Friday, February 6, 2009

The 10 Left Behind

There I was, working late, when I suddenly had a profound thought; if I left that very moment I would be able to get to the library before it closed. I ran out the door and arrived at the library at 8:50 PM, so I only had 10 minutes to find a parking place, get my books, and get outta there.

The Hennepin County library is amazing. You go online and pick out your books, and they send them to any library in the metro area. If they don't have a book (which is rare) you can search to see if any library in the state owns the title you want. I generally have between 25 and 50 books on my waiting list at any given time. Occasionally, a bunch of books come in at the same time.
When I found my pile on the reserve shelf, I was shocked at how big some of the books were. I wasn't sure if I would be able to carry all of them at once.

It took two trips to get them to the self checkout. As I checked them out, I stacked them with the biggest on the bottom of the pile. Halfway through checking out, I looked up to see a man staring at me with his jaw on the floor. I smiled sheepishly, and he said, "I guess I'm not the only one with a stack of books."

The hard part was getting them to the door. The librarian was NOT impressed with my stack of last minute books, and they had already announced that the library was closed. I slid the stack of books into my fingertips with my arms stretched as far down as they could go, and my eyes barely peeked over the top. It was HEAVY! Every step was a mystery; would I make it to the car without dropping the entire stack? Would I make it even one more step without creating a bibliophile's nightmare?

After making it successfully into the car [and getting inside], I burst into hysterical laughter, which petered out only when I got home 10 minutes later.

When Kevin got home from class and saw the stack of books on the dining room table he commented that there were a bunch of them. Then I told him my secret: I had to leave the 10 books that were reserved from other libraries behind because I didn't have time to get them from the librarian.

His voice went up an octave, "TEN?! Why in the world do you need so many books at the same time?" It just worked out that they all came in together. And now I only have 47 requests waiting to be filled. Let's hope they don't all come in at the same time.

The ironic thing is that this was one of the books in my stack. Kevin definitely agreed that is was all too much.

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