Counterintuitive advice, I know. If your friends can’t bask in the magnificence of ‘truths universally acknowledged’ in the ‘best and worst of times’ with you, who can, for cryin’ out loud?!?!! The thing is, though, books are personal. If Pinterest is to be believed (and isn’t everything posted on the webbernets intrinsically trustworthy?!), books are so personally significant that they really are just like good friends — in fact, they’re better:
But. You wouldn’t lend out a friend, would you?! What kind of friend would actually try to borrow another person?!?! Only a fiend, masquerading as a friend. (What a difference a letter makes, right?) Still, if books are really just like ‘best friends,’ and thus, we could theoretically borrow them, I expect the request would go something like this:
Quasi-friend asks: “Have you made any good friends lately? I really need a good friend right now! I’ve used up all the friends I have, and I’ve got nothing to to do this weekend. I thought I’d just curl up with a good friend — can you lend me one of your favorites? I promise I’ll get it right back to you!”
Quasi-friend says: “Good news! We’re heading to the beach for a few days! Do you have a good beach friend I could borrow?”
See? Friends. Books. Synonymous, really. REALLY?!?!
No, not really, though you can find PLENTY of tritisms (no, it’s not a word, and I don’t even care. I rather like it. But for those of you who might be sticklers about such things, I simply mean syrupy clichés of the sort you might see scrolled inside a Hallmark™ card) about books and friendship here. And, lest you be thinking I don’t like books very much, or worse, that I have no friends, WRONG. On both counts. Well, wrong on count #2 as far as I know, and I’ve been having an all out love affair with books for years. But see, books are not the same as flesh and blood people. And I hope I’m not shocking anyone with this revelation: people are not like books, no matter what this says:
I suspect we need both, don’t you? We need friends — this is well-established. I am convinced that we also need books — because learning, my friends, is good. Less good, borrowing a book from a friend. Here’s how I know…
I myself have borrowed a book or twenty in my time, and frankly, I have been disinclined to give them back. Once I read a book, it’s a part of me, you know? It sinks into my bones, stirs up my heart, sharpens my mind. How can I give that back, I ask you? I CAN’T! So, I end up living with the guilt of possessing something that isn’t quite mine (though I invoke the ‘possession is 9/10s of the law’ thing-y so that I can still sleep at night), pretending to have forgotten all about those volumes that I ‘borrowed’ with the intention of a quick return. HA! The minute an author hooks me, there’s little chance that the book will ever grace its owners bookshelves again. And that is why friends don’t let friends borrow their favorite books. Because we’re people who need people, and we should never let the borrowing and lending of books come between us. We should adopt this mindset:
So remember: Keep your friends by keeping your books. Friends don’t let friends borrow their books; instead, they BUY a copy and give it as a gift!
I mean, right?