The Book I Lent You…

Today (23rd April) is observed as “World Book Day“.

I came across an interesting bookshelf with shelves that made me think.

Could you update following bookshelf with your choices?


It is an interesting one and I’ll try to fill up and post my version sometime soon…

But I can immediately mention “The Book I Lent You” section since the list is long and I have really lost (?) few good books. So here is the list:

  • The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
  • How to Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen
  • Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Romancing the Balance Sheet by Anil Lamba
  • How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov
  • Games of Strategy by Prof. Avinash Dixit, David H. Reiley, and Susan Skeath
  • बोर्डरूम – अच्युत गोडबोले
  • अर्थात – अच्युत गोडबोले
  • युगांत – इरावती कर्वे
  • खिल्ली – पु. ल. देशपांडे
  • गणितातील गंमती – वा. म. कोळेकर
  • थोरांची ओळख (माझे इयत्ता ४ थी चे इतिहासाचे पुस्तक!)

Well, in some cases “Can I have it back?” is not really an option. Because the people are not part of your life anymore. And maybe the book serves as a memory, or probably they might have already disposed off the book long back (when they got rid off you). In any case, “Can I have it back?” is irrelevant.

By the way, imagine the deeper meaning of “Can I have it back” in such cases. What is one implying by asking back the book which he once lent to his near and dear ones. If the book is used by the friend and has some notes, scribbles written by that friend who is no more a friend, will it be troublesome to have that book back?

On the other hand, if the friend doesn’t have that book (or doesn’t want to return your copy), and if he buys a new copy and gives it to you, is it the same thing? Worse still…if the friend just sends the money-equivalent of that book to your wallet or Amazon Gift account and asks you to purchase it yourself…how insulting would that be?

“Can I have it back?” is a futile question in case of a dear (ex-) friend who you lent book to. It is like asking “Can I have my memories back?”. If they are “shared memories”, you cannot (and should not) have them back. You can do whatever you want with “your version” of it, and that is it…

So let them keep the book…maybe they’ll read/ interpret it differently.

As Edmund Wilson said — “No two persons ever read the same book.


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