Liz Farrell

Liz's Notebook: No arrest in the case of the Very Overdue Library Book

See you later, old friend. Enjoy your new old home. We'll miss you.
See you later, old friend. Enjoy your new old home. We'll miss you. Staff photo

The 55 things that happen when your library book is overdue.

  1. Ahhh! I forgot to read the book club book! I need to read that in like ... two days?! Wait ... how long have I had this? I'll just renew it online. Our library system makes it so easy!

  2. Was this book made into a movie yet? I could just watch that. Oops! I need to renew the book. Don't forget! Renew. The. Book.

  3. There's no movie yet? Ugh. Hollywood, you suck. I'll just nod when Carol says something about the book. Latch onto her. Or maybe Stacey. She says smart things. What country was this even set in? I have no idea how to make Afghan food.

  4. Pinterest project!

  5. I hate myself for missing book club. What are you going to do with $30 in Shami kebab ingredients, you non-book-reading idiot?

  6. Oh my God. This book is so overdue! Should I even read the book now? Yes. Yes. Read the book. You are a New Liz. A New Thorough and Achieving Liz. Oh crap. I have to renew the book!

  7. Calendar montage: Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Dec. 1, Dec. 2 ...

  8. "You know that book club book? I've had it out since August. … I feel like I'm doing this to hurt myself. Just to feel pain. Like cutting. But for nerds."

  9. " ...... Liz."

  10. I'll read it on my flight to New York!

  11. (Reads In Touch magazine)

  12. I'll read it on my flight to Boston!

  13. (Forgets book at home)

  14. List of New Year's resolutions: Read the book! Return the book!

  15. Calendar montage: Jan. 15, Jan. 16 .... April 25, April 26

  16. Stop saying you're going to read and return the book if you're not going to read and return the book!

  17. This fine has to be record-setting. I can't even look. I'm just going to pay it. That's what good citizens do. They pay their fines.

  18. No. I'm going to read this book.

  19. Stop looking at me, Book.

  20. Library books are so bulky and dumb.

  21. Memorial Day Weekend: I READ THE BOOK! It was soooooo good. Who can I talk to about this? Why did my book club move on to so many other books since then?

  22. I can return the book now!

  23. I want to return it right this minute!

  24. But not in the drop box. This needs to be face to face. You're probably on a wanted poster in their break room, anyway.

  25. Hmmm. I wonder if they talk about missing this book at staff meetings.

  26. I'm kind of nervous to return this now.

  27. Tuesday morning: "I'm here to return this VERY OVERDUE LIBRARY BOOK and pay my VERY BIG fine, everyone!."

  28. "Our system is down. I can write a note on it and keep it here until tomorrow if you'd like." (Holds out hand to take book.)

  29. Why does this librarian think she can just take my book? This book has lived with me for 10 months. No.

  30. No.

  31. "Thanks. I'll hold on to it."

  32. Take the book! Librarians and their humor.

  33. (In the car) I cannot believe I still have this book. There are so many people who probably wanted to take out this book and couldn't because of you. She was going to take the book. What is wrong with you? … I kind of want to put a seat belt on this book.

  34. Friday at noon: Let's try this again!

  35. Um ... why is the library closed? Oh no. Oh no no no. I hate that blue neon closed sign! Blue is not the color for closed! Blue is not the color for anything. Now I have to get out of my car FOR NO REASON WHILE OTHER PEOPLE IN THE PARKING LOT WHO ALSO DON'T KNOW YOUR WEIRD HOURS LOOK AT ME WHILE I READ YOUR DOOR.

  36. Oh good. They open at 1 p.m. I can go to the Corner Perk for an hour.

  37. 1:30 p.m.: OK, I'm going in. This is happening.

  38. "I'm here to make this right." (Hand book to librarian)

  39. "Sure. I can do that for you."

  40. She's acting like this isn't a big deal.

  41. Why isn't she lecturing me?

  42. Or looking at me rudely?

  43. "Does this happen a lot?"

  44. "It does. At least, enough so that I know how to fix it without asking for help."

  45. "I'm just happy you're not going to handcuff me ... "

  46. Come on, come on. Tell me I'm a bad person.

  47. "Ha. No. ... we don't have people arrested. The fine is $7."

  48. Seven dollars? But ... I had it out since August ... I need to pay more. Or be on a watch list. Or maybe be banned for a month or ... have the Friends of the Library tell me I'm NOT a friend of theirs. Something.

  49. "OK. Thank you."

  50. "You're all set. Your library card is all clear."

  51. Oh.

  52. Huh.

  53. I actually did this. I actually read and returned the book. I don't owe them anything anymore. This feels really good.

  54. This feels really, really good.

  55. I can take out SO MANY OTHER BOOKS NOW!

Follow columnist and senior editor Liz Farrell at and

Related content: