Since walking back through the doors of my library a couple years ago, I have been a heavy user. I am up at the library at least once a week picking up books and am dropping off books a couple times a week on my early morning trips into town to run errands.
Right now I have 14 library books waiting to be read. That is not counting the 3 I have finished and are waiting to be returned and the four that are in transit AND the Overdrive books that are waiting for me on my phone.
Like I said, heavy user!
Here is what I do to keep the lists manageable, and keep the fines at bay.
I suspend my hold requests. Every couple of weeks I will go on a tear and max out my hold requests. When I come to senses, I choose the 3 or 4 I really want and suspend the rest, choosing random dates over the next couple of months. This helps the books come in at a trickle and not a flood. Most of the time.
I work the renewals. When I come home with a stack of library books, I log on to the library’s website right away and check the due dates. I renew (or try to renew) each book at least once. I do this for a couple reasons: Many books can’t be renewed (for whatever reason), so when I get the error message saying I can’t renew I know I have to get on that book right away. It also helps spread the due dates out a bit. Sometimes a renewal just adds a couple days, sometimes I pushes the book back to the middle of the next month.
I keep on my library books in one place. Well it is a couple places, but you get the idea. There is a shelf in my kitchen where the TBR stack of my library books live. There is a Melville House tote hanging by the garage door where books wait for me to take them back to the library. The books I am reading can be found in my bag or next to my bed. Not only does this keep me from losing books, keeping them at hand makes it it easy to pick them up when I have a chance to read a few pages.
I don’t feel bad about returning books unread. No book guilt, even when I turn around and add them to my holds list in a couple days. That is the great thing about libraries: the books will always be there. And if you are worried about over working the librarians, don’t worry. Any thing that ups their circulation rates is probably OK with them.