My mom always told me that if I ever had a nightmare, I wasn’t to talk about them lest they come true. As a bratty kid, I must not have taken heed of her warnings and lo and behold I suffered for many years on behalf of my books while both asleep and wide awake. The day-mares and nightmares overlapping each other too, one caused because of another and in a chain reaction! How horrid!
So here I am writing about it, probably stirring up the bookish devils to come up with some new form of punishment for all the enjoyment I get through reading. (There are two sides to every coin people!)
What has surprised me is that, the older I grew the more maniacal the nightmares are. Or is it just my imagination? I’ve been through some grievous heart ache –book related of course- don’t judge me okay!- and I still cry, as the pangs of shattered promises still rekindle old grudges.
I’m not a grudge keeping – I hate you because you said Lizzy Bennet was a stuck up goose – I’m going to blow you to smithereens just because you didn’t get me my diet coke person by nature, but when it comes to books, I’m just a tiny bit more sensitive to what people say about and do to them. Ok, maybe not tiny, maybe a considerable amount sensitive.
A reader’s greatest treasure is his or her collection of books. Their own personal library. The sanctuary of their lives. The portals through which they escape mundane trials. In accompaniment to this there is also the need to fangirl?!, share, discuss and talk over the matters of the books with someone who have read it. Also perhaps, forcing someone you love to read it at gun point maybe, you get the idea. It goes without saying, everything’s best when shared. Everything is sweeter when the hatred of a character is spread among two, so that it’s double the penance.
All this sadly comes at a cost. (Two sides of the coin right?) Not everyone looks after your precious possessions like you do. Only you know the value of the money you earned and the same applies here. Here are a few incidents that have occurred to me in the years past that have kept me awake for nights on end, simmering like a pot of slow cooking meat. Dare to touch me on the topic and I’d bite. The wounds are still pretty raw.
On books NOT returned (The worst kind?)
1 . Books not returned! No communication from the borrower ever since.
I cannot say how much I hate people who do this. At least if you are taking time reading it, it’ll be polite to let me know, or if you have lost it perhaps replace it or even better just tell me I promise I won’t bite (do I look like I’d bite? YES I do!) Its better than suffering over the loss of a loved one.
2 . Books not returned in a considerably ‘okay’ period of time.
A few days is the best, a few weeks laadidaa, I’m ok with it, a few months yea why not, a few years?!?!?! DO YOU READ AT A RATE OF ONE LETTER PER HOUR??? Please just pick up your phone, call me, text me, Whatsapp me, tweet to me, DM me, fb message to me or send me SOS signals with your candle if you don’t have anything else! Please just tell me my babies are okay and in good condition and when you might possibly return them.
3 . Not returned books because they say they never borrowed them?
Could I swear in here…??
Ok I’m not going to.
And if it’s a book that I loved… well God bless you!
How can I fight back when she was a girl who I supposed was my friend? A group of us, read a Three Musketeers (Ah that era XD) and it was the talk of our lives for months – ok a whole year where each of us was Athos Porthos and Aramis ^_^- and she was the last to be given the book. (thank god for that too). She left school shortly after and we never thought she’d disappear with it. I’d love to name her Milady, but there was one other who was more deserving of the title… May be the Cardinal then?
4 . Books not returned and said not borrowed, then after a period of anger towards them a message pops up saying Oh look I found them in my mother’s cupboard!!
Yea ok, NOW PLEASE SEND ME THEM BACK!!!!!
5 . Books not returned because they have been lent by my borrower to someone else.
AIYE AIYE AIYE!!
Unless I know this person really well, it’s possible for me to either end up with a heart attack or for me to slap them in the face right on!
I have sat for minutes in silence, digesting what I had heard, and then slowly turning to them and saying in a slow monotonous tone,
“You lent my book without my permission? Not one but TWO? How often do you meet these people? Hopefully every other day, and not once a year.”
I really had lost hope in humanity at this point.
Books returned crisis
1 . Books returned but after eons have passed that I’ve given up on asking for them back and honestly forgotten about them too.
I’m so sorry books, I do think about you when I go through my library….I just don’t want the negativity of my hatred for the person who promised to return you after indulging in what you have to offer. (eeeer, sound bad?)
What do these people know about ownership and priorities? Would you trust them to pick your kids up when you cannot or take the cake out of the oven while you go to have a really emergency status loo break?
2 . Books returned but in awful condition
Edges peeled off, pages dog-eared …. I could go on. My heart is just slowing down at the thought of those that were returned in this manner.
3 . Books returned but WRITTEN ON WITH A BEAUTIFUL DASH OF PAINT ON THE COVER!
I don’t know what is worse the writing or the paint. What’s more, it was on one of my Harry Potter books
4 . Books returned but not mine!!
No matter how many times you tell me it’s mine, I know what I lent out. I know what I purchased. I know the pages that I gently turned, the spines I ran my finger along. Just stop lying.
Other book related incidents.
1 . Mom threatening to send my hard earned library to the secondhand store!!
Aiye aiye! There are literally books everywhere in our house. Any space where you could make a neat pile, no guesses, yes books. I have my boxes and shelves load of them and the living room houses my magazine subscriptions. And then there’s dad who is a book hoarder too. (Big bulky medical ones though!) We must drive her crazy 😄 And it does tend to be a bit messy sometimes.
I wonder how many of us are in this predicament.
2 . Mom wondering if she needed to ask my teacher if I was up to anything in school as I was always locked up in my room. She nearly did.
OK there’s a story behind this is mostly my fault. Nothing bad. Except for a frightful talking to,
It was during those teenage years, when my life consisted only of going to school, returning home, and until night (and sometimes the next morning) I was known to not budge from my room. This period lasted a few good months. Mom got tired drilling me and also of calling me down for my meals to which she ended up sending them up to me :D, mostly because she needed someone to know if I was still living. It must have drove her crazy and voila, no surprise I was dragged into an intervention including my dad in tow. It was not a memory I want to remember. Hey! It was all not in vain. I managed to work my way through the whole school library that wasn’t restricted to us peeps. Also, being in the super good graces of the librarian, she eventually let me in on the “restricted” books.
In the end there’s life and all its curve balls!
Those books that were returned will never ever leave the sanctuary of my library, most importantly my line of vision, unless I let the borrower go with a tracker in their blood stream.
Please do share your bookish nightmares. There’s so many little ones I might have forgotten just now. Let’s hopefully get over them together!
Now I’m going to go have a little cosy time with a book of choice and being thankful for those that were safely returned!