A Bill and a Ban

There was a dreadful occurrence at my house yesterday.  My husband beckoned me and solemnly showed me the results of my negligence.


He inquired whether I had paid it.  I hadn’t even seen it so, “Um…no”. 

My husband then kindly handed me the bill and didn’t say a word after that.  He owed me a pass after my sweetness during his August driving miscalculation.

What I’ve learned: Apparently, if you mostly ignore the fact that a library book has gone missing, then the problem does not go away.   You will receive a bill for a ridiculous amount with a bluntly worded threat that your bill may be sent to collections.

Four books contributed to the crime, but here we have the main (over $20!) culprit.
“Duck on a Bike.”

(not actual book, as actual book is missing)

I”m sure it’s a phenomenal book.  I wouldn’t know.  We never read it before its mysterious disappearance.

Last week I helped my kids shovel out their room in an attempt to locate the book–nothing.  Though I did find several missing shoes.

I actually have a specific place for library books.  We just haven’t been using it!  I should have known the library was too risky right now.

So!  I’m implementing a self-imposed ban on the library until…

A.  My house is perfectly clean and organized.

B. My children become exceptional examples of put-backedness.

(the more likely option)
C.  A magical windfall of money falls from the sky.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Pay the fine.


  1. I had the same problem a few years back…..only it was with my books! I ended up paying for one book, even though I was sure I had returned it. I refused to go to the library for over a year because I was so afraid that they would accuse me of losing another book. When I went back the same thing happened again and again and again! It turns out that their computer does not always register the books when they are scanned back in….I'm thinking I paid for a book I actually did return! Technology is not always the best thing!

  2. Rach (DonutsMama) says:

    Library fines are ridiculous! I'm avoiding the library right now too b/c I have a fine & I was only a week late (in my defense, I had a newborn at the time and had bigger issues to worry about!)

  3. Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys says:

    Man they got you with a huge fine. That sucks. My husband keeps asking me when I will take the kids to the library. I know I would end up with a lost book and fines out the wazoo.

  4. blueviolet says:

    That stinks because you're over the value of the book at this point!

  5. Oh no! How would you like to have that on your credit report – $30 library!

  6. LOVE MELISSA:) says:

    Oh no, I'm so sorry! I remember having a similar experience a few years back. I ended up just buying the book, if I remember correctly

  7. Help! Mama Remote... says:

    29!!!!!!!!My library books are almost always late LOL. But never that high. Oohhhh! You lost it that's why. Ban the library stat!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Sandy -- As Told By Mommy says:

    As a kid I had three library books out from the school library and one day at school the movers came and packed all our stuff and sent my library books across country with the rest of our stuff…had to pay a stinkin' fine too.

    By the way, thats not me in those wedding pics haha, that's my sis in law!


  9. I would go to the library and look for the book, to make sure it is really lost! It could be that their "system" didn't mark it as returned, and it is sitting on the shelf. That has happened to me more than once.

    If you don't find it on the shelf, then start looking in all of the "odd" places that a book could hide. Under dressers, in backpacks/suitcases, cupboards, behind/under beds, on your own bookshelf, in the car so far hidden under the seat no one could possibly see it, etc. I have found books in some pretty strange places.

    I once paid for a book, and found it a year later in a closet that I decided needed to be cleaned out. Grrr

  10. I would go to the library and check also. Twice, for us, the book was on THEIR shelf, it just hadn't been checked back in properly in their computer system. Good luck!

  11. Ok I know I say it all the time but I swear sometimes we live in the same house! I am forever getting fines, we lost a book that the girls magically found two months later….sigh, most recently paid 14! We have a put away place too! Funny how they don't end up there!

  12. I am SO glad I'm not the only one that has to shovel out my kids' rooms.

    Just sayin.

  13. Oh girl- I've had some scary library bills!

    Hope the book turns up!

  14. So my 17-year-old son checked out a My Little Pony book for his sister…4 months ago! It has gone missing and we have searched high and low. I'm sure the ladies at the library are having a good chuckle over this one. But no bill yet.

