“Hey there, sorry I could not return your book as I had to quit on short notice.Hope you don’t mind.Will get one when we meet back ” said one of my friends who didn’t bother to return the precious copy of one of my favourites book.
“Here is your book, it was a beautiful story.I know, I took ages to read it.”She handed my book which was damp, moulded, dog-eared and had loose pages. I cried a little in my heart when my colleague returned my book after months of reading.
That was the last straw in lending my books to anyone.Whenever in any conversation topics like favourite books, authors, quotes etc pops up I keep mum, though I have this urge to dig all the details about the same.Most of the folks who proclaim they read are not serious.Some among those serious readers don’t have the minimum-book-manners aka, keeping the book neat and tidy.As I can never say a lie and not lend a book I have with me and I am afraid to loose another favourite book or get a damaged one, I choose to ignore the conversation.
I maintain a very high set of standards when I buy a book.I never write anything on any book I buy, No, not even my name or date as some people do.I have this weird idea is that my book must be as fresh and new as it can be, always !!.This habit of mine has caused me a number of books I had lent over the years as I could not prove it to be mine.Another thing is that I never dog-ear any of my books.I tried keeping bookmarks but they could not keep up from being lost or pulled away.Instead, I memorise the page number before closing the book.And that gives me an extra thrill :D. A habit of mine is that when I read, I don’t open the book fully.I feel guilty that my opening up of the book completely might hurt the pages! Weird I know!!
Now, with the advent of Kindle, I am happy that none of my above worries will materialise, but somehow I miss the touch and a sense of completeness a hardcover or a paperback provides you with. Sigh!!