I love reading, and tend to be a snob about the condition that I like my books to be in.
Should I get a paperback and lend it to you, it damn well better not come back with the spine cracked, crunchy from being dropped in the bathtub, or have a sweat ring on the cover where you left your glass of ice water instead of using a coaster. If it's a book that I know will be on my shelves forever I will usually buy it in hardback. And if the book in question is part of a set, I will buy the whole set at the same time so that they are all the same size and the covers coordinate.
A couple of years ago when there was this explosion of interest about the "Twilight" series, I was a little slow to get on board with the hype. Who would want to read books about a romantic love triangle between a human, a werewolf, and a vampire? But as time passed, I began to watch some of my friends slip into this bizarre land of not feeding their children dinner, talking in terms like "sparkly vampires" and "The Volturi", and fawning over dudes named Jacob and Edward. They were so consumed by reading these books that it was almost comical! After continually hearing about how amazing the books were, I finally got the hunger for a taste of all things Cullen and found a boxed set of HARDBACKS...bliss!
I poured through the books.
They were wonderful.
I am "Team Jacob".
Edward is emo.
CHRISTMAS 2007. We had finished eating dinner, and some of the women folk were sitting around talking about great books that we had enjoyed reading. The Twilight series came up, and Fred's aunt Lorraine mentioned that she would like to borrow my set. (AS IF?!) I gave her the nod action (like a good niece) and made a mental note to hide them as soon as we got home so that she didn't happened to spy them the next time she came to visit. Of course she DIDN'T forget, and I ended up giving some lame excuse (that she totally bought) and only lent her New Moon instead of all four.
Months passed and I was beginning to get a little antsy that Lorraine hadn't returned my book, so I decided to ask her about it. When I mentioned that I would like to grab the book the next time we saw eachother, she said, "Well, I have my copy of New Moon that you are more than welcome to borrow, but I already returned yours to you." Whaaaaat? We went back and forth, in a friendly way, about how I didn't remember ever getting my copy back...how mine was a hardback too....it was part of a SET....I was only missing the one Twilight book that she (coincidentally) HAD on her bookshelf. But it just fell flat. And I was soooo PISSED. Aunt Lorraine was officially not getting anything but dog shit for Christmas as long as I am alive. PERIOD.
MORE time passed, and finally around Easter of this year I decided - Hey, if she borrowed the book from me, I will borrow my shit right back! Right? So I sent her a text.
Me: Hey there! When Poindexter (her husband) goes over to Archie's dad's house, would you mind sending your copy of New Moon with him? I am starting to read the series again.
Me: Thanks! I really appreciate you letting me borrow it from you.
Lorraine: It's your copy, I'm just returning it.
WTF?!? I just about shit a brick when I read her text. She had sat there, looked me in the eye, and emphatically argued with me that she had purchased a copy of New Moon, and had already returned my copy back to me. She had even argued the point so well that I was beginning to believe that maybe she HAD returned the book and I had just misplaced it.
Idiot. Next time Lorraine needs to call a board meeting with all of the other voices in her head and figure out what her story/angle is. Or here's an even better idea.....GET A LIBRARY CARD!!