Overdue library book guilt can last for years.
Books fall behind shelves or lurk under a squashed banana in a toy box or are only found when the fine resembles a small car instalment.
Because of this, the City of Cape Town is offering its young readers, aged 12 and under, a chance to wipe the slate clean.
It is holding an amnesty week, especially for under 12s from June 1 to 7, so that they can return books without paying a fine.
The point is not just to get the books back, but to get them over their unreturned library book angst which makes them avoid the building.
"We want our youngest library patrons to become lifelong readers but this becomes more of a challenge when they don't come to the library because of overdue books," said the City's mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien.
By staying away, they also miss out on other programmes offered at the library.
At the moment, 2 025 books are overdue from the 69 147 card holders in the under-12 age group.
The most overdue books are Diere (animals), David and Goliath and the old favourite, The Three Little Pigs.