Tuesday, May 9, 2006

library loan shark

Does anyone else find it slightly stressful when someone lends you a book that you have not asked to borrow? This topic was raised at work yesterday, sort of, but I was afraid to expound on it because I was in fear that someone in our small group had lent ME a book several months ago that I never gave back.

I feverishly scanned the crowd of the four other people around me (who were innocently eating birthday cake and trying to think of what benign comment to make next) and I scoured my internal bookshelf for foreign objects... but once I realized that no one in the group had done that to me...it became too late in the conversation to jump in with my uplifting tales of anxiety and shame that I desperately wanted to share like you share sniffs of sour milk.

I know that people are trying to be helpful and to spread information and stories when they force a book on you. I know that people like to feel like they are a source of some information or inspiration to others, but giving books when they arent asked for is just annoying most of the time.

Too many things are assumed. And as my 6th grade math teacher Mr. Caragine used to say, dont assume anything because it makes an "ass out of u and me", astonishingly down to earth for a math teacher. Anyway, the crux of the problem is that it is assumed that you have time to read the book, and most times you dont. Also, it is assumed that you are interested in the very same thing that your friend is. You may have made the mistake of feigning interest in a conversation that has now brought you to this point, with sand rushing through the hourglass and you scouring the shelves of barnes and noble for the cliff notes to some chick lit crap that is littering your shelves.

Then if you wait too long, they ask for it back and then you feel like a real jerk, because not only have you not read it you have let so much time pass that they have started down the road of being offended. This is tragic, dont let it reach this point if you can. Give it back before they ask and thank them profusely and throw in some jacket flap comments to ease the pain. Although I have never been able to do this with any success, but it sounds like a good way to handle it.

There are 4 books on my shelf now that fall into this category, and that is certainly 4 too many.

By the way I need a new book to read, preferably a serious classic novel...any suggestions?

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