I can't believe that I've found another book-related item in the "Dear Heloise" column, but there it was in my morning paper. This one regards the fact that books loaned out to friends don't always come back home and offers a unique reason why that might happen.
Dear Heloise:I suppose that it makes a certain amount of sense but it's not something that I've experienced because I never push books on my friends and would never bother to let them push an "unreadable" book on me. In fact, I cringe when friends ask to borrow books and I have a canned response that I use to let them know that I just don't loan books to others. Now, I don't mind giving books away, especially spare copies and a few that I just don't see any reason to keep. But when I do that, I don't want, or expect, to ever see them again (the books, that is, not the friends).
I've read several hints in your column offering methods for ensuring that books are returned promptly to their owners after they've been loaned out. It occurred to me that one of the reasons people don't return books in a timely fashion is because they didn't ask to borrow those books in the first place.
I know many well-meaning friends have loaned books to me that I had no interest in reading. Since I'm afraid that when I return one of these unsolicited books the owner will ask me how I liked the book and I'll have to confess that I didn't read it, those are the books I'm always slowest to return. Your readers might have a better rate of return on the books they loan if they lend only books that people have asked to borrow.
PAM, Sacramento, Calif.
Have you guys ever experienced anything akin to what is described in this letter?