I owe my soul to the library fines department!
OK, maybe not quite, but it's a fair bit of money. In my defense, they never told me that one of my books was a seven-day book. I didn't look at the receipt because, well, it just didn't occur to me. Those are ALWAYS marked, and the book in question (the last one I reviewed, actually) has been out for at least a year. It should have been off 7-day status by now. It doesn't explain why I kept the others so long. I guess because I tend to pick my books really impulsively, and often wind up with things that, upon further reflection, I'm not actually interested in reading.
It makes me tempted to quit going to the downtown branch, even though it is glorious. It's so stressful, too. Limited parking. Massive selection. And always, at least one person who's really, really weird. But there's no other convenient destination around me. The branch within easy walking distance has a Spanish-language focus, and their selection of English books is about as good as the selection of Spanish books at most other branches in the system. Everyone says great things about the branch on Elmwood, which is the next closest. But those people must have different tastes than me. I was unimpressed with their selection. Plus, it smells musty and chemical-y in there, like plastic dust jackets offgassing in the hot sun for thirty years. And additionally, their parking sucks even worse than the downtown branch. There's an adorable little branch a couple of miles away -- that's closed to the public due to asbestos issues.
I guess there's nothing for it but to continue hanging on to my quarters, scrape up an extra $30 to pay off my fines, and keep going to the downtown branch. My only other option is to continue to re-read The Poisonwood Bible and Burmese Days forever (I guess I'm in a post-colonial mood lately, go figure.)