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Op-Ed

Borrowed books that are never returned

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By EMN Updated: Mar 21, 2014 10:36 pm
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MULLINGS

Easterine Kire

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o, this is not a public library moment alone. Although I have known the university library to be once plagued by a student who had a most unhealthy habit of borrowing books and returning them only after tearing out certain pages from the books. His classmates said those pages were essential to the rest of them for answering important questions in the exams.
The other kind of book borrower is the educated relative who thinks that when you buy a book, it becomes family property which they can borrow and not return. After all “it’s just a book.” This also applies to the friends who want to read the latest bestseller you have bought. These are the people who will themselves not buy the book but wait patiently until someone they know well has bought it, and finished reading it. When their book-buying friend recommends that they buy the said book, they simply say, “Uh-huh, sounds very interesting, but since you have bought it, I’ll just wait until you have finished reading it and simply borrow it from you.”When this has happened for a number of times, the book owner comes to realize that the book-borrowing friend never intends to buy a book. But he/she will borrow and read and share how much they liked the book, and afterwards never bother to return the book. It seems to be a common problem in our society. My niece has lost quite a number of her favorite books in this manner. We should not say, “She should know better than to lend books out.” When you put yourself in her position, it will become very clear how difficult it is for her to say no when a relative or friend wants to borrow books. Young Naga women in their twenties are brought up by their parents, and by our society to be polite and accommodating. They learn to put others first by the inbuilt reaction, “Oh my, what would they think of me?” Being the gracious and polite young person she is, and not wanting to appear stingy (which, for Nagas is equivalent to a secondary mortal sin), she parts with her newly acquired books only to be disappointed again.

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By EMN Updated: Mar 21, 2014 10:36:35 pm