I thought I was doing okay with my financial affairs, shooting for a stress-free retirement.
Then I did something stupid. I was going over my shelves of old, dusty books whose pages were yellow and stained. It was time to gift or throw away most and keep only a few of my favorites that never age. To my surprise, as I leisurely sifted through them, dozens had stamped on the inside cover the name of the public libraries from cities where I had lived.
Being a reformed man, I quickly retrieved my calculator from the bottom drawer and began to total up what my library bill might be if the average fine was a dime a day. A number of these classics were checked out of libraries in Longmont, Colorado; Denison, Iowa; Reno, Nevada; Madison, Wisconsin, and other cities I frequented in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
My guilt mounted with each click of my calculator. I imagined inquisitive young people being turned away at the library counter without a copy of The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird or Moby Dick or The Catcher in the Rye, all due to my neglect.
After much self-reflection and prayer, I determined to take the most appropriate and logical action.
I’m hiding out in Washoe Valley, Nevada.