things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #19

A mother and her young son enter the library, returning a big stack of books for beginning readers. A conversation is already in progress. Imagine this in a voice - no, a whine - of pure sadness.

"But why do I have to return it?"

"Because it's not yours. It belongs to the library."

"But it's the best book ever."

I hustled over. I assured him he could take it out again, as long as no one was waiting for it. "Can I please see the book?" He reluctantly handed it over, near tears.

It was an easy reader with lovely Eric Carle-esque illustrations... a nonfiction book about spiders! I renewed for him. "Here you go." His face lit up.

Mom said, "You will have to return it eventually, you know."

Boy: "But whyyyyyy?"

Mom: "Because it belongs to the library."

Me: "I bet I could find other books that you would love just as much."

He looked very skeptical. "This is the best book ever."

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