Recently I have begun dreaming about books and authors. It’s understandable, since so much of my mind is on these things, and that’s how dreams start. Just strange that it took so long for the booky dreams to get going.
One night not long ago I dreamed about a friend who very succinctly told me that she was not going to give someone (not me) a book as a present ‘because they lend their books to others’. I understood that to mean that a gift from her should not then be passed on to complete strangers, possibly never to return.
It sort of made sense at the time.
I dislike lending books (not to mention money), so don’t often do it. If I do, it’s either a book I don’t mind losing or I’ve really been backed into a corner. These days one tends not to get books back, and I don’t know why. Asking for them back (politely) appears to have little effect.
As a child I borrowed and lent books all the time. I have no recollection of books disappearing. We were all ‘hard up’ or living frugally the way people did in the 1960s. You couldn’t buy every book you wanted to read, and the kind of book I’m thinking of were generally not available from the library. Nancy Drew, and ‘worse’.
So perhaps it’s our relative affluence that makes people steal books? I was so enthusiastic about some really good children’s books when Offspring were younger that I pressed our copies into the hands of friends for their children to have an equally good reading experience. Maybe they did. Only they decided to keep them.
I don’t think I should have had to say ‘do borrow this, but do remember it’s mine and I will expect it back’.
And I suppose that if I picked out a really good book as a present for someone, I’d mind if it then disappeared into a deep book hole in their friend’s house.