  15. Oh my! That is crazy!

    Just be a bad mom like me and never take your kids to the library then you won't have to worry about this! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (just kidding, I do take them SOMETIMES! :))

    Manuel brought his first book home from the school library on Friday…I've already put it out of Mia's reach because goodness knows she'd tear it apart! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope you find it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says:

    Ouch! And here I thought the library was free…

  17. Finally!!!! I have a good reason to explain to my mom on why I chose to go to half price books and JUST BUY EVERY book! She never understands why I do that….but NOW I DO!!!! ha. Also, when you figure out that "when-My-children-become-exceptional-examples-of-put-backedness" – PLEASE DO SHARE!!!!! I need to know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. So… you're never going back to the library? Haha! Yeah, seems like I'm always paying library fines these days. Nothing as great as your fine (yet!), just $1 here, $2 there. (Which all adds up, I guess!) I figure it's my "donation" to such a fine establishment! BUT, yes, I too have been told I never returned a book only to find out I DID (I complained, and told them I was SURE I did return said book), and the librarian responsible for re-logging the book just didn't complete the job properly. I've had this happen several times!

  19. Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy says:

    oops! yep Library fines are high especially on kids books because the Library version of the books tend to be very expensive.

  20. Am I Really Grown Up? says:

    Double check that the book isn't on the shelf. That has happened to us quite a few times!

  21. WOW! your library is strict! Ours just tells us that books go missing sometimes. And if you tell them then they aren't mad. But they don't let you check out more books if you have over $5. You can pay .05 cents to get it to $4.95 if you want, but you can't have $5 or over. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope you find it soon!

  22. eh gads!
    my daughter is not even allowed to take her library books upstairs unsupervised!
    cause lordy I have paid those bills before!

  23. An Irish Italian Blessing says:

    LOL, so ummm…is now a good time to confess that I also have a bill owed to the Library for a non kid rental? Yeah, I have overdue charges for "Learning to Crochet" Haaa haaa, too embarassed to actually go in and pay the stinking fine!

  24. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    JDaniel lost the cover of a DVD from the library once. It cost $4 in fines to replace. We returned the video and the case. I can't believe it was $4 for a new cover.

    I bet the books show up as soon as you pay the fine.

  25. Wow.. that would be a pain. I remember that happening when I was younger. ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm sure after you pay the fine the books will turn up. THAT has happened to my family before too!

  26. Thanks for reminding me to go return my books! Whew!

  27. My Innre Chick says:

    —omg,do you have to pay?
    at our library, they made me pay or I couldn't get another book (it was 36 dollars!!!….and books are my life, so I had to pay the damn thing.
    btw, Great word: put-backedness.

  28. So, you won't be going back to the library any time soon, LOL?? LOve your posts, make me laugh.

  29. We've only had a disappearing library book problem since we moved to our current house. It is weird. I think our new house eats books. But we still go to the library because we figure library plus all of the fines is still less then if we bought all the books we read.

  30. I love the library, but I so have to watch the fines – its not "free" for us because of the fines, but normally for us it's only a $1 or so. Will this continue to go up? Ours just continues to grow each day we don't deal with it. Good luck on teaching your children to help keep your house perfect and pass that along when you figure it out!

  31. Bahahah – seems sort of steep for that book! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck finding it!!

  32. My son "lost" a book from the school library, I was postive that he brought it to shcool but since I did not want the silly fine on his "perment record" we replaced the book, and it wasnt easy, we had to find it on an older library recourse and paid 30 for it, my dad actually did it for me (this was before I was so computer savy lod), well the book showed up the same day the new book came to my dad's house. He gave it to my son for Christmas and Tom just laughed hystercially!! Glad to know I'm not the only one who gets into trouble!! Very funny!!

  33. You are me (but on the other side of the world!) Lol…seriously. I've been that mother, with the missing books and the unorganised house and the bill. OK, I'm always that mother lol.
    We do this (or I should say my daughter does this) with rented dvd's…I had to take out membership at another shop just so I could continue to rent movies for myself!!

  34. You should buy the book from Amazon (I bet it's cheaper than $29–you could even buy it used), bring it in & tell them you lost the original, and ask them to waive the fine. I bet they'll do it. I used to be a librarian and trust me, they will pretty much always waive your fines if you work them enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. laughwithusblog says:

    Oh man! That's why I only use the library during the summer months when I can go on a regular basis. I still have a stack that needs to go back though… :O

  36. I'm thinking it would be cheaper to just buy a new book for the library to have.

  37. Hopes@Staying Afloat! says:

    UGH! See this is why we don't go to the library. Not because we don't LOVE reading a variety of books, but because my children will hide them in the playroom abyss never to be found again, I will no doubt be broke!!

