It seems

I have lost a library book. You can’t imagine how guilty I feel. For x years I have been going to this or that public or university library, and returning my books on time, terrified of the tiny fines and the losing of a book. I swear I returned it, to one of the bins outside the library, on three sides, or to a slot at the check-in desk. But if I did it didn’t get recorded. I have searched my shelves—just in case I shelved it with my own books—and my husband’s—occasionally he doesn’t put a book back where he found it! He didn’t grow up in a country with excellent public libraries the way I did, where my library card was my first card for anything. I still think that a house or apartment near a library will probably be as expensive as waterfront property (though I understand that, given rising sea levels, that is no longer quite as desirable as it once was.

Well, maybe I lost it. Or maybe the library has misplaced it, in their huge cataloguing system. It actually was vanned over from the East Bay where there is a warehouse for books that hardly anyone ever checks out. They are searching: four times they will search. They will inform me of the result after the first search (done) and the last…and then I will have to pay for it. That will be $75: the price of the book and the cost of a new one, re-bound, re-entered in The System.

She lost a library book.