The pressure of the expiring book

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

My Own Personal Sabbath #32: Time’s Running Out…

Earlier in the week, I checked in on the ebook I am reading, The Paper Moon, the ninth in the Inspector Montalbano series, by Andrea Camilleri and saw a notice that it was expiring soon with a question if I’d like to place a hold on it. This morning, about half an hour ago, I checked in and saw the message as shown in the photo at right: Time’s Running Out…Expiring Soon. Place a hold? Due in 8 Hours. Now I have until 5:26 p.m. Eastern Standard Time here in the U..S. to finish.

Thanks, Free Library of Philadelphia or Libby, I guess to be more accurate, for attempting to make me return the book that I am in the middle of reading and place a hold on it before I am done with it (yes, said sarcastically). Lately, Libby also gives me a message: “One Good Turn…” and tells me how many people are on the hold list and says something like “Would you like to return early?” No, Libby, I would not like to return the book that I am in the middle of reading or may be almost finished reading (not that it’s any of your damned business). I would like to say that, but Libby doesn’t give you a response form, only the unwanted pressure of being asked to return a book you’re not finished with.

Before I get comments that Libby is just being polite for the sake of the next patron, which might be me in the future, or that Libby is just being practical, let me say I’m not really that upset about this. I just find it slightly annoying (obviously annoying enough to write about it here, ha) that they would ask me to return a book early that I am allowed to have out for the full time. That’s the way books loaned out at libraries work, Libby.

So today, if you haven’t guessed for the next 8 hours, nay, now down to about 7, I plan on finishing the book I am reading. Basically, it will be the same plans as I posted on Instagram with the photo at left, with the following caption:

No plans for the weekend, but to read and drink…iced coffee. And maybe some wine. A oh, food and sleep. Forgive me if I left a crumb or speck on the table, but I tried to wipe it off the best I could to make it Instagram perfect. The ebook: The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri. Now I’m off to read in my real reading spot, my recliner (not pictured).

Update, 1:45 p.m.: A little after 1 this afternoon, I finished the book, with four hours to spare. Now on to the next one in the series, August Heat.

14 thoughts on “The pressure of the expiring book

  1. As a reader, I don’t like the pressure too and totally relate. As a librarian, I don’t like experiencing readers being angry at me because they were not warned and other readers being angry at me because they were warned and other readers who have placed a hold being angry at me because they book isn’t back for them yet and other readers being angry at me because they want to extend the checkout and can’t because it’s on hold, lol – just sharing my daily librarian life 🙂 Ti has the better idea, it’s a good trick.


  2. That has happened to me so many times. I am reading frantically and poof the book disappears. A friend puts her device on airplane mode to finish it without being on-line. I’ve never been able to figure it out but it is worth a try. My Sunday Salon Post


  3. I set my kindle on airplane mode when I get in a race to finish a book before the loan expires… it’s saved me quite a few times! I use the overdrive app, but never got around to trying Libby. Not sure if I would want all the polite reminders, lol!


  4. Maybe it’s just my antiquated Kindle (2nd gen), but I’ve found a little trick that extends my downloaded library e-books. If I don’t turn on the Wi-Fi, then I can continue reading on my Kindle until…well, forever, or until I need to turn on the Wi-Fi. Of course, that means I can’t download anything new until I’m finished but it’s a good workaround.


  5. Glad you were able to finish the book before you had to return it. We have Hoopla here, and any number of people can check out the same ebook plus it’s easy to extend your checkout time. I do not like pressure to finish a book.


  6. I would hate the pressure of having to finish a book before it vanishes. I hope you were successful.


  7. The number of half-read books I’ve gone back on hold only to find that the line is weeks (sometimes months) long! I like that Libby lets you choose to deliver a hold later but still – not often do I start a book right away.

    Hope you are able to finish the book on time!


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