Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I shouldn't borrow



 Lending Out Books 
by Hal Sirowitz

You're always giving, my therapist said.
You have to learn how to take. Whenever
you meet a woman, the first thing you do
is lend her your books. You think she'll
have to see you again in order to return them.
But what happens is, she doesn't have the time
to read them, & she's afraid if she sees you again
you'll expect her to talk about them, & will
want to lend her even more. So she
cancels the date. You end up losing
a lot of books. You should borrow hers.

(From Garrison Keillor, Good Poems (New York: Penguin Books, 2002), p. 102.)


I try not to borrow books from friends. It is too easy to claim them as my own, to forget to give them back.
Right now I am borrowing a book titled "The Good Good Pig". I am not a Good Good Borrower.
I also have a Barbara Kingsolver book that isn't mine. I worry.

It is so much easier to borrow books from the city library. They send me gentle reminders that my books are one week due, three days due, DUE TODAY! I haven't stretched into the realm of 'overdue' yet -at least not for my 'city' books.

It is also easier to just buy the books I want from Amazon. They have my info on speed dial. I pick a book or two or ten, click 'order', and in 3 days the box is on our front porch. 

Anyone want to borrow a book? My therapist said it is okay... Just don't lend me a DVD.

(The photo is of my dad - in the middle - and his two older brothers. Circa 1933)


3 comments:

minnow said...

That's an incredible photograph. I just give my books vs loaning, easier than hoping to see them again, ever since I loaned & lost a 1st edition F Conroy "Stop-Time" to a friend who replaced it with a paperback. I was surprised how upset I was because I'd never cared about editions, only cared because it had been a gift from someone who cared about that. There are only about ten books out of 100s that I wouldn't give away. Do people have book giveaway/exchange parties?

altadenahiker said...

Oh, I have a bad amazon habit.

So have you guys gotten your tsunami yet? I heard ours was heading out your way.

Tash said...

the photo is the best!

Some of the best books are those that I've stol... I mean, borrowed from friends. I have How to Read a Book that belonged to Jay Mitchell (3rd yr of college), Trout Fishing in America that was Kenny's (12th grade) who lives in Japan...I can probably name a few more. I borrowed from P. but then I married him and we combined our bookbuying now Amazon habits. No more Amazon for me...just lots of overdue fines and library sales.

I'm going to look up the poet - it may be the one I've heard on Public Radio being interviewed by GK & I then couldn't remember his name. He read some great stuff - one was about a punctuation mark in a relationship...