whatever it was you had at the beginning....

Dix and Lynn said...

That wasn't Greg...he must have been messing with our computer while we were gone! Better check the ice cream stash!