Tuesday, March 19, 2013


With this title, you may think it pertains to writing a new blog, which I admit is long overdue, but alas NOT. Today, as I was listening to one of my favorite NPR quiz shows--Wait,Wait, Don't Tell Me  One of the questions in the lightening round was, "A man who returned his library book 69 years late, said he was not able to return it because of ______.Now, I could make you post your answer in the comments and give you the answer next week. . . or at my rate of posting. . . next month.  But I know you are in  such suspense I will give you a little help. Was it: 
  1.   He was waiting till he won the lottery so he could pay the late fees.
  2.   He was married to the librarian and thought she'd divorce him if she knew he still had the book.
  3.   He blamed a World War II aerial bombing that damaged the library for the late return.
I am sure you probably guessed "WWII"The man, now in his mid-80s, checked out the book on March 7, 1944, while Estonia was occupied by Nazi Germany. He did offer to pay a late fee on the book, which still had its original library emblem and serial code, but the library waived it. Let's see: 25 cents a day, over 69 years ... it would have been around $6,296.25. Wasn't that nice of them.

In my younger years, the librarians who treated the library as a SERIOUS BUSINESS tended to instill the fear retribution if you forgot to return your books. Your fines would build up, but you could loose your privileges if you got in arrears!! And if I couldn't check out books from the library, it would be the end of the world for me.  Remember this was long before Kindle, e-books, or Nooks.

After reading the story above, I did a search on the internet and found many similar stories:

"Overdue library book returned in Sacramento 74 years late"
"Library Gets Back Stolen Book After 145 years"

There are also webpages of excuses!!
“My Labrador ate the cover off Toast with Jelly Side Up.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have never checked out that book!”
A book on schizophrenia returned to the book drop overdue by about a month with a note stating,
"The voices made me keep it.” 
"Piles of overdue libraries books that I'd been meaning to return tipped over, blocking the front door to my flat. It took me two days to dig myself out."

These days, the library is still one of my favorite places and I still get my books returned in a timely manner, thankfully by my e-mail prompts! And I love the fact that I have a library where I can look, feel books and read the jacket cover to see if it is a book I want to check out.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, MY LIBRARY!!!

"Books contain the kinetic power of possibilities. Gathered on shelves, multiplied in old stores and stacked in libraries, unseen spirit emanates from each"
Check out this article and sketches that was in the paper this weekend. My sentiments exactly.  "KINETIC POWER"

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/17/5267206/shelves-harbor-unseen-spirits.html#storylink=cpy

  California Sketches