Tiff and Buto were reading many kinds of books in Tiff's reading room. There were lots of genres -- children's fiction (although there weren't very many), cultural studies, mathematics, world history, biographies, economics, science (such as astronomy, animal biology, and chemistry), and literature.
"Goodness, Tiff, you sure got a lot of books in this room," Buto said to his girlfriend. "Who bought them?"
"My parents did. Ever since I was so talented in reading books when I was a little girl, they had to build this library just for me."
"I sure wish I could visit the library. Where I used to live before I came to Cappytown, I couldn't borrow any books from there."
"You couldn't? Why not?"
"We had to pay for our library cards, not like most other libraries. I didn't even have enough money to buy one. Boy, were they expensive! My old folks couldn't buy me one either because they just refused."
"That wasn't nice!"
"I know! If only I could get a library card, then I could check out all those books."
"Well, Cappytown doesn't have any libraries, but you're still in luck. My friend Amy, since she lives in Station Square, which is one of the richest cities in this part of the world, I'm sure she'll find a library in there for all of us."
"Really? That's great! Can we go to the library right now and get myself a library card? Please?"
"I don't see why not. I'll call Amy right away and we can all go together."
Tiff and Buto left the library and into the living room. Tiff grabbed the phone and dialed Amy's phone number. In Amy's house, Amy was reading a book on the couch herself, when she heard the phone ringing. She closed up her book and walked to the kitchen to answer the phone.
"Amy, Buto and I have just read some wonderful books from my reading room. And we thought, what if you, Sonic and us -- we all go together to the library to check out some books?"
"I think that's a great idea, Tiff," Amy replied. "I've never been to a library before either. I would love to check out lots of books and enjoy all kinds of stories they got there."
"Bring Sonic with you, I'm sure he'll love to read those books as well."
"Sure thing, Tiff. Sonic definitely needs to lay off those magazines and start reading books that are good for his brain. I'll meet you at the city park."
"Okay, Amy. See you there!"
Amy and Tiff hung up. Amy went upstairs to Sonic's room. And what else could he be doing, other than lying on his bed reading junky video game magazines?
The pink hedgehog opened Sonic's room door. He quickly closed the magazine right before she came in. "Sonic? What were you reading?"
"Let me guess. You're still addicting yourself to those video game magazines, aren't you?"
"No, I'm not!"
"Stop lying! First of all, I can tell you love those magazines so much, but too much can rotten your brain in just a few hours. Second of all, we're going to go to the Station Square Library to check out real books."
"The library? No way!"
"Way. Tiff and Buto invited us over, and we're gonna get our first library cards, too."
"Library cards? Who needs library cards when I got my own books?"
"But your books are nothing but magazines, magazines, magazines! You should lay off those things for a bit and go to the library with me for now. And don't worry, I'll help you with your library card."
Later, the four friends met at the park. "Are you guys all ready to check out some library books?" Amy asked them.
"Yeah!" Tiff and Buto agreed. Sonic did not. Amy turned to him. "Sonic? What's wrong?"
"I don't know if the library's gonna have anything good for me," Sonic said.
"It's all right, Sonic. If you can just tell me what genre you like, we can help you find the book you want."
"What's a genre?"
"It's a term for the many different categories of books the library has got. So now that you know what a genre is, which genre do you like?"
"I don't know -- action, or adventure, perhaps?"
"Okay, you can check out action and adventure fiction books. Tiff, Buto and I will look for stories about romance."
"So where is the Station Square Library, Amy?" Tiff asked.
"Just follow me!"
Amy led Sonic, Buto and Tiff downtown. They walked 3/4 of a mile past the grocery store and the Gold Diner. There, they found the Station Square Library, which consisted of a beige brick building and a flagpole in front.
"So that's the library?" Buto asked.
"Yep," Amy said. "It's the only library available in this city."
"And it's sure a big one, too," Buto said. "What else do they have besides books, Amy?"
"Maybe if you go inside, we'll find out. Come on!"
Amy, Tiff, Buto and Sonic entered the library through the automatic sliding doors. Inside, they found themselves in one of the most quiet environments in all of Station Square -- people reading books, listening through audio cassettes, watching educational videos, and working on computers.
"Wow! This place is so cool!" Sonic shouted.
"Shh!" Amy, Tiff and Buto shushed him.
