I have always been a procrastinator, so it should come as no surprise that I delay returning library books – or, for that matter, any borrowed book. I am a bibliophile; I buy and borrow books.
Once I bring home library books, I take my own sweet time to read them. I leaf through the books, reading pages at random, over months, well past the due date on those books. I hoard the books, even though deep in my heart I know they aren’t mine. I cling to them, but I don’t finish reading them. Nor do I want to return them unread. Months often pass and then I forget that those books are someone else’s property. Finally, one fine day, as though awakened from stupor, I would grab those books and return them.
I thought I was an irresponsible or greedy library patron. But not anymore – after reading a news story. A librarian, quoted in the story, has uttered an adage that seems my salvation.
The news story says a man recently returned a book more than 80 years overdue to Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana. The library has waived its $3 late fee, according to the story on CNN.com. The book, “Soon River Anthology,” by Edgar Lee Masters, was checked out by the man’s mother when she was 11, in 1934.
The man was cleaning his parents’ house when he happened on the book and decided to return it. He said that’s what his mother would have done, the library's assistant manager Jackie Morales said. It’s not clear from the story whether his mother is still alive.
The man said he was surprised the book was intact in his mother’s home and said she was very responsible.
The story will likely inspire people to follow in the man's footsteps.
72I hope this encourages other people to return their items