Please lend this book!

For many years I had a philosophy of never lending books to friends. If you wanted to borrow a book, and it was one I could bear to part with, I’d give you the book outright, but I’d never expect to see it again. This somewhat jaded philosophy was born after one too many friends failed to return one of my prize tomes… or returned it dog-eared and spine-creased, almost worse than not getting it back at all!

As Polonius said, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be / For loan oft loses both itself and friend.”

Or, as I put it in a poem I wrote a few years ago, distraught over not getting “Watership Down” back when its borrower, a guy I was dating, unexpectedly dropped me:

If you should lend

A book to a friend

And then if that friendship

Should happen to end

You might lose your book

As well as your friend

So do not lend

Your books to your friends.

Fortunately, with the advent of e-books, we no longer have to worry about people borrowing books, never to return them. To celebrate that fact, I’ve made my short story, “Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself (and Spiders),” published through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, fully lendable so that anyone who chooses to can lend it.

It’s also 100 percent impossible to dog-ear. What a wonderful world we live in!