Monday, March 15, 2021

Library Due-Date Crunch Time

I find myself fighting the clock this week thanks to the several library books with short time-fuses that I'm still reading. I really don't want to miss out on reading any of them now that I finally got my hands on them...but they all came in about the same time and none are renewable without me returning to the end of the line again.

I've had this one on hold since November, starting out as number 210 on the waiting list. Tana French is not an author I've read before, but I finally decided that her immense popularity demands a peek. So, the book finally arrived, and I read the first page and was immediately hooked before I put it aside to finish a couple of others first. And I'm still on page 2. One week to go.


Transcendent Kingdom is actually due back at the library today, but I'm still over 120 pages away from the end so that's not likely to happen. I picked it up, finally, last night thinking that if I had to give up on one, this would probably be the one to get culled. About a dozen pages later, I knew that was not going to happen. I am so immersed in her story right now that I can't imagine not finishing the book. Yaa Gyasi is a special kind of writer. This will be the first book with a waiting list I've ever purposely not returned on its due date...maybe tomorrow.


The George Saunders book is due in four days, but I'm only 40% of the way through this creative fiction class, so this one may end up being returned late, too, despite its still-growing waiting list. Even at this point in the book, I recommend A Swim in a Pond in the Rain to anyone curious about how good short stories are constructed - especially ones written by some of the Russian masters of the genre. I'm retaining much more of what Saunders has to say about the structure of the stories than I would have thought possible - and that's entirely to the credit of Saunders's prose style. Saunders is one of my favorite writers for a reason.

If I'm not careful, I'm going to be in the same boat with another set of library books in just a couple of weeks. But, hopefully, I've now learned that my "eyes" or bigger than my "brain," and I will better control my urge to put every interesting book I run across on my library hold list. Yeah, right, like that's going to happen.

16 comments:

  1. I've never yet been able to control the urge to put too many library books on hold all at once. It does get tricky when they're all due at once and you can't renew them. Good luck getting all of these read! I hope they're not too overdue when you return them. :)

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    1. I had to take the car in for an oil change this morning, and took Transcendent Kingdom with me. I was able to get an outside table all by myself while waiting for the work to be done, and I got in quite a few more pages. Looks like the books will be 2-3 days late, but that's not a huge deal, I suppose, because the library "quarantines" the books for a week before anyone touches them again. That's why the wait times have gotten longer, I guess.

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    2. Our libraries finally shortened the quarantine time down from five days to 24 hours on all returned books. I was glad. The whole quarantine thing always seemed a bit dumb to me. No one's going to get covid from a book.

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    3. I agree with you, Lark. I'm happy enough with the extra delay if that makes the library staff feel more comfortable, though, because I don't know what I would do without them.

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  2. Well the fine will probably be less than if you bought the book. Like you I rarely do that but I have been known to. Good luck getting them all read though. I want to read that Tana French at some stage so am eager to know what you think of it... if you're able to finish it in time. LOL!

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    1. The library has waved the fees during this pandemic mess, and I really don't have room for many more books without being forced to displace others now, so...

      I'm looking forward to French's book, but still haven't started it properly. The first page has a hook that grabbed me immediately, and after waiting almost four months for a crack at the book, it's going to get read one way or the other. I can't wait. :-)

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  3. I find myself in similar circumstances lately. Most NEW books have a 2-week check out with (1) renewal but some libraries loan for (21) days with a renewal which is a bonus. However, during the pandemic - late fees are waived yet, I feel guilty if I keep beyond loan period:(

    I hope you get to finish Transcendent Kingdom - a favorite of mine. I want to read The Searcher as well.

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    1. Any book in my library system that has more holds than copies is only available for a single two-week check out period. I probably shouldn't feel as guilty as I do about keeping these for an extra 2-3 days each, but it's hard to break old habits...and I always gripe when others do it to me. :-)

      Only 25 pages to go in Transcendent Kingdom as of right now because I hit it hard this morning while waiting for the oil in my car to be changed. I really, really like this one, and now I need to go back and read Homegoing.

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  4. Oh, the frustrations of too many books and not enough time. Especially when you've waited on a hold list just to get the book!

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  5. Hi Sam,

    I know what you mean about Tana French. I haven't read her yet either but she is hugely popular and critically acclaimed. I have checked out a previous novel of hers Faithful Place and plan to read it. Looking forward to your review of the Searchers and I am hearing very good things about that novel too.

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    1. At this point, I'm not even sure if she is writing a series or if her books are standalones. That's how much of a novice I am when it comes to her writing. I'll look forward to hearing how you like Faithful Place.

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  6. Our library has waived late fees for the time being, too. But in pre-covid times, there were a few occasions when I wanted to finish a book enough that I willingly held it overdue and paid the twenty or thirty cents (ours is a dime/day). That said, I'm somehow reluctant to do ILL anymore since they put a fee on that, even though it's only a dollar or two.

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    1. I'd be in big trouble if they start charging for ILLs, especially during this pandemic. I think that fee would start to add up.

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  7. French definitely knows how to hook you, doesn't she? Although I do have to say that THE SEARCHER is different than her other books. It's still compelling, but it's also slower and more contemplative. Usually, I whip through a French book in a day or so - this one took me a little bit longer simply because its pace was slower. I hope you enjoy THE SEARCHER if you're able to get to it before time runs out!

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    1. I'm about 200 pages into it now, and I'm loving it. This is exactly the pace I most enjoy in a crime novel or "thriller," so now I'm a little concerned from what you say that I might not enjoy her earlier books as much as I'm liking this one. LOL This is really good...

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