22 November 2006

Returning Books

On the Return of a Book Lent to a Friend by Christopher Morley

I give hearty and humble thanks for the safe return of this book, which having endured the perils of my friend's bookcase and the bookcases of my friend's friends, now returns to me in reasonably good condition. I give hearty and humble thanks that my friend did not see fit to give this book to his infant for a plaything, nor use it as an ashtray for his burning cigar, nor as a teething-ring for his mastiff. When I loaned this book, I deemed it as lost; I was resigned to the business of long parting; I never thought to look up its pages again. But now that my book has come back to me, I rejoice and am exceedingly glad! Bring hither the fatted morocco and let us rebind the volume and set it on the shelf of honor, for this my book was lent and is returned again. Presently, therefore, I may return some of the books I myself have borrowed.

I got out a brown paper grocery store bag a couple of weeks ago and after I labelled it "Other People's Books," I started to fill it with the books in question. Some of them I had had only a few days, some several months. Some I have read, others not.

A few things prompted me to do this, among them the fact that I was cleaning out the basket that I keep in the car to hold odds and ends and found a book that I thought that I had returned. Months ago. So I have been planning head and greeting people with little stacks of their books. Ali got her Copenhagen back, which was the book that I though that I had returned. Debbie and I have an on-going lending relationship with her Terry Pratchett library. She gives me several and when I finish them, I return them and she gives me more, so I'm pretty current with Debbie, but she got a stack of Discworld books the other day. Several books went back to David that I shall have to re-borrow in order to actually read and he happily delisted them from the "library card" that he keeps for me on his PDA.

I actually found the phone number for someone who lent me several books about Australia in (oh dear) 1996 before my trip there. We used to work together and she left the company before I returned the books. I've actually moved a few times since then, each time carefully packing up Emily's books and fretting that I had never returned them. So I called her and left a message saying who I was and what I had. She hasn't called me back yet but that doesn't mean that she won't. And then I can return her books.

So if I have a book of yours, take heart! You may be re-united with it shortly.

1 comment:

Jim A said...

At one point, during Dave & Joyce's split up, I was assisting in the sorting and packing of belongings. I recall putting the books in three piles: Dave's, Joyce's and mine.