Remember that one episode of “Seinfeld”—”The Library”—in which Jerry finds out he has a library book checked out that’s 20 years overdue, and is subsequently chased down by Mr. Bookman, the “library cop”?
Well there’ll be no need to worry about Lt. Bookman in the city of Phoenix—the Phoenix Public Library recently announced its “All Fines Forgiven” campaign, meaning, starting in November, there will be no more fines for overdue items, and all previous overdue fines will be erased.
We’ve all been there: You check out a book that you totally intend to read over the course of a weekend—four days, tops. But then life gets in the way. The book sits on your nightstand for a week. A thin film of dust starts to form. You go to Barnes & Noble and buy two entirely different books to stack on top of the first one. And, before you know it, your three-week checkout period is up.
Fortunately, thanks to the new policy, you have quite a hefty grace period to become the well-read person you’ve always wanted to be. With that in mind, here are a few local authors to check out without worrying about late fees:
1. Beth Kendrick
One of our Great 48 Phoenicians, Beth Kendrick is a romance novelist with 17 books to her name, including Nearlyweds, which was turned into a Hallmark Channel movie. Her latest title, In Dog We Trust, is a romantic comedy that’s also about dogs. Who can possibly be against that?
2. Jim Bell
On the nonfiction side: ASU planetary scientist Jim Bell has written numerous volumes about outer space, but, in 2019, he’s brought things closer to home with the publication of the picture-tastic The Earth Book: From the Beginning to the End of our Planet, 250 Milestones in the History of Earth Science.
3. Suzanne Young
Suzanne Young made the New York Times bestseller list with her six-part young-adult series, The Program. The first installment of her new series, Girls with Sharp Sticks, is billed as “Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale,” and came out this year.
Before you get too carried away thinking “All Fines Forgiven” means “unlimited free books to keep forever,” take note that there is some level of accountability. You’ll get notified when your item is three, 10 and 28 days overdue, and at 51 days you’ll get charged a Replacement Fee—though even that will be waived once the item is returned.
Phoenix will be the biggest city in the nation to have an “All Fines Forgiven” policy.