A Little Book Told Me So…2

14th April 2012

Dear Picky Girl:

OK here is my problem… someone borrowed a book from me, and when I got it back it looked like it had been left out in the rain! It was an airport copy of The Help, larger than normal, with beautiful heavy paper and a gold trimming along the edges. I have never seen another copy like it in the shops. What should I do about this? What happens when someone returns a book to you in poor condition or worse still, doesn’t return the book at all?




Dear Regretful:

A couple of things. First, if you haven’t read The Shadow of the Wind, do. In it, the main character is besotted by a particular book, but when he goes to find the author’s other works, he finds, instead, that someone has been destroying them, sometimes moments before he can get to them. Could your “friend” be somehow anti-The Help? (He/she wouldn’t be the only one.) Perhaps your friend began to feel guilty that instead of ruining your copy, he/she really should have just gone down to Barnes & Noble, dropped $150 bucks on a few hardbacks and tossed ’em in the toilets? So he/she returned yours to you in poor condition after retrieving it from the toilet bowl in a last ditch effort to remember your kindness in loaning the book in the first place. If there was not some ulterior motive to rid the world of this controversial book, I think the only answer remains in…

Fahrenheit 451. No, we won’t burn your friend. BUT. Remember the mechanical hound? In the novel, it was used to destroy those who caused trouble, kicked up some dust, flew in the face of government (why yes, I do know how to turn a phrase). How? It systematically hunted down the perpetrator and injected him with its choice of poisons intended to paralyze, stun, or kill its victim. Pleasant, right? Now, hear me out. You may like this person, but tell me this? Who would actually return a book in that condition?

Still not convinced? Ok, maybe next time, think twice before handing out a book you love – whether for its content or its aesthetic qualities. And maybe ask for insurance. Why not? Some people ask daycares to sign policies for their offspring. Why not do the same for books?

Hugs and Air Kisses,

The Picky Girl

Have a questions for The Picky Girl? Email your query to thepickygirlblog@gmail.com… No, now…. No, do it now. You’re already on the computer. Hurry!

  • The REAL Book Thief AKA Sommer

    OMG! I’m sooo guilty here! I just went to my book closet and I have FOUR of your books and TWO of your aprons! (I can’t believe I just typed that…aprons…haha! It makes us sound like we’re so domestic.) I just want to say that they’re in PERFECT CONDITION, though, so I know this post doesn’t apply to me…hehe! I have them by my door to return to you ASAP!

    Let me propose a deal: I’ll let you take one of my kids while I read Shadow of Night (PLEASE, I’ll be your best friend!!). See, it’s a win-win in a Rumpelstiltskin sort of way.

    Great post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I LOVE your comment name. Hilarious. Honestly, I know where to find you…and my mom. And you’re typically the two I lend to most frequently. Plus, if I’ve given it to you, it means I WANT you to read it.

      As for SHADOW OF NIGHT, that works. Give me Bay or Dean. No diapers, please. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • steph_h

    I mostly agree entirely with this post… except for the part about reading Shadow of the Wind. Haaaaaaaated that book. Would maybe suggest that the aggrieved individual actually recommend it to the person who bespoiled their beloved book as revenge…

    In all seriousness, though, I pretty much lend out books under the assumption that I will not see them again. Not everyone is so generous, I realize, but if I love a book enough to lend it to someone, I probably love it enough to buy myself a second copy should the need arise. Obviously if I have a much treasured copy, that’s one that stays on my own shelves and doesn’t get to “leave the library”, as it were. Also, if I like someone enough to lend them a book in the first place, then I probably also like them enough that I don’t mind giving them the the gift of the occasional book. I guess when it comes to books, I’m always just happy to spread the love around even if my pocketbook takes the occasional hit.

    • You and my brother both. It’s been ages since I read it, but I remember really liking it. He was SO mad that I recommended it to him as he hated it.

      Like you, I give out only the books I’m willing to not get back. That’s partially why I’m so excited about World Book Night. I get to do that with a BUNCH of books! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • heidenkind

    I am soooo glad this hasn’t happened to me. I really only loan books to my mom, anyway, so that’s pretty safe. If I’m attached to book, I don’t loan it. Period. You’re going to have to pry that copy of When Night Falls from my cold dead hands. :p

    • I only loan books I don’t really worry about not coming back to me. And I actually love doing that, being able to say: Take this! Enjoy. With no worries.

  • LOL!!! I love your response to Regretful. I’ve “lost” too many books to careless borrowers so I’m really careful who I loan my books out to. but you want to hear something terrible? My friend let me borrow her movie Midnight in Paris and the babe got ahold of it and teethed around the sides. By the time I realized what she was doing it was too late–the plastic cover is all mottled. Ha!!! Friend is pregnant with twins right now so I’m tempted to just give it back and say “get ready.” Or more likely…buy her a new copy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hahaha! You should totally do that but hand her the new copy. That way you still get your point across. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And twins! Whew. I’m tired for her.

  • Haha! This is great advice. What happened to your querier (I just made up that word) is why I never lend my books to anyone. I’ll happily give them away if I don’t think I’ll ever read them again, but nobody’s touching my precious books except me!

    I loved THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, by the way, and cannot wait for THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN.

    • Good for you! Protect those books.

      And yeah – I’m curious about The Prisoner of Heaven. I think it’s so funny how divided people are on this book. They either loved it or hated it.