The public library has a bounty out on my head. I got the phone call yesterday. It wasn't the usual "Your books are overdue" phone call.
I've been renting (holding ransom, depends on your point of view) a couple of Michio Kaku books on physics. I was SMART and put the newest one that just came out in March on a hold way back last winter, so when the library got the brand new copy, I was first in line. HA!!! As for the other one, I can't renew just because there's a hold on it. Well, *I* had to wait for my hold, the next person can wait, too. If these books didn't have a long waiting list, I would be able to hold them for at least two months with renewals, but since people are in line for them, I'm expected to slam the physics down in two weeks and move along. I've had them one month now. You wouldn't ~believe~ the fines I am incurring. I am wondering if fines are heavier for 'overdue' books on hold than they are for substantially overdue books that lay around under a bed for a year, because no one wants them.
I don't understand the free lending system. I pay $50 a year for out of county use. I incur heavy fines and pay them dutifully every time I get highly sought after books. And these are not the latest romance novels. Well, for Michio, this might be... But I ~study~ many things. I love reading whatever I can find on any interest that strikes me. Physics and cosmology have been a hobby for twenty years, autism research the last couple of years is showing me how lacking the field really is (that Tony Attwood, nice way to corner the market...), haunted historical sites, and you get my drift. I know my library as well as the clerks there do, and I am frequently disgusted at how difficult it is to get a book on interlibrary loan that I can easily find online at some exorbitant price, describing in detail that it has a library stamp and many smudges...
I could easily rip these books off. It happens all the time, that's why the library charges me an arm and a leg to use its 'free' services. I, however, have an excellent track record, have always returned my books and paid my 'rentals', and even buy something from the gift shop or cafe on occasion. I've used this library for 15 years.
I am determined to stand my ground and not let the world tear me and Michio apart. I may be risking having my library privileges revoked this time, which means I'd be banned from the biggest library system in the area forever. I WILL finish these books before I return them, and not be intimidated into giving them back and then standing in line again for the chance to finish them probably a year later.
I hear someone asking "Why don't you just go buy the book?" And it's a fair question. After all, I own several Hawkings.
I reply, "Why doesn't the library just stick to its normal policy and let me have the rental for two months, like it would if no one else were banging on the door for it?" Or, "Why doesn't the library get more than one copy?" Or, "Why don't those people request an interlibrary loan?" Or, "Why don't THOSE people all go buy the book???"
If I have my library priviledges revoked over Michio Kaku, I am designing a t-shirt to sell on cafepress and proudly wearing it everywhere.