  38. Missy@It's A Ray Thing says:

    So if you find it will you read it before you return it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. I hope you've learned your lesson about trying to get your kids all edumacated. I say: Let them be illiterate. It's cheaper.

  40. AND… wanna hear something funny? Almost immediately after I read and commented on this post this morning, my 3-year-old brought me this EXACT SAME BOOK to read to him! I laughed. It's a good book, by the way! And it's mine. I could sell it to you… =)

  41. That's crazy! That book better be bound in gold…

  42. Marina at My Busy Children says:

    I did it. Paid a fine in the library today. We did not lose a book, but were too late to return it.

    Lesson learned: only borrow one book at a time. I borrowed 7 and the bill was HIGH!

  43. Laura@livingabigstory says:

    That's crazy — one time, I got so mad about the cost of a book that I went to Amazon and bought it really cheap … then played dumb when I brought the book back. It worked!

    Got a bill a couple of weeks for like $97.99 (or something around there) for a book on CD I'd checked out … ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! NO WONDER MY TAXES ARE SO HIGH IF YOU'VE GOT A LIBRARY FULL OF $100 CD'S THAT LAST A COUPLE OF MONTHS?!


    Fortunately, I'd just somehow forgotten to turn in 1 of the CD's so I didn't have to sell one of the kids on ebay or anything ..

    (although the listing is still up …just in case)

  44. I have a bill like that. The book is still missing and the fine is still unpaid. Guess I'm avoiding the library too!

  45. I have bad luck with library bills. I either pay them and then go home and the missing book magically surfaces, or I get billed for a book I never checked out, or I get billed for a DVD I never checked out after we've been living on the opposite coast for over a year.

    Hopefully the missing book is worth it, so keeping it will be a nice addition to the book collection you have ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. I can't tell you how nice it is knowing I'm not the only one with late library books.

  47. Ouch! Darn library fines! We lost a school library book last year. I paid for it, but ya know the darn thing still hasn't turned up anywhere. How do you lose a book??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. E @ Act Fast Chef says:

    oops! I have late books too and I am labeled as "delinquent" on my on-line library account!

    Maybe you can offer to replace the book (most likely you can get it cheper on amazon.com) and have your fine forgiven?

  49. Shannon Milholland says:

    That is a total crack-up! For me I'll never reach the day of organization or windfall so no wonder I don't let my kids go the library. Here all this time I thought it was because I was a bad mom. :relief: ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Oh goodness! I think I would just buy the book. I've had a few library fines too. Unfortunately, they don't tell you there's a fine until years later. Literally.

  51. I have to admit. I avoid the library for that exact reason. There is no way library books would not get eaten in my house! Luckily the kids get tons of books from family and friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Ugh, the same thing happened to me too. My old library would tack a 30 cent fine on your bill the next time you went to check something out and now we have collection agencies? Times have changed (said in my old granny voice).
    I have since caved and started buying books at the second-hand bookstore.

  53. I lost a book too once and kept renewing it as many times as I could- so we had the book for almost three months but finally found it.

  54. Yikes! I hate bills from the library, of all places. I hope the book turns up!

  55. Johanson Family says:

    i would totally be THAT Mom who would chalk up fines at the library. I think the fees are a tad ridiculous… I mean don't they get money from the city and stuff that we pay taxes for and maybe they can be a tad lighter on the fines? Shaka!

  56. We have lived in our city for over two years now and every time I drive past the library I remind myself to go get a library card. That's when I also remind myself that library books seem to vanish when under my control. I haven't got a clue how or why and sometimes I swear I never even checked out the book(s) in question, but there are a few libraries in northern Utah that may still be looking for me…

  57. Up until June I had a self-imposed ban at the library that started in 2008. The library was trying to charge me $14 in fines for a book I never checked out. And I was too ashamed to contest it. So instead I dodged the library and only checked out books when my husband was present. In June I finally contested the charges. The librarian gave me the skunk eye and looked at my kids, "Are you sure you didn't check this book out? Maybe your husband did and didn't tell you." Well it would be impossible for him to check anything out because I am pretty sure I lost my library card in the early 90s. I did my best to look meek and innocent. What was the book the with $14 in fines? "Fashion and Fetishes: The use of corsets for arousal" The shade of red we both turned when she read the title aloud to confirm must have changed her mind. Because she finally believed me and I used my one-time courtesy to take care of it. Next time you're at the library wave, I will be the mom standing behind the tarantula with a brown paper bag over my head.


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