Being an avid book reader can have its problems. Not only does it lead to too-full bookshelves (my apartment is currently housing 561 books), but it can also lead to lending anxiety. Lending anxiety is a term I have only recently coined. And it stems from the suffering one feels after loaning out a book.
I love my books. While I do love sharing my loves, so that others could love them too, it leads to an anguish that only comes with waiting for the book to arrive back in hand. And it isn’t until I see those books back in my hand that I feel totally better.
It’s obviously all in my head (then again, what isn’t?). But, I still get an empty feeling when I see that gap on my bookshelf. I like seeing all the books lined up perfectly on my bookshelf. So much so, that as you know, I’ve even organized my bookshelf by theme and then by author. And if you don’t know, then, I had, for a while, just placed (though it felt like dumped, to me) them all on my shelves, in no particular order. I kept my shelves this way until I had time to organize it, which went from waiting a few months to a few years. And this disorderly conduct, as I have dubbed it, drove me absolutely nuts.
And so you can imagine my chagrin, when I see an empty space on my shelf. Something that had troubled me for so long, and had been fixed only so recently, is still having its peace and stability threatened by the mere idea of an empty space. And this disappointment is only doubled when you think about how this book might never return to you.
I’ve honestly thought about ordering this Personal Library Kit. Partly because it fits into my idea of eventually having my own library (more on that later) and because it means I can make sure that I always get my books back. At the same time, I hardly find myself send out my books, due to the reasons mentioned above, so I am not sure if this would be a worthwhile enterprise.
And though I do complain about the unease I feel when sharing a book, it does make me proud and happy when i find out that the person I loaned the book to thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s also a point of pleasure for me to discuss in detail the specific plot points we enjoyed, the ideas we shared, and the concepts we disagreed on. Discussing a book in length is one of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews). So, really then, what is so wrong with sharing? Maybe I will buy one of those library kits.