I often have overdue books. I like to think it’s because as a librarian, I spend a lot of time as a flesh equivalent of a due-date reminder for others about their own loans. At birth, we’re allocated a finite amount of brain power dedicated to returning books. Library professionals altruistically gift this allocation to their borrowers and in turn are constantly in the “recalcitrant borrower” shackles. Inspired by Hoi’s “Check in”.
When I worked in a police library, it was a running joke to call librarians “book enforcement officers”. I am actually fairly relaxed, but borrowers with a guilty conscience see any library staff member, and gain an expression of melancholic despair (and sense of impending doom) as though they’ve suddenly noticed Jack Frost tapping on the windowpane. They back away slowly and whisper, “I was just about to return those…” I know of a library that has a lending policy date of several years, this alleviates their storage issues.
Here are some books we borrowed for a relative recovering for surgery – it’s luxurious being able to select lots of library books for someone as there isn’t the awkward burden of buying them the wrong book. However there is the need to return them! Shamefully overdue.
Lorraine on looking great: my guide for real women by Lorraine Kelly
I didn’t realise that Lorraine Kelly was famous, but I was lured in by the book cover which would be great to hold up to other passengers on the bus. Lots of exercise routines and a good suggestion of rolling a tennis ball under each foot (whilst sitting!) to soothe sore feet.
The preserving book, editor-in-chief Lynda Brown with Carolyn Humphries and Heather Whinney
I’d need to renew this to get the most out of it, I’ve only ever made jam in the bread maker and I was surprised at recipes like pickled walnuts – sounds dreadful!
You are what you wear: what your clothes reveal about you by Jennifer J. Baumgartner
The psychology of dress! Fun for understanding your own and others’ fashion choices. The thinking woman’s Colour me beautiful/confident. Lots of self-tests about overbuying and appearance anxiety, with chapters focused on lifestyle and not just clothing.
An instance where you read the book in the author’s voice! There’s no way I could ever buy a white shirt despite it having “…such fabulous fashion potential!” p. . I just don’t have it in me. A puzzling 2-page spread of a lady disrobed but for some handbags – a statement about leather? (pp. [176-7])
Living normally: where life comes before style by Trevor Naylor; photographs by Niki Medlik
“A show-home lifestyle is impossible for most of us. …Acres of paint, hours of TV and millions of pounds of advertising serve to idealize how our interiors should be.” – Naylor, pp. 6-7.
A refreshing book that shows the importance of homes being welcoming and as working symbols of what is important, interior design programs do the same soul-crucifying work to houses as beauty magazines do to self-confidence.
We did borrow books apart from ones focusing on appearance (which is a rather insensitive topic when someone’s been in hospital), but they have already been returned, so I guess these were the winners. Or as someone told me once “It took me longer to return this book because it was so boring, I needed more time to try and get through it.” At least both our patient and I enjoyed them, so that’s double value (like brewing tea several times – bargain! When you sacrifice your “return books” brain cells you need to save money somewhere to pay the overdue fines).
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