40s at Work

Here is a transaction that happens at work that I like.

Patron: How many books can I check out?

Me: 40

Patron [ka-thunk jaw-drop]: 40?!

I want to say,

Yes my dear, the library is your oyster

I want to say,

And you only have 90 seconds! No bags or carts!  Go!

But I don’t generally say either of those.

Sometimes the patron says,

Who on earth would read 40 books!

I want to say,

You’re obviously not part of the club, ma’am.

Sometimes I say,

Imagine you have four small children and they each want ten picture books.

And sometimes I say,

Some people are really voracious readers.

And here’s the thing,

Go ahead.  Check out 40 books.  Just read the first page of each.  That’s only 40 pages.  Or don’t even crack them open.  Just lovingly stroke the covers, with your clean hands.  Put them under your pillow to see if osmosis works. Give yourself the luxury of 40 books, just for a few weeks.  You might like it.

I love giving people the possibility of 40 books.  40 books is a lot!

One time after I told a patron she could have 40 books, she said,

Has it always been 40 books? I feel like I didn’t get that many when I was a kid.

So I told her,

Sometimes I say,

You can have 40 books.

And Mom says,

You can have 2 books.

Sometimes Mom is the strictest librarian of all.

Woman with book and palm tree

**At the other library I work at, you can have unlimited books. But somehow it’s seldom as exciting as 40.

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One response

  1. Hehe, at BPL, it’s 50, and I get the same reaction, and the same urges in responses. I have said, while their jaw is still on the floor, “So you better go back and get some more!”, though I’ll try your potential next time. (“And you only have 90 seconds! No bags or carts! Go!”) :)

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