Monday, December 9, 2019

The stress of library holds

I'm relatively new to library stuff, at least as an adult. I used to go to the library as a little kid and at some point as I got older I just started buying books instead. Which I still like cos of course, but I've finally embraced the library and I know, it's about damn time.
But I have learned of the stress of library holds. So I really only use the library for audiobooks through either Hoopla or Libby. And sometimes (many times) the book I want to borrow is already out and there's a waitlist. Fine, most of the time I'm not trying to read anything by any particular time, so I don't need the book RIGHT NOW. So I add the book to my hold list and go on my merry way. Some time later, I get an email telling me the book is available and isn't that swell?

Most of the time, yes, yes it is swell. EXCEPT sometimes I'm in the middle of another library book when my hold comes in. And now I have 2 weeks before that book is going to be returned (and I'll have to get back on the waitlist to try again) but I'm also in the middle of a different library book that's going to go back in 4 days. Now I'm watching the clock, looking at how long these audiobooks are and how many days I have and trying to figure out when I have time to get through these books before time is up. And it feels like I'm in an '80s action movie, trying to disable a bomb with a giant plot-convenient countdown clock.
And recently, I managed to finish Career of Evil riiiiiiiight before it automatically returned, with Libby sending me alerts that I'd have to go back on the waitlist. I enjoyed the book but the stress of having to finish it was not fun and I'm sure I missed crucial details just trying to get through it.

If you have any advice for managing your library holds, I'm all ears. Because I feel like I need to keep better track of what I put on hold and roughly when it should show up.