The Munchkins

Life with identical twins


on February 1, 2017

Internets we have a problem.

Delaney cannot seem to keep track of her library books. The girls have been checking books out of the library since kindergarten. They are both avid readers and there’s no way I can buy enough books to keep up with them, so we make weekly trips to the library. They check out anywhere between 5 and 20 books every week. Yes, every week! Over the years they’ve each lost three or four books. When they lose a book they have to pay for it themselves out of their savings/allowance money, and then they can only check out five books per week until I am assured that they are being responsible with their books again.

A month ago Delaney lost a book. Now that she’s reading bigger books they’re a lot more expensive to replace! This one was $15. She couldn’t check out any books for one week, then was only allowed five. The thing is, she reads big books now, so she only needs a few. She also borrows graphic novels from Caden so really, a five book limit doesn’t bother her.

Except last weekend we realized she has lost TWO more books. One is a Rick Riordan book that will surely be more than $15 to replace.

I don’t know what to do about this. We have turned the house upside down looking for these books. To note, of all the books they’ve lost, we’ve only ever found one. It was stuck behind the book shelf and we found it rearranging their room. The others just seem to disappear into the ether. Where do these books go?????

I’m assuming it will be $40 to replace the books. She is taking the money out of her bank savings account, and had to draw up a plan on how she was going to earn the money to pay it back. She’s feeding the dogs and letting them out, cleaning up breakfast and dinner dishes, and sweeping the kitchen twice a week.

The money side is covered, but what do I do? She’s lost three books in just over a month. I can take away her library privileges, but she’s a huge reader. I don’t really want to take away books and yet, that seems the obvious consequence. We have a lot of books at home that we own, but none of them are the fantasy books she’s reading right now. But maybe reading outside her favorite genre right now would be motivating?

How does everyone else ensure responsibility with library books?

7 responses to “Responsibility

  1. Kyla says:

    Idk if it wncourages more responsibility, but maybe you can get one of those RFID stickers that people attach to wallets, etc, to let them track items on their phones? Make the sticker into a bookmark and require her to use it?

  2. Danielle says:

    Does your library offer a ebook library? If yes, she could be limited to borrowing books through that until she pays off the lost book. Or designate one spot for a library book in your house, i.e. It has to be kept on her bedside table, period. Done reading it, return it there.

    • Erin says:

      They do! I use it exclusively. The girls even have a kindle, she just prefers real books. I love this idea! Thank you! (Books are everywhere in our house. We’ve tried having designated spots. They have a bookshelf, they have book bins, but they have so many books and they read them in bed, they end up everywhere.)

  3. Ananda Campbell says:

    Same problem here. We have a library book bag hanging by the door with a receipt showing all books (1 bag per kid). Only one book at a time is allowed out per bag. The book must be returned to the bag every time unless it is next to their bed. They have to count books every time they get one out.
    It sounds controlling but we haven’t lost a book since instituting this

    • Erin says:

      I’m so impressed by this! Caden reads graphic novels and flies through them, so she usually takes five books to bed with her. The problem is she just rolls over and goes to sleep after reading, so the books don’t ever get put back where they need to. We clearly need to rein this in though, so I think a family meeting is in order!

  4. Stacy says:

    My kids used to take books on car trips / restaraunts with them. They are horrible about putting them in the booth & forgetting them. Thankfully, we’re always watching! Maybe limit to no books outside of the house?

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