"We're in a library, Sonic," Amy whispered. "People are trying to read, so it's best that we don't make any noise in this place."
"Sorry," whispered Sonic.
The four friends walked to the front desk, where the librarian was working. "Excuse me?" Amy asked.
"Can I help you?" asked the librarian.
"We'd like four library cards. After all, we're first timers in this library."
"Coming right up." The librarian went into a doorway and came back a minute later with four cards, colored blue green. She gave the cards to Amy. The hedgehog passed one card each to her friends.
"Let's go write our names on these cards, guys," she said. They walked over to a nearby table and each grabbed a pen. Amy, Tiff and Buto wrote their names perfectly on their cards, but Sonic was having trouble because he completely forgot about learning how to write, mostly because he had too many adventures fighting off Eggman.
"Amy, I can't remember the letters in my name," Sonic said. "Can you help me?"
"Sure, I'll help. I'll spell the letters out for you, and you write them." Amy scooted over towards Sonic's side and slowly and carefully, she spelled out his name: "S-o-n-i-c t-h-e H-e-d-g-e-h-o-g."
Without making a mistake, Sonic tried his best to remember the letters in his name, and carefully wrote them on his library card.
"I did it! I wrote my name on my card!" Sonic said in another loud voice.
"Shhh!" Again, shushed Amy, Buto and Tiff.
Then it was time to check out library books. Amy, Tiff and Buto browsed through the section where fiction books about romance were available.
Sonic, on the other hand, looked at magazines about entertainment and gaming -- which there weren't many of in the library. And they were all completely identical to the ones he had at home. "Why do they only have the same magazines that I have?" Sonic thought.
Giving up, he decided to go for books in the action and adventure genre. He actually took out various books that he was most interested in, one after another. The books were titled Devils and Demons, Spider Guy, The Fantasic Six, X-Boys, Batwoman, and one of his favorites -- How Sonic Saved Our World.
He carried the books in a pile and showed them to Amy and her two friends. "Are you sure you can read all those, Sonic?" Amy asked. "I can tell you haven't read a single book like one of those for at least four years, like I have."
"Just you wait, Amy; someday, I'll be as good as you," Sonic replied. After his friends were done browsing, the four of them went back to the front desk and checked out their books.
"How can Sonic read six books in two weeks?" Tiff asked Amy.
"Beats me, Tiff," she told her. "He's not a very good reader, as far as I know. Guess I'll have to read the books for him and make sure he doesn't goof around."
On the way back home, Tiff and Buto were about to part from Amy and Sonic. Just after they said good-bye, Sonic dropped the book on the top of the pile he was carrying -- How Sonic Saved Our World.
"Hey, Sonic, you dropped a book!" Buto called as he watched the hedgehogs leave. They didn't hear him. Then he picked up the book and looked at the cover. But just before he could go in the direction Sonic and Amy went, Tiff was already waiting for him.
"Come on, Buto, we don't want to be late for dinner!" she called. Buto took the book Sonic dropped and ran after Tiff, all the way back to Dedede Castle.
When they got home, just as Sonic was about to go into his room, Amy said, "Hold on a minute, there, Sonic!"
"What is it, Amy?"
"You promised to read these books before they're due in two weeks, didn't you?"
"The library books we borrowed. You don't want them to be overdue, right? So why don't we go into the living room and start reading right away? Come on!"
Sonic followed Amy into the living room with Sonic's library books. "So which book do you want to read first, Sonic?"
He held up the first book he chose, Devils and Demons. "Let's read this one," he said, and gave it to his girlfriend. She opened up the book, and Sonic sat down next to her on the couch.
"Listen while I read, and don't get up from the couch unless it's an emergency. Can you do that?"
"I promise, Amy."
"Good. Then let's begin. 'Chapter 1. One day in the Red City, there lived an evil man named Jack the Devil. He was a villain with blood red skin and two horns..."
For 10 days straight, Amy read all five books to Sonic. Most of the time, Sonic began to fall asleep while the stories were being read to him. And every time this happened, Amy had to interrupt the story and wake him up.
Even though Amy declared that all of his books were now finished, Sonic said, "We're not quite done, Amy. There's still just one book we haven't read yet."
"What's the title?"
"How Sonic Saved Our World. It's a book about how we saved the people from chaos back when Chris was still with us. I'll go get it."
