Writing left handed

Writing Wednesday: Confessions of a Library Junkie

After finally finishing Middlesex, which ended just as brilliantly as it began, I decided to check out The Virgin Suicides, also by Jeffrey Euginides, a book I heard about on NPR called The Mysterious Lost Expedition for the City of Z, and finally, for some lighter fare, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

So I hopped on the Free Library of Philadelphia’s website, searched for the branch that’s closest to me now that I have a new house, and started ordering.

Unfortunately my order wouldn’t go through.


Because somehow or other I’d amassed $39.50 in library fines. $39.50!

book meme

I didn’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed.  It takes, after all, a sort of skill to wrack up a fine of that magnitude, a certain voracity for great literature (or CDs to add to summer beach playlists… whatever).

He, however, was standing in my kitchen at the time and was, to put it bluntly, mildly appalled.

“I’ve returned them all,” I assured him. “And that one there, the Marian Keyes? The $7.50 charge? That was really my mom’s fault because I loaned it to her after I read it.”

Fortunately you can pay your library fines on the internet nowadays, and even more fortunately you can pay with a credit card. (Which is exactly what I did.)

Your turn now. Can anyone top $39.50? I’m pretty sure it’s a world record.

9 Responses to “Writing Wednesday: Confessions of a Library Junkie”

  1. New York Cliche

    You make me feel much better about my current $23.50! I also went on a Jeffrey Euginides kick after finishing “Middlesex” (so good). When you pay off your fine add his (maybe most recent?) book “The Marriage Plot” to your list.

      • petitepaumee

        The Marriage Plot is the only book of his that I read, and to be honest, I didn’t really like it. I thought I would enjoy it more (based on its premise, the central protagonist being a girl who is lost in the world of fiction and ideas) but I ended up being thoroughly annoyed by the author’s prose. I’m curious about your impressions!

        • Kat Richter

          Yeah, his prose is a bit mellifluous and meandering at times (and totally over the top at others) but I loved it in Middlesex. Definitely not a book you can speed read. I usually go pretty quickly but I had to really slow down and take the time to read each word. I’ll let you know how I feel about The Marriage Plot 🙂

  2. becky119

    See and I was all cranky because I currently owe $0.50, which is unacceptable in this day and age where you can renew online. But…do you want to know a secret? You can renew over the phone even when you have unpaid fines! So that has been my method as of late since the closest branch is up a flight of steps and steps on crutches sucks. 🙂

    • Kat Richter

      Yeah, I can’t imagine crutches and steps being much fun 😦 The only issue with renewing over the phone is that eventually you can’t renew it any more! I had already renewed each of my items several times before finally returning them… that was the real issue.

  3. Landlord No Longer

    I currently owe about $3.00 because I forgot to renew, but hopefully bringing them back today or tomorrow, the thing is, I sometimes even give a bit more as I’m so embarrassed because it IS so EASY to renew on line, and I know their budget has been slashed 😦 But yes, the paying online feature is wonderful.

    • Kat Richter

      Yeah, as much as I was pissed at myself for being so stupid, I can’t think of too many causes I’d rather give $40 too. Especially with how many schools and school libraries have had to close in Philly.

  4. extortionate

    I can relate so much to that picture. Swear the librarians were after me.


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