Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Big Library Book Clear Out

Very often I have an embarrassing number of books checked out on my library card. Well, I thought it was embarrassing to have 40-50 books out at a time until chatting at book club one month, my friend who is a librarian looked up her own account and had out approximately 80 -- I'm not alone! I still feel awkward going up to the desk when I have a dozen or more picture book holds to pick up all at once, but I'm pretty sure that's just my own hang-up. I don't think anyone working at the library is actually upset or surprised when patrons make heavy use of their services -- or at least I hope not!

But let's go back to that dozen holds thing for a second. Whenever I go into the library to pick up a huge stack, I always feel the need to return a huge stack first. Granted, I usually only put in a lot of hold requests when I'm ready to move onto a new season/holiday/author/illustrator, etc. which often means I am done with an earlier season/holiday/author/illustrator, etc. It's always very satisfying to do a Big Library Book Clear Out and gather up all those ones I'm done with -- especially if I've actually read all (or most) of them. Hence, today's return pile -- which only includes TWO unread books.

The OUT pile

I feel lighter clearing those books out of the house. I feel a sense of completion and accomplishment. And then....

The IN pile

I take out a new stack! I'm not the only one who does this, right? Sometimes I do feel like I go overboard and then I make sure to return any hasty selections I'm having second thoughts about. I think my new stack is pretty well rounded though -- there are some for Christmas, some for the Diverse Books Club, and a couple of stragglers for the 2017 Picture Book Challenge. I've been spending the last few days of November on a hodge podge of library books and other "catch-up" type reading to clear the path for all those Christmas-y books in December. I think I'm just about ready!

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Tell me how you use your local library! Do you ever take out big stacks? I'd love to know :)


  1. We don't mind one bit when you check out a lot of books! I have patrons that are at or really close to the 100 book limit. :) Although, that may be hard to keep track of... I usually always have about 20ish items checked out at once.

    I love returning a stack to get a new stack! It is just a nice feeling. You are not alone my friend! This whole post is making me smile.

    1. I'm 99% sure my library doesn't have an actual limit -- but I'm not going to try to test it -- I think the stacks we've been getting are big enough, LOL

      :) :) :)

  2. Same here! The feeling of returning a big stack is so satisfying. Sometimes it even lasts for a day or two for me, because we usually return books on their due date but don't always have time to check out new ones that day. Now that I can no longer use my library card for the big library in the next county, I feel like I have a better handle on what I have out and when it's due, too. Easier to keep track if you only check out books from one library! But we always leave with a huge stack. During the summer, we walk and I have to bring a backpack so we can get all our books home. Library stacks are awesome!

    1. Borrowing from all the libraries in our system definitely leads to a lot more borrows for us! I suppose that mean less buying though, so a win?

      I need to bring a tote bag when we go -- and especially when I go alone because I ALWAYS come home with a huge stack when I'm not running after little man. If we walk, which is only occasionally in really nice weather because it's a hike, I've managed with the stroller because it has a roomy basket underneath -- if we walk when he gets older, I don't think we could borrow on those days!


I'd love to hear what you think :)