On lost library books…

…and the resulting loss of dollars.

As much as I love the library, there is the occasional downside to checking out books there. Among those are late fees and lost books.

One of the things I like about our library is that not only do you get three weeks to read your plunder, but you also get three renewals so long as the book isn’t being waited for by another library patron. I routinely keep books for nine weeks. Routinely, and not because it takes me nine weeks to read a book, though that has been known to happen.

No, I keep books for nine weeks because with three bookshelves in the house, and the tendency to read books everywhere from the bathroom to the kitchen, to the car, I often misplace books.  Usually, I find them before they are due and avoid fines. Occasionally, however, they are not found before the nine weeks are up, and fines start to accrue.

Depending on the book (hard cover or paperback, new or old, in demand or no one cares), I risk the fines in the hopes that the book will turn up. It’s worth it to me to pay $3 in fines on a $29 book and the more valauble the book, the more diligent the search, and the more likely it is to be found.

Some books however, such as the one which inspired this mini post, make more sense to just pay for. It’s a really cheap book, despite inspiring more conversation here than this blog has ever experienced before or since. So when the nine weeks and a few days expired, I reported it lost and paid for it. Total of around $12, if I recall correctly.

I just found it. I’ll take it to the library, and they’ll give me back half of what I paid them for the loss. Sigh.

Files this one under tales from the local library.


5 thoughts on “On lost library books…

  1. Elspeth says:

    Update: So I go to the library knowing the book return wouldn’t be simple but no worries. I tell the clerk I don’t even want the $6. Just credit my account toward future fine accruals.

    Nope. Long, convoluted process. And they have to send me a check. *Facepalm*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robyn says:

    Ahhh yes, the days of library fines. I remember the cringe at check-out time.

    “Nope. Long, convoluted process.”

    *not to sound too much like the conspiracy theorist that I truly am, but …. they probably do that on purpose.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elspeth says:

    I’ve had some sticker shock moments at the library over the years, Robyn, but I’ve gotten much, much better.

    I check my account weekly now and stay on top of what the kids check out much better than I used to.

    *not to sound too much like the conspiracy theorist that I truly am, but …. they probably do that on purpose.

    It crossed my mind as well, but my more charitable nature decided it probably isn’t all that often that they get someone who actually paid for the book to bring it back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Krysta says:

    I think we can all agree that having to pay for library books is not ideal! The way I look at it is that any late fees tend to be less than the price of the book. Replacing the book at cost is going to be more expensive, but I read around 100 books a year, so having to pay for one would still save me money. Of course, some people don’t have even that $20 available to replace one book so that bill would still hurt!

    Liked by 1 person

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