I used to go to the library weekly as a kid, back when I used to read for the sole purpose of being known as the ‘smart’ kid. Oh, how I hate my seven-year old self. If I could send a letter back in time to myself seven years ago, it would probably go like this:
Dear Matthew, Go outside.
I still have trouble following that advice.
Anyway, back then, my town’s local library loved me. I always turned books in on time. I rarely lost them and I rarely damaged them at all. I was a good kid. But about a year ago, everything changed.
I had decided to loan The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, not knowing that those two books would cause me to become ‘Undesirable #1’ amongst the librarians.
I started off reading The Hobbit, and about two chapters in, the book apparently decided, “Let’s play a game of hide-and-seek,” and then hid in another universe where it’ll never be found again. I was upset, but a week later I decided to skip the prequel and start reading The Fellowship of the Ring. That was when I made the costly mistake of bringing the book into school.
Just in case you didn’t know, public middle school is the very worst place to bring a book. I somehow hadn’t realized that before it was too late. I had left to go to the bathroom and when I came back, someone had decided to write, “RAPE” all across the cover and over several of the pages, (WHY!?!?!?) ruining any chance I had at being able to return the book.
So I had lost one book and had vandalized the other. I didn’t want to go back to the library because I was afraid they’d yell at me and beat me up and stab me. Looking back, I probably could have just paid for the same two books and replaced them, but thirteen year old me was kind of an idiot. Fourteen year old me, however, is a genius.
Now, wherever I go, I always have to watch my back for librarians sneaking up behind me. I avoid the public library at all costs and have been forced to use my school library, which seems to be devoid of any interesting book written in the last decade.
Moral of this post: Don’t lose library books. And librarians are scary.