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."