I live in a small town, which can be great. But there are drawbacks. Small town mean small library. The library has a decent selection of books, but like the little girl in the AT&T commercial sometimes I want more.
Looking to enhance my reading potential, I got a library card from the much bigger town next door. A couple days ago, I made my monthly trip to the out-of-town library to stock up on a few books. On my way to check out, I found Revenge Wears Prada, just sitting on the shelf waiting for me to check it out. I was surprised to find it sitting there, especially since it’s only been out for a month. Intrigued, I grabbed it and took it to the front desk to obtain temporary custody of it and the other three books I had found.
I handed my library card and the four books I’d selected to the woman behind the counter. She scanned the card and then Revenge Wears Prada. She paused, looked at the computer, and tapped a few keys. She snapped the book shut and slid it out of my reach.
“You can’t check that book out,” she admonished me. I could feel the crimson creeping up in my cheeks, feeling a schoolchild who had just been scolded by the teacher. In all my excitement, I had forgotten that, as an out-of-towner, I couldn’t take out new titles, which could only be checked out for 14 days. I was guilty of trying to check out a 14-day book.
“Um, OK,” I squeaked out. I still had the other three books that were not new titles and I was looking forward to reading.
She scanned the next book, a memoir from Laurie Notaro. “Huh,” she said. “This book is not showing up.”
“Oh,” I said, not quite sure what to do.
“Where did you find this?” she asked, as if I was trying to check out contraband.
“Up on the shelf,” I responded.
She mashed some more keys on the computer. “I don’t know why it’s not showing up,” she said.
Feeling weary and defeated, I murmured, “I’ll just take these two.” And I walked out with half of the books I’d wanted to check out.
If anyone wants to bail me out of my book prison, send Barnes & Noble gift cards.