Sonic began to look for the book in his room. He looked on the bed, under the bed, in the cupboard, in the closet, and even on the messy floor, but he didn't see the book.
Then he looked everywhere in the house. He looked in Amy's room, the basement, the kitchen, the dining room, the den, and even in the living room. No book.
"Is something wrong, Sonic?"
"I think I misplaced the book," Sonic confessed.
"You... misplaced it? Sonic, that's terrible! If we don't find that book within 4 days, we might have to pay for it!"
"What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean! If one misplaces a book and can't find it by the day when it's due, that person must pay a fee for that book."
"Heh, so what? It's not a big deal for me. You're a rich girl, you can pay that fee for me."
But Amy wasn't happy when Sonic said these words. She glared at him. "Sonic, you're the one who's responsible for that book, not me! You borrowed it, you have to return it yourself!"
Sonic felt a little afraid, and a bit ashamed for misplacing his book. Then he realized something else. "Maybe someone stole the book," he said.
"Stole the book?" Amy retorted. "Who in the world would EVER steal a library book? You know thievery isn't very common in this part of the world!"
"Well, guess what -- it's a rare time that someone actually did steal it. And you and I, we're gonna investigate the theft of my book! So can you help me, please?"
It was hard for Amy to agree with him, but she deicded to let it slide for now. She sighed. "Fine, but if we don't find that book, you're gonna regret for what you did! Got that?"
Sonic nodded weakly. "Tomorrow, we'll go out and ask everyone we know if they have the book or not, first thing in the morning," he said.
The next day, Amy and Sonic began their journey to finding the book. During their investigation, they gave each other hints. "We do know that Cream didn't take that book," Amy said. "She's only a beginner when it comes to reading."
"I trust you, Amy. So we'll skip Cream's house and go to everyone else's houses that we know."
Amy and Sonic left the neighborhood and back out to Station Square main city area. First, they walked a long distance to Tails' workshop.
"Hey there, Tails."
"Listen, have you seen Sonic's library copy of How Sonic Saved Our World? We looked everywhere in my house, but we couldn't find it."
"No, but I just bought a copy of the book from the store just yesterday." The young fox showed the hedgehogs his own copy of How Sonic Saved Our World. "I'm halfway through so far, but you can borrow it if you want."
"That's okay, Tails. We're gonna keep looking for the copy I got from the library. I'm responsible for it."
Later, Sonic and Amy visited Knuckles' apartment. They asked him and his friend Rouge if they had Sonic's library book. "Me? No way! I've never even visited the library, nor I do have a library card."
"Neither do I," Rouge added. "I don't even like to read books! I prefer jewelry."
"What do we do now, Amy?" asked Sonic.
"I guess we'll just have to look in Cappytown. Even though I am gonna find it kind of doubtful that any of the Cappies have seen it, it's worth a try."
So the two friends left Knuckles' apartment home and traveled a long way past the bench where they first met Tiff and Kirby, and they knocked on the Cappies' doors in every house and every store. But they all responded:
"Nope, sorry, our family has never seen or found any lost books."
"A library book? Whoever heard of a library book?"
"We don't even have a library in this here village!"
"My children barely even like to read!"
Now the chance of finding the library book started to become less likely. But there was still one more place they haven't checked yet -- Dedede's castle.
The two ran up the big hill, crossed the drawbridge, and saw Tuff and Kirby playing kickball in the castle grounds. Buto's dog was chasing after them with the ball. They stopped by to say hi to them.
"Hey, guys! Have you seen Tiff and Buto?"
"I think they're still inside in their room," Tuff replied. "They still might be reading library books!"
Sonic and Amy headed through the castle doorway and dashed up to Tiff and Buto's room. In there, that couple was sharing stories from the library books they borrowed.
"'Daniel loved Mindy more than anybody else that he gradually began to have a crush on her. He was thinking about going on a honeymoon with her someday and...'"
On Tiff's desk was the book Sonic didn't take home with him -- How Sonic Saved Our World. It even had a bookmark in it. Buto was reading the book all along!
Then he heard distant footsteps coming from the halls. Thinking quickly, Buto snuck the book into his backpack and zipped it up so Sonic and Amy wouldn't find it. Just 5 seconds later, the room door opened.
In came Amy and Sonic. "Hi, Amy."
"Hi, Tiff. What are you guys reading?"
