Sunday Scribblings: The Date

I haven’t been to the library in years, and I’m itching for a trip to one, because free books are never a bad idea. Except of course that when it comes to me and libraries, the books are never free, because I’m not good about honoring The Date. You know the one. It’s either printed on a receipt, or stamped on a card, or, if you’re in a very old library in a very small town, handwritten on the manila card holder pasted into the back cover of a book. The due date. Only, I’ve always treated them more like…guidelines. Suggestions on when books should be returned.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t finish the books I check out. There were times in my life, as late as five years ago, when I’d come home from the library with a bag of books so thick I couldn’t carry them all, only to have read every last one by the end of the weekend, but then we’d have something come up, and we wouldn’t make it back to the library, and we’d find ourselves, six weeks later, approaching the after hours book depository slot under cover of darkness, clad in black, and hoping beyond hope no one would SEE us returning long overdue books in such a fashion.

I always pay my fines though. I like to think of them as “donations to the library” rather than a penalty for not observing The Date.

Written for Sunday Scribblings.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Sunday Scribblings: The Date by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings: The Date

  1. I just looked at the date slip in a huge stack of my libary books – January 3! Oops. I have given quite a few donations to my local library over the years :)

  2. This one made me laugh!!! I loved it…the date…the due date..the one we try to remember and then somehow forget!!! I love how you view the fine!!! Well done!

  3. I practically live at the library weekdays on my lunch break. Restricted internet access at work is worse than reduced health care benefits. This is why we still need unions!

    I agree, the due date is a major deterrence to taking out books. I like to read things at my own pace, not have things imposed on me. Library sales are fun. I’d much rather own a used book I might only read once then have to be nickeled and dimed by nagging librarians, and eventually collection agencies. Laziness should not be a crime.

  4. Guilty and are we related? (smile). I’ve learned to check out fewer books but I am guilty of keeping books past their due dates in order to finish reading them and I have no resentment about the fines, just guilt. Enjoyed the read.

  5. I love the date you chose. I had the opposite problem with library due dates, because I would read so quickly. Our library loans books out for three weeks at a time, and this didn’t bother me unless I was on a waiting list for a particular book. No one ever turned a book in early, just on time or late.

    forgetfulone – I use Netflix for the same reason, and I’ll never go back. :)

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