When I moved back to Hawaii from Washington DC in 2003 I decided to stop buying books and instead check them out from the library. A good plan, it would seem.

I was riding along the Ala Wai Canal one day not long after I arrived with a library copy of Kate Chopin’s Awakening in my basket. Suddenly, Kate leaped out of the basket and dove into the water. I went to the library chagrined and had to pay $6.95 to replace the paperback.

Then one day not long after that I checked out The Little Prince as I was re-reading books from my childhood. I finished it one night while reading in bed and put the book on the floor next to the bed. In the middle of the night the water heater which was stored in the closet broke and spilled gallons and gallons of water out into the room. The Little Prince, I am sorry to report, drowned.

I took the soggy book back to the library and told my sad tale. This time I had to pay $12.95.

A few months later I was visiting my brother for Christmas. I was reading a very large book on Samurai culture. I put in my bag with a bottle of Campari my sister-in-law had given me. My brother loaded the car, tossed in my bag and my wheelchair on top of it. You guessed it, the bottle of Campari broke and baptized my book. Back to the library where my credibility was now zero and it cost me $35.

My good intentions were clearly not in, as they say, the books. I am happy to report, however, I have not had to replace any other library books but I do have a fine for some reason unbeknownst to me every time I go.



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