: of all the nerve :

Libraries want their books back. Their DVDs and e-books, too. Cough ‘em up.

book return_film grain

Well, guess what. I don’t want to take them back, I like them. When I check out a book, I wind up losing my heart to a character or the writing style or the jacket design or the author or the typeface. Something. Then I can’t bear the thought of parting with it, I’m too attached. Everyone has a weakness, mine is books.

Last month, I borrowed The Humans by Matt Haig. Now, I didn’t expect to like it, since I’m not a fan of science fiction, but I did. A lot. It was engaging and intriguing and a little sad — the ending brought me to tears. When the time came to return it, I couldn’t let go. I could not open my hand and release my grip. A half-hearted tug of war broke out with the librarian.

I’m telling you, returning books is distressing; like abandoning a friend or something.

On the other hand, using the library has made me bolder; my reading list has expanded and new worlds have opened up. I’ll take a chance on books I wouldn’t have considered before. I pick them up expecting the worst, but very often find gems — new authors and subjects in categories I’d pegged as dull, i.e., science and history and biography. As a result, I’m a little more fun to talk to, because I know things. Quirky, interesting things.

Speaking of interesting, here’s a little factoid for you: a study commissioned by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport found a trip to the library gives people the same buzz as a $2,282 pay raise. I’m not sure I buy that, but it explains why I spend so much time there. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for the library and everything it holds. They have free wi-fi, you know.

Obviously, the library provides a valuable service. So I guess expecting us to return the books we borrow isn’t asking much. Besides, you can renew them. Forever, I think. I’ve had Grumpy Old Men since January 17th; it’s been renewed 12 times. They haven’t sent the police around or asked where it is, so …

Oh, man, I need help. I can’t bring myself to return a dumb movie. That’s sick — I mean, Grumpy Old Men? Really?

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

21 thoughts on “: of all the nerve :

    1. I’ve looked and looked, BD, but can’t find anyone who’ll pony up. We’ll have to settle for socks, I’m afraid — the kind that come in a bag.


  1. When I find a book I truly love and want to keep forever, I go to the used book store and buy it there. Then it is easier to return it to the library. It is just a suggestion.


  2. Going to the library gives you the same buzz as that huge payrise? Hmm. Maybe. I guess it’s because when you read books you are entering other people’s worlds and handling their possessions, both of which are things which money can buy.

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    1. That’s very possible, Banana. When I snag a new book or movie, though, I always feel like I pulled a fast one and got away with it. You know? It was completely free and legal and, woohoo, it’s mine now. For two weeks anway.


  3. I suspect you aren’t alone. A good book is like a friend. You’ve spent time with it. Enjoyed the good times and got through the tough times. You’ve gotten to know it well and it is hard to say good bye. The good news is that when you leave that friend behind, you can pick up another to replace it.


    1. Hiya, silkpurse. That’s way too practical, I’d rather they just gave me the book and sent me on my way. I’d like that. Wouldn’t you?


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