Posted by: patriciamar | February 25, 2018

Library books as a competitive sport

Approximately every two years, everything changes and instead of measuring life in hours and days and classes– or even the commonly utilized checklist– everything becomes very simple and clear.




There are but three levels, and if you don’t place, no one remember you.


If I need to grade papers, I grade them in competition with myself.  Ten in a row will get me a bronze; 15, a silver, and 18–the whole bloody stack–I get the gold.

When I cook dinner, I plan my diet like a competitive athlete.  Am I getting the nutrients that I need?  I weigh out the carbohydrates, thinking of the individual event (work), the team event (meetings) and the weekend finals (beer and biking biathlon).  Hydrate.  Hydrate.

I take my reading to the next level.  As is the norm, I read library books like it’s a competitive sport.  For the last 15 days, I have been an Olympic readathonlete, working hard to earn my place on the podium.  I have only fifteen days to read all of the library books that are due on Monday the 26th day of February.  

It’s going to be a challenge.

This is all really based on terrible habits.  I check out too many books and then renew them the maximum number of times, all while reading The Economist and Harry Potter on my Kindle.  Then, at the critical moment, when all due dates are gliding down an icy path at a critical speed (sounds familiar, right?) toward the same end, I finally crack them open and start to read.

During this particular winter Olympics, I have seven library books due: 4 physical books, 2 audiobooks, and 1 ebook.  It’s a disaster.  All my training, four years of checking out Yolo County Library Books, and I’m in the tightest competition that I have ever taken part in.

I had some foul-ups early on–eating too much hotpot for Chinese New Year stole precious hours.  Why did I get the spicy?

I finish one book and take a short bike ride to return it.  Yes, I could return them all at once, but where’s the procrastination in that?

Back to the books.  

I cannot let up.

I read during commercials, (Minnesota U.S. women’s hockey wins the gold!  Now the gold medal curling match!), I read in the morning before work and during my lunch break.  At night, I stay up late putting in the extra hours, Mike Tirico chatting happily from the lodge in the background.  I pause to spend brief moments missing Bob Costas.  It was the end of an era. The audiobooks and ebooks really hold me accountable.  There is no such thing as keeping them past the due date; they simply disappear.

I return another, and the worst happens–an audiobook disappears before I can finish the last chapter.  I finish another, so as not to let the same mistake happen again.  I’m no Tessa Virtue.  There is no Scott Moir there to catch me midair.  I finish an audiobook, glad to feel the weight lifted from my shoulders.  My annual Goodreads goal is looking good.  

I admit, a few of the characters and plot twists are mixing.  Why did Bronwyn not reveal her secret?  Did Miss Peregrine prohibit it?  Wait, no, that’s Branwen, not Bronwyn.  

And why does Terry keep wishing Tara happy anniversary?  That doesn’t even make sense.

Today is the day.  The closing ceremony is upon us, and I have my last ebook expiring tomorrow evening.  It’s beautiful writing, and you know what that means for a #writer.  I flit back and forth from “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” to the computer, typing ideas and notes and quotes.  I don’t know if I’m going to make it.  I also have one paperback to finish.  

This puts me in medal position if I finish ONE of the two.  I cannot win the gold.  That first audiobook expired.  I will never find out Which One of them is Lying.

(until I make it back up to the top of the waitlist, that is)   The gold is impossible, but I will work for Bronze, and maybe Silver.  Sleep is for the readless.  


  1. “Sleep is for the readless”. How very, very true!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: