Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finding a missing library book

So the other day I lost two library books. I didn't actually LOSE them on that day, I just realized they were overdue and tried to find them that day. Which, in my house is no small chore. Although I have a library basket, it always seems to be empty. And, because I believe books should be "well loved," they are EVERYWHERE.

To find a missing library book I must first look in all the places books belong: the 3 huge bookshelves in the living room, the bookshelves in the girls' room, boys' room, and other boys' room, the playroom, the basement cupboards, the library basket, and the other 5 baskets of books.
If all these places prove useless (as they did the other day), I have to search the next tier of hidden books- dressers, under beds & couches & dressers (where I find all kinds of useful things like missing pairs of pants, candy wrappers, half eaten candies, a few monsters waiting to gobble children, and a grumbling mother realizing how the kids manged to get a clean room so quickly last week), cars, kitchen countertops, kids' backpacks and other such places.
If the book is yet to be found, it is time to search the "Really?" places. This includes bathrooms, laundry hampers, INSIDE dressers, UNDER couch cushions, BETWEEN mattresses, the garage, and closets floors(actually this probably is in the same group as beds because I often find the same things in them), etc. All the while thinking, "The book couldn't have just disappeared!!"

But sometimes it has done just that. And no searching can find the book. Of course, most times I've just overlooked it in the mix of books we own. Because I have a bit of a problem. Not helped by scholastic books fairs, $25 free super shipping option on Amazon, and the great used book store 3 miles from my house. I have baskets of "early reader, non-fiction"; "beginning chapter"; board books; workbooks; and "cover ripped off so I can't keep them out, but we still love the story so I will hide you in here". On a side note, I have taped together more books than I would like to admit.

And the illustrated classics? I have a half shelf devoted just to them. And an entire shelf to award winning books and authors. But my true weakness is books in a series. I did a quick count, I own 16 series of books and a few more where we own a few books in the series but not the whole thing. That is the list you see on the side (because I went to all the trouble of writing them down when I was counting). I also own lots of adult books, but not a single copy of any book written by my favorite author, Charles Dickens. You know he wrote so few... But that is a different story, I don't lose MY library books.

Anyway, I found one of the missing books (behind the girls' book shelf), but not the other. Not wanting to continue racking up a fine, I went in and confessed my crime and paid the $3 replacement cost. And 1/2 hour after getting home, Kirsti found the book. In a cabinet in her bedroom (that I had checked 3 times). I might take it back and try to get my money refunded, but I was thinking of going to the used book store to start a "Henry and Mudge" collection instead. After all, I now already own one.


  1. My weakness (that Brenda introduced me to) is kids books at Goodwill. I mean, can you pass up a perfect condition Bernstein Bears book for $.50?! Man that place is awesome.

    But, I believe you should never feel guilty about buying a book! And it sound like you have wracked up enough non-guilt purchases to last a lifetime :-)

    When it's the library I usually just totally forget we have books out, and as I'm cleaning several weeks after they're due I find them on the shelf with the other books. Oops.

  2. What do you mean you have ADULT books. Did you buy them at the adult bookstore? I see them all over here.
    One can't ever have enough books. My new passion is audio books. I love to listen to a good book. This is partly so because it is harder to read because of my eye sight.
    Glad you found one and bought the other. Keep up the reading.

  3. I NEVER lose library books. I only misplace them.

  4. This is like an uncanny insight into my life!

  5. I love books too! Our library emails us when our books are 2 days away from being due, so we have time to look for them. A friend in my book club said that she learned that the fines max out at $10, so she just lets them build up for a year or so, then goes in and pays off her over $100 fine with a $10 bill. I think I'd feel guilty....

  6. The search for missing library books. Good times. The other day when I was picking up what felt like hundreds of books off the floor, I wondered if there would ever be a time when books were not scattered all over my house. Then I realized that was very unlikely unless I actually stop buying them and bringing huge loads of them home from the library.
    My library says I am missing a book but I don't believe them because it is not in my house and it is one of the books I checked out for myself. I never lose my books, just the kids books.

  7. You and your collections. What gets me is if you only like one book in the collection you still have to own the whole thing. I also LOVE books and so does my husband (as you well know) and so we have a huge weakness for them.

    PS Jared was so sad he didn't get to go to the book barn :(

  8. Next time I lose something I think I will pay you to come look for it. You got skills.

  9. The best place I found a missing library book? The big igloo cooler in the garage of course! You might want to add that to your "Really?" search list in the future. By the time I found it, the fine had been paid and it was too late to return it for my money back (they only give a measly two months after paying the fine). Now we own a copy of Flat Stanley with wavy pages and a little bit of mold.

  10. I am a sucker for kids books. Like Andrea said our Good Will has TONS of great kid books in GREAT condition for $.50 and I can't pass them up. I usually spend $5-$10 on books every time I go there (yeah I have TONS of kid books) but believe it or not I have ZERO adult books (both kinds of ADULT books ;) Not sure why, maybe when my kids start reading higher level books I will start to buy them, but the library is good enough for me.

  11. Andrea- Thanks, all I needed was access to MORE inexpensive books.

    Mom- Get your mind out of the gutter (Mine needs more room)! ;)

    Jenn- that the right attitude!

    Cami- thats a good thing, right?

    Kim- my library emails us too.
    When I said "realized", I meant realized I had gotten that email 4 days ago.

    Jeanette- Exactly!

    Boyer family- I said it was a weakness. I'll make sure we go there next time you come.

    Emma Jo- Anytime. However I can never find missing car keys, so don't ask me for that.

    Mary- I found one once at the bottom of a laundry hamper- that I used in the basement to sort laundry before I wash it. Will never know how it got there.

    Davis family- my kids are reading young adult literature now. At least the stories are more interesting, but I have to read more to keep up with what they're reading.

  12. You basically have a library in your house. If you have enough "board books" and "beginning chapter" books to label them in their own category, you're pretty much all I need in a category. Plus, you probably don't have a drive thru next to your house where my 5 year old would go walking through crying because he was sure I had left without him when he wandered off...
    Do you offer a story time for toddlers?

  13. Nobody- I offer a "Stay in your room or I'll spank you!" time. And I was about to add a drive through on, but now I'll reconsider.