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Thread: Unreturned Books

  1. #1
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    Unreturned Books

    When I find a book I especially like, I enjoy lending it to someone who might also enjoy it. But I sort of expect it to be given back when the reader is done. Over the years, I am missing:

    The Sleepwalkers, Arthur Koestler's epic story of the birth of cosmology

    The Starmaker, Olaf Stapledon

    The Listeners, Jim Gunn's fine story about first contact

    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the original Worlds of If pulp publication with the Kelley Freas cover. Culprit is Steve Verba, St. Joe's High School, circa 1967. Dammit Steve, return them already!

  2. #2
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    Oh, The Sleepwalkers, Mike! I have bought a few copies of that in my time. Don't have even one.
    In fact the trilogy went AWOL.

    Same with Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye...at least ten. Don't have one.

    It hurts to think of my unreturned / AWOL books.

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    The 3rd World War, General Hackett. IIRC it had amazing tales of what went on during the first hours. It's not all that superduper intellectually nobel prize stuff quality book stuff, but I still have been wanting to re-read it for many years. Oh well, maybe i'll bump into a PDB or something some day.
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  4. #4
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    A friend of mine has this problem with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He has his own copy, and a couple of loaners.

    Star Maker, at least, you can get just about anywhere. Unless you're looking for the paperback that was actually titled The Starmaker.

    Fred
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahesh View Post
    Same with Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye...at least ten. Don't have one.
    Trust me--if I had a copy, you could have my copy. I wouldn't want it.

    Unless I'm very much mistaken, my sister just returned my copy of Hat Full of Sky, which--if it was my copy--she has to have had for a couple of years. (She did return my copy of Shadow of the Vampire after I'd re-bought it, but the copy she borrowed was VHS and the one I bought was DVD.) Then again, I've had her copy of The Celluloid Closet since the '90s.

    My best friend borrowed my British edition copy of The Fifth Elephant and left it on a cruise ship. I have forgiven her, because there is such a thing in this fine world as Amazon UK. And paying people back.

    There is a fairly long list of books that don't leave my house. Ever. Mostly, because they're signed, but there are a few that I just don't want to risk losing. Too difficult to replace.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    When I find a book I especially like, I enjoy lending it to someone who might also enjoy it. But I sort of expect it to be given back when the reader is done.
    But is that the reasonable expectation? Not trying to be cute - I was recently 'given' a book to read and now that I think about it, I'm not sure if it was a gift or a loan. It occurs to me that in giving a book to someone to read, it can be awkward explaining that it is a loan only.

    Maybe that's what happened to your missing books?

  7. #7
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    I have a long list, book-wise, that i'd rather not recall...that entailed 'lending' books to read (only) and on the understanding that they'd be returned (except perhaps Salinger. a pleasure to gift...ahem...Gillian, I like that book. Poor Caulfield and his 'preppy friends'...you see such people all the time...posers et al)

    quite a few haven't been...hence the list...hence my moan....oh, never mind....

    i try walking the sunny side. If they read the books, hopefully they enjoyed, as much as i did....so all's well, at the end.

  8. #8
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    I've lost about ten books over the years by loaning them. I most cases I don't even remember who I gave them to. I hope they are reloaned and in circulation.

  9. #9
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    Most recently, Dishwasher by Pete Jordan. Loaned it to my sister, she loaned it to my brother (haven't gotten it back). I bought another copy for my son and now my daughter is reading it. I highly, highly recommend it.
    Last edited by megrfl; 2009-Apr-14 at 12:51 PM. Reason: removed the almighty "The" from the book title.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    Culprit is Steve Verba, St. Joe's High School, circa 1967. Dammit Steve, return them already!
    According to Google and LinkIn, there is a Steve Verba in the Akron area. You should drop him a note asking for your book back.
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  11. #11
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    I still have to give my friend back The Big Book of Knock-Knock Jokes.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  12. #12
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    I've only got one book lent out to someone at the moment (to my manager); though my mom has a pile of my books up in her library; I know where they are and can get them if I need them.

    Of course, I dobut any of us can top a 110 year overdue library book like these people had. (The late fees were waived apparently. )

  13. #13
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    "And I Was There" by Edwin T. Layton - bought a softcover/trade paperback copy when I toured Pearl Harbour in 1989. Loaned it to one person, it then got passed around a group, lost track of it. Found a hardcover reprint at a Chapters store for $5, 5 -10 years ago.

    Napoleon by Felix Markham and The Thirty Years War by C.V. Wedgwood, both books were part of the reading list for a Mod. European History course. Loaned them to someone who was taking the course the following year. Markham's book I replaced a few years ago, Wedgwood's I replaced, as soon as I knew I wasn't getting the loaner back. It's an excellent narrative history.

    A number of paperback novels over the years.

  14. #14
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    Stephen King's Christine and Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency are the ones I can remember losing just now.

    I've borrowed two books I couldn't return, one because it fell out of a hole in the bag I carried it in and I didn't notice until I got home, the other because I managed to soak it in coffee. In both cases I replaced it with a new copy.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahesh View Post
    (except perhaps Salinger. a pleasure to gift...ahem...Gillian, I like that book. Poor Caulfield and his 'preppy friends'...you see such people all the time...posers et al)
    Yes. That's why I didn't need to read a poorly-written book wherein I was supposed to feel sympathy for one. I could just keep reading the submissions to the high school's lit magazine.

    It was with a movie, but I actually heard that someone I'd loaned something to once--with the clear understanding that it was a loan and not a gift, mind--told another of our co-workers that it was hers now. She either quit or was fired before I got my stuff back. Another friend from that job still has a half-dozen of my books, too, and while I trusted her, I was fired and never got my books back.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  16. #16
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    The Gameplayers of Zan -- in my opinion, a tragically overlooked science fiction classic, and long out of print. Culprit was my brother, who subsequently lost track of it. I eventually bought another copy -- and two sequels I'd never read -- from an online used-book seller.

    I lent out the "new" copy, but with a strongly-worded warning of the dire consequences of non-return. The borrower did return it -- and bought his own used copy!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I still have to give my friend back The Big Book of Knock-Knock Jokes.
    Who's there?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Stephen King's Christine and Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency are the ones I can remember losing just now.
    I'm afraid I'd gladly loan my copy of Dirk Gently to anyone I could be sure would not be returning it!

    A couple of years ago I got a package in the mail containing a Larry Niven paperback I'd loaned to a coworker who then moved to Maine. It had been more than a year and I'd forgotten it, but he remembered. Thanks, Tom.
    Last edited by Trebuchet; 2009-Apr-14 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Maine, not main. Dang homophones!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by megrfl View Post
    Most recently, The Dishwasher by Pete Jordan...
    Ha---misremembered Orwell's first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, as Le Plongeur, another excellent adventure in dishwashing (especially if you've been one)...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarongsong View Post
    Ha---misremembered Orwell's first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, as Le Plongeur, another excellent adventure in dishwashing (especially if you've been one)...
    I do believe that work is cited in the Dishwasher.



    PS. The book is titled Dishwasher. I add the to everything (at least that's what I've been told by my 14 year old.)

  21. #21
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    Yes, it was The Star Maker.

    I think I still have my copy of The Gameplayers of Zan.

    I no longer lend my books of Loren Eisely essays. Had to buy another copy of The Star Thrower, now that I recall.

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