Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stolen Property

I have a book in this house. It's a library book. I've had it for the last twenty plus years. I wasn't the person who took the book; it actually was stolen by a friend at college. She's the one who never returned the book to her local library. She is the one who brought it with her to college. She's the one who left it at my apartment.

I love books. I love the heft of a healthy-sized hardcover, hot off the press. I adore the sound a new book makes, that little cracking sound, when you first open the cover. I love the sound a page makes when you turn it. I love the smell of old, leather covered books, too. Books remind me that there is a world out there, ready to explore, a world that has nothing to do with where I am, but where I want to be. At least for a little while. If I had all the money in the world, I definitely would spend it all on books. Well, that and a personal visit from Stephen King, because I have some questions for that man.

I have taken good care of my piece of stolen property all these years. I feel some guilt, however. I know that I hate it when someone borrows one of my books and fails to return it. There's probably some poor librarian who has been very sad about the loss of that book. It may have kept her up nights, just thinking about it. And what kind of message does it send to my son, that his mother would keep stolen property?

When those twinges of vague guilt have surfaced, I've momentarily thought about returning the book to the library. I suppose that I could find the address on the internet and mail it. Maybe I could just drop it into the box at my local library and let them send the book. I don't think that the Book Police could trace the book back to me; I'll wipe the finger prints off, just in case.

And what was the book about, that it was so fascinating? Why did I just have to keep it for so long?

It's about capital punishment.


  1. I still have my brother's stolen copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. I found it amongst all of my books when I got married and moved out. It was 7 years past due then. It's 14 now. I really should return it...

  2. Haha, hilarious!! Maybe contact your friend, let her know you've still got it, and she's welcome to drop round anytime and pick it up! After all, it's HER responsibility to return it to the library - you're just minding it for her. Right??

  3. I just found my social studies text book from tenth you think anything has changed in the five years since I was 16...I mean 16 years...I mean 25 years (are you kidding me)? I feel a little badly with a ll of the budget cuts. Maybe my son can bring it to class as some sort of antique. I agree with Red...get it back to your friend!


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