It's an Outrage that Libraries Require Books to Be Returned

If you just stop to think about it, you'll soon realize how outrageous it is for libraries to require that books be returned. Just who do they think they are? Do they think we have unlimited free time? Yes, and we enjoy the chore of keeping track which books are due, where the books are located, and which library system they need to be returned to.

And it's raining, the kids are hungry, the plumbing is backing up, phone messages go unanswered, the car keeps stalling, the rent is due --- and you want us to return library books?

Don't libraries realize that books are supposed to be deleted rather than returned? And who came up with idea of "sharing" anyway. Sharing sickens me. It's an idea that appeals to the very worst in human beings.

Sharing books is despicable. That's the only way to describe it.

Libraries have no idea at all the burden they place on people by requiring books to be returned. And then when newspapers bemoan that people are reading less, do they ever mention the outrageous burden of returning library books? No, you don't ever hear newspapers criticizing libraries. It's just not done. No matter how outrageous the library's policies, newspapers will stand by and praise them as if they could do no wrong.

I'm sick of it and I won't stand for it any longer. I can put up with a lot of life's turmoils, but I refuse to put up with having to return library books. It's too much to ask, plain and simple.

When I go to a library I expect to sign out books that I can delete after I've read them. That's the only civilized way of doing things. And after I've deleted the books I've read, I'll answer the unanswered phone messages, feed the kids, fix the backed up plumbing, get the car working properly and pay the rent.

Phil Shapiro
April 1, 2000

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