Overdue Excuses Awards for Library Books

Ever realized that you’ve got a library book that’s very overdue?

Acute bibliomania, bibliolatry, larynx polyps & other good overdue excuses

[Top six crazy reasons for why someone might return their library books late, from the Vancouver Public Library, Fall 2005…]

Almost Forgotten

I was going to return the books I had and on time too! But, unfortunately, I forgot they were library books. You know how that can happen: you forget what the bar code is, you no longer notice the VPL stamp. So anyway, there were the eight library books, right? I decided to give them all to my local hospital. Very kind of me, I thought.
A week later I received a “late notice.” Back to the hospital, I ripped the books out of the hands of the sick, the weak, and the husband of a woman having twins.

- Karen Segal

Acute Bibliomania

I’m sorry my dearly beloved is late. You see I have recently been diagnosed with an advanced stage of acute bibliomania followed by occasional bouts of bibliolatry. I’ve struggled with symptoms since I learned to read and rare books are my greatest weakness. Therefore, parting our ways with fines to boot is just unthinkable!
(In an aside with hypnotic language...):
Oh how you’ve toiled
Both long and hard
Your pages are slightly yellowed
Your words are rather grey.
How I wish
We could be together everyday
Goodbye my love! (Glancing back at the attendant...)
Take good care of her…

- Tracy B. Lyons

An Excruciatingly Tired Borrower

I was sitting in my boxers in the back of the Laundromat washing my jeans and t-shirts when this woman walks in and loads up one, two, three machines including the one beside me. I had to keep my book (Jared Diamond's 'Collapse', 576pp.) wide open so she wouldn’t see my boxers which had big red polka dots, a present from my ex-wife when she was still my wife. Anyway, it was difficult to read the book while holding it this way and my arms were so tired so I finished at home and couldn’t return it till today.
- Joe L. Sparovec

An Excruciatingly Tiresome Read

Oh, yes, I know it’s overdue. It couldn’t be helped, really. You see, this book isn’t particularly well written. To be blunt, it is quite a boring read. In fact, it is so excruciatingly tiresome it renders you comatose – a bona fide soporific! A few of the third chapter’s more vapid passages put me in such a deep hibernation that it took four weeks before I could even speak again. I ought to be rewarded really, for keeping such a dreadful book out of circulation as long as I did. But don’t fret: letting the fine go will be reward enough.
- Rhiannon Coppin

Captured By Pirates

Captured by pirates in Georgia Strait, I avoided walking the plank by offering to read the wicked captain the entire Modern Library edition (872 pages) of the Arabian Nights. The captain was so enchanted that he demanded more. Accordingly I read him all of Jane Fonda’s workout book, the Canadian master tax guide, and Chilton’s Volvo repair manual. I was a prisoner for months, and developed polyps on my larynx. The aforementioned titles have sustained serious water damage. I trust that you will cancel my fines and all other charges on compassionate grounds.
- G. Robertson

Whale of a Tale

When I was eleven years old I was obsessed with whales. T-shirts, lunch boxes, backpacks – all had pictures of whales. When I accrued my fines I had 22 whale books borrowed from the library. I had them with me in my beluga backpack when Mom and Dad took me on a whale watch off the coast of Cape Breton Island. After two hours and no whale sightings, a storm began to brew. Waves capsized over the hull of the boat. The captain said we’d turn around. But I was determined to see a whale. I gout out my book of Atlantic whale calls and convinced almost everyone on board to try them with me. After a while we saw an Atlantic Sperm whale! Everyone held their breath. I leaned over the rail, book bag on one shoulder, and called again. Suddenly the whale appeared right before me, spraying everyone. Shocked, I lost my balance and dropped my book bag over the side of the hull. To this day I claim my 22 library books were eaten by a whale.

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