"We were just getting to the part where Daniel was planning on marrying Mindy because he loves her a lot. The book's titled Kisses and Hugs. And so far, we've just finished Chapter 10."
"You have? Wow, you guys sure are speedy readers!" Sonic said.
"What about you guys? Did you like the books you borrowed from the library?"
"We sure have. I read them all by myself."
Amy got in Sonic's way and said, "Don't listen to him, he's not always right. I had to read the books out loud for him because he hardly even knows how to read."
"Amy, that's not true! I've been reading since I was just a little hedgehog."
"Yeah, but then you forgot all about it ever since you went out on adventures to fight off Eggman and his gang of robots." Then Amy turned to her other two friends. "By the way, have you seen Sonic's lost library book?"
"What book?" Buto asked.
"You know -- How Sonic Saved Our World, the book that contains the history of how Sonic defeated Eggman and saved the day from chaos many times."
"Oh, that book! I wasn't finished reading it yet, because I only had one chapter left to read, but before I could start reading it, it was time for dinner that evening. I'll go get it."
Buto went back into the closet and took the book out of his backpack. "Here you go," he said as he handed the book to Sonic.
"Thanks, Buto," Sonic replied. The teenage boys high-fived each other. "But I thought you weren't finished with it yet. Why are you giving it back?"
"Because you borrowed it, not me. You must remember to be careful with your library books. If you're not careful, you might end up paying a fee if you ever lose it or return it too late."
Sonic nodded in agreement. "I'll remember to be careful from now on," he said, then stood back up on his feet. "Come on, Amy, let's go read this book so I can return it on time later on."
"Hold on, Sonic," Amy said as she, too, got up. "Tiff, do you have any extra bookmarks that I can use for the books I have at home?"
Tiff looked in the drawers of her desk and took out some colorful slips of cardboard paper. Each one had a picture of a book cover on them. "Here, Amy; some bookmarks you can use in case you need to leave off where you last read."
"Thanks, Tiff!" Amy took the bookmarks and headed for the door. "See you later, guys!"
"Bye, Amy!" Tiff and Buto replied, then they got back to where they left off in their own library book about romance.
Back in Amy's house, Sonic and Amy sat back on the couch the minute they got home, finally ready to read the book Sonic 'lost' for at least 11 days. Amy read the story out loud to her boyfriend, and Sonic listened and paid attention to what Amy was telling about. It took them the rest of the entire term for borrowing a library book to finish the book.
On that same day, it was time to return all the library books they borrowed. "The next time I borrow a library book, I'll make sure it doesn't get lost," Sonic told Amy.
"That's my Sonic," Amy said. "I will remind you every time you drop a book, and make sure you're responsible for every book you borrow from the library."
"I'll agree with you on that, Amy."
Later that morning, an hour after the library opened, Amy and Sonic carried their library books. Tiff and Buto followed suit with their books. As they met together again on their journey to the library, Tiff said, "Amy, I want to tell you something."
"What's that, Tiff?"
"I've seen this on TV once. It is possible that you can renew a library book if you don't finish it within the time you check it out. In other words, you can take it out for another amount of time."
"Wow, that's amazing! I've never done that before, though."
"Me neither. In fact, why don't we try doing it once for today? What do you say?"
"I like that idea, Tiff." Amy then turned to her boyfriend. "Sonic, Tiff just told me that you can renew a book if you really like the story and want to read it over and over again."
"What does 'renew' mean?"
"It means you can check out a book for a second term. So what book do you want to renew?"
"How Sonic Saved Our World!"
"Okay! As soon as we get to the library, I'll renew the book for you. Is that okay?"
"Sure! In fact, after we renew it, let's read it all together!"
The four friends carried their books back to the library. They dumped all of their books into the returns slot, except for the last book Sonic borrowed. Then Amy requested, "Excuse me, we'd like to renew this book called How Sonic Saved Our World. Sonic liked the story so much, he's just wishing to own the book for himself someday."
The librarian accepted her request. "Sonic, give her your library card," Amy told her boyfriend. Sonic took out his card and gave it to the librarian, then she scanned both the card then the pre-renewed library book.
"There you go," she said before handing the card and book back to Sonic.
"Thanks, Miss," replied Sonic. "Come on, guys, let's go find a seat."
Sonic, Amy, Tiff and Buto looked for someplace comfortable to sit in in the library, and quietly enjoyed the story from the book they just renewed.