I am a rather frequent visitor of the New York Public Library. It meets all my standards for acceptable life activities: it’s free. Why would you buy a book that you may not like when you can read it…for free? But oh how I wish I was still young enough to participate in those summer reading challenges! So many Dairy Queen coupons!
I’ve had a library card since I was five years old, and one summer dared myself to read fifty books, which basically meant that I was reading a book a day, with some overlap. It was a little much, especially considering that my hometown library had just one single bookshelf dedicated to YA literature. That was the summer I discovered Richard Paul Evans, and proceeded to read “The Carousel” at least 15 times. If you haven’t heard of him, just imagine a Nicolas Sparks book that’s not set in North Carolina.
Fortunately, my reading tastes have matured since then, and I’m still logging a book a week. You would think then, with my love of reading and the library, I would be treating it with a certain reverence, carrying my card in a safe place, and respectfully returning my materials by their allotted due date. Well, you would be wrong. In the past year, I’ve lost two library cards, racked up over $30 in library late fees, had a “No-borrowing Ban” put on my account until I paid down my debts and almost left a book in hell (aka a New Jersey Transit bus…). Apparently I am not responsible enough to have a library card, which is a privilege you receive when you are four years old. Maybe I should revisit the children’s section and get some advice from the intrepid little Matilda’s over there. Maybe they’d be willing to spot me a couple bucks??
What’s My Age: 3, too young to appreciate the joy and responsibility of the public library.