Promises, Promises

“I will NOT check out any more books, I will NOT check out any more books, I will NOT…”

Although I repeated this mantra all the way to the library (my third visit since the New Year began), it was all for naught.

I came out with four more books, and another audiobook.

That brings my total of items checked out in 2011 to ~ fifteen.

I’m like the proverbial kid in the candy shop when I go into the library.  When you walk through the door, the first thing to meet the eye are about a dozen shelves chock full of New Releases in every genre.  My intention today was to breeze by these, go directly to the fiction stacks and pick up a copies of Maisie Dobbs, and Birds of A Feather, volumes one and two in the Maisie Dobbs series.

But my willpower failed me.

How could I resist getting How to Be an American Housewife, when I’ve heard such good things about it?  Or  Lives Like Loaded Guns, Lyndall Gordon’s new book (subtitled Emily Dickinson and her Family’s Feuds)?

“You’re killing me, library,” I muttered, as I snatched them up and stuffed them into my book bag before my common sense  could get the better of me.  Because naturally I kept thinking about the 10 other books I had already taken out – five on Monday, four more Wednesday afternoon, and now these four.

There is a twofold problem with all this literary wealth.  One of course, is finding the time to read it all within the three week period.  The other is keeping track of the due dates.  Because I tend to make frequent trips to the library  (it doesn’t help that it’s less than a mile from my house ) I lose track of when everything is due.  The library is kind enough to send me reminder emails, but if I haven’t finished the books yet, I tend to ignore these gentle nudges that my time is running out.

Hence the $15.80 in fines I had to pay last week to get back in the circulation desk’s good graces.

When I came home today, I immediately logged on to the library web site and renewed all my other books, so now everything is due on the same date – January 29, 2011.  That gives me three weeks to read 15 books – well, 13, because I’ve already finished two.

I’d better get started.

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32 thoughts on “Promises, Promises

  1. Your library is more lenient than mine! I only get to borrow books for two weeks at a time. But… I’d never be allowed to rack up $15 in fines. If you go over $5 they block your card until it’s paid up!

  2. I have Lives Like Loaded Guns out from my library too! I completely understand this … so very well. The New Releases bookshelf is RIGHT THERE as I walk in the door, so all my willpower is gone immediately.

    To deal with the multiple due date problem, I created a spreadsheet with the title of the book, date due, and how many renewals I have left. I can then see everything due back on one day, then go online to renew it, and then update my spreasdsheet accordingly. It is more simple than it sounds and it has really helped me track the dates better.

    • Melissa, your spreadsheet idea sounds just like something my husband would do..are you an engineer by any chance? lol Seriously, I might have him do that for me. It might save me some money!

      Thanks for stopping by – it’s good to meet a fellow library geek!

  3. I check my account compulsively online to keep track of due dates, especially since my new library has much harsher fines than my old one! That’s a smart idea to renew them all on the same day, though: much less confusion. 🙂

    Also, if I tell you I have 53 books out from the library right now, does that make you feel better about your 15? lol

  4. Why is is that libraries do that? Put out the great books just as you have decided you really don’t want more! It happens to me a lot, amd my only defence is my library notebook. The theory is that if Iwrite down books I know to look out for them when I have space on my ticket. It works – sometimes.

    • I’ve started keeping a library notebook too, and I jot down titles to look for as I read about them on blogs or see them in the bookstore. What I should also do is write the titles down in the library, to put on reserve for later, instead of just signing them all out willy nilly. No will power, I tell you.

  5. I think my old library let your fines get up to $25 before they stopped your card. I don’t know the limits at my new library, so I’m trying to be super careful and not accrue any fines.

    No need to feel shame for checking out lots of library books. It’s free apart from fines — why not check out as many as you can? 😀

  6. As I was paying my massive fines for years and years, I used to joke with the circulation desk that I was funding a new wing…Now, I’m much more careful. They know exactly where to find me.
    Enjoy those books, Becca! I’m especially curious about the Lyndall Gordon.

  7. I have the same problem with not being able to control myself at the library. I have a huge stack right now that I’ve already had to renew once. I just can’t resist going hog wild at the library!

  8. Have over 50 books out from the library on three cards which is quite frightening as I have a really busy spell coming up at work and home and can’t work out when on earth I am going to read them!
    If I were sensible and logical, I would select a few to work on and take the rest back – but then if I possessed either of those virtues, I probably wouldn’t have that many books out anyway!
    Just glad to realise that I am not the only one!

  9. Around here we joke that one of the costs of homeschooling is OVERDUE fines. And would you believe that currently one of our over due books is This Books is Overdue (How Librarians and Cybrarians Can SAVE US ALL) –how is that for irony?

    AND our wonderful library allows up to 40 books per card… four cards in our house and yes, we have maxed them –that is scary, but GOOD scary!

    ( Shameless plug: Stop by http://www.booksforwallsproject.org if you want to share what you are reading or your favorite library or tell us your book/reading resolution for 2011.)

    Thanks Becca, for making me giggle and making me not feel so bad that I owe SO much to the library (I almost look forward to writing the check!)

  10. What is not to love about the library? Endless choices for your reading pleasure. Unfortunately, the library I work at is more of a research library so our selection of new fiction is minimal. This is realistically a very good way for me to avoid fines. Still we have an amazing link system that allows me to find almost any book. It is a huge temptation to not request every book I hear about on other blogs.

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