The Case of the Missing Library Books. Sounds like one of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries I used to read when I was young(er). Instead it has been a current theme in my life recently. I pride myself on knowing where things are in the house (until someone I married moves things all around). Really I lose things much more frequently than I would care to admit. But library books have always had kind of a scared place in my life. No one would dare to lose a library book. Until I did.
It actually wasn’t technically lost. Well, there was a slight chance I had lost it in a hospital parking lot, but that was the day my son was about to have surgery and my only job for the day was to hold it together, not keep track of books. Other than that day, keeping track of books ranks fairly high on my list of things to do. So that day was a bit of a wild card. If I didn’t lose it in the parking lot, then it had to be in the house. Somewhere.
I finally walked shamefully into the library to explain I had lost the book and pay them whatever fee they wanted. I hoped they wouldn’t take my card. I hoped I wouldn’t have to wear a scarlet L for losing a book. I was mortified. They didn’t seem too bothered. They actually suggested I wait until the fine built up a little in case the book turned up. They were very nice. Too nice. I chose to pay it and get it off my conscience. I also hoped it would turn up as soon as I paid for it. I didn’t even care about the money. I wanted to know where that book was! I figured I have gotten well over that money in books I have borrowed. It was more of a user’s fee than anything.
About a month later I found the book. It was hiding in an armoire in our guest room where I had moved a pile of “important” things. So important I hadn’t missed any of them in over two months. Well, nothing except that book!
I remember this story now because I just spent the last two weeks searching the house for two library books we checked out for my daughter. I renewed them just to have more time to look for them. And low and behold, in my husband’s cleaning frenzy (and I do mean FRENZY) last weekend he found both books. In different places. He isn’t really sure where. That part drives me nuts. I want to know where they were so I can look there first next time.
I will hold my head high as we return those books tomorrow. They will have no idea I almost lost two more of their books. I really must come up with a better system.
Then there are the six books I returned today. I didn’t get to read any of them. I have such high hopes when I get to go the “mommy section” for a few minutes and select a few books. If only I had been able to read any of the 60 books I have checked out so far this year. I guess I will keep checking them out, trying not to lose them, and see if I can actually read a few.