Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Absconding with a Bronte or Two

I am a library fugitive. Betcha didn’t know that about me. And now that you do, please keep it to yourself…you know what I’m capable of!

One of the best things about moving to the ‘burbs was it’s a different county! Out from under the tyranny of THE MAN trying to charge me a frigging quarter every day I held their precious books hostage. Why must their policy be not to negotiate with book terrorists?

Here are my list of demands, since you asked:

1. You need to give me more than two weeks with a book. I mean, do they not know that when forced to choose between staring at Dr. Drew and his dreamy black t-shirts in Celebrity Rehab and reading a book, Drew is going to win out EVERY day and twice on Sunday (incidentally, that’s how often VH1 repeats the damn show, but that’s totally beside the point)? Plus, who came up with two weeks — a speed reader? That dude on those annoying commercials with Peyton Manning who’s all “I read 20 books while I sat here.” Yeah? Really? Well, everyone you’re at the table with can buy you and sell you 20 times over, how’s that make you feel, Speedy Gonzalez? And why do we, as a culture, place such emphasis on the speediness of reading, anyway? Are we not to enjoy a book, to get engaged with a character or storyline and savor it?

2. Kindly stop sending me friendly reminder e-mails. They’re not friendly, we both know it. You can try to pretend you’re not threatening the kneecaps, but we all know what follows.
Kindly stop sending me the “reminder after the fact” e-mails that I am continuing to hold the books hostage. I know I am. And you’re charging me a quarter for the privilege. Really I think you’re winning out in this scenario, so why don’t you save your automated e-mails for someone who cares?

3. If you do, in fact, want this book back, stop restricting my ability to renew the book. So there’s a list a mile long of people who want to read it? Life’s tough, get a helmet, people. Wait like everyone else. I mean, you’re going to wait either way, why should the library reap the financial reward? It’d be one thing if that quarter went to the person who was next on the list, anxiously awaiting the newest gut-wrenching Jodi Picoult to leave my greedy little hands. Better yet, let it be between me and the next one on the list. Let us come to a negotiation like mature adults and stop trying to justify publicly funded extortion.

Have my years of winning summer reading contests and attending story hours from the ripe age of 4 gotten me no credit with you people? How about the fact that while SOME would say I am the biggest abuser, others would say I am the biggest USER of your services? Does the 25 cents a day make you feel better that you’re about to be put out of business by e-readers and Amazon? Will that keep you afloat long enough to have a library created entirely of automated machinery? Because I’m thinking the lady who snipped at me that I could use the machine to check out my books instead of her line CLEARLY knows in which direction this world is turning.

Well, old library, I have a new haunt now. And they only hold me up for a nickel a day. What’s that you say? I can only have a $10 fine before they cut me off from getting more books instead of your $20?

Dear New Library…

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