I am the Owner of that Book | Daily Prompt: Memories For Sale

On a weekend road trip, far away from home, you stumble upon a garage sale in a neighborhood you’re passing through. Astonished, you find an object among the belongings for sale that you recognize. Tell us about it.
Photographers, share an image that says MEMORY.

“This is my book!”

My best friend would probably just dismiss me easily. “You say that about every book that you like.”

“No. Really! This is my book. See? It has my signature there.”

I show him the page where I placed my full signature and the date I bought the book. I do this with all my books: signature and date on the page of the same number.

“Okay then. How did you lose this one?”

This is the part I hate. It was back in college and it was book report season. Since I passed mine early, other classmates were asking for help. A certain friend asked if she could borrow my books so that she and her friend (or was it friends?) could not miss the deadline.

Without a second thought, I obliged. You always help a friend, right?

Some two semesters, I would regret that decision.

I saw that friend again and asked for my books. I was sure that by then they have finished their reports so the books could now be returned to me. Sadly that wasn’t the case.

Yes, they finished their reports. But the friend’s friend brought the books somewhere else and never returned with it. So she doesn’t have the books anymore. That was the last time I had a real conversation with her. And I believe that was also the last time I lent anyone more than seven books.

Don’t you hate it when you lend something to someone who lends it to someone else and you only learn about it when it never gets returned to you?

Ever since then, I’ve always wondered when I’d get those books back. That was wishful thinking, of course. How likely is it that those books would find their way back to me? Too bad really since those books—though they are still in circulation—are no longer printed with the same cover.

I take out my wallet. I have my ID to prove that I am the owner of that book.

“So would you ‘take it back’?”

Do I want it back?


15 Comments Add yours

  1. CB:BC says:



  2. Do I want it back? Good question! However, I only lend books that are dear to me to very, very good friends… And I get the feeling that you too form special connections to your books, so I can guess that it was the fact that they did not return what wasn’t theirs and they did not appreciate your kindness what bothers you most, not the book itself, I think I would not take it back, it now represents something else… Of course if it’s a book that brings back good memories snatch it up before someone else gets it 🙂 read you soon, Alexandra


    1. matiserrano says:

      That’s some insight you have there. Thank you!

      Yeah. When I learn that something of mine was lent to a third party, I feel like someone just kidnapped my kid–so to speak. I practically negotiate just to get it back.


  3. Shalini says:

    When I read this line, I felt that we might be the same person “I show him the page where I placed my full signature and the date I bought the book. I do this with all my books:”


    1. matiserrano says:

      Wow! Cool.
      I have yet to see other people do that because–most of what I have seen–are the info that come along with the “ex libris” phrase.
      I do that for the consistency.


  4. Lara says:

    I would definitely want it back 😀


    1. matiserrano says:

      Good. Frankly, I haven’t made up my mind. I have yet to feel the actual pull of an old lost book of mine–if it has any more.


  5. Faramond says:

    I am a person who tends to let books go. I can’t stand them standing in my bookcase, unused. If ever I have a book, I want it to be used, and if it isn’t being used, I lend/give them away. But then again, so far, I tend to own textbooks and other books that are used for schoolwork.

    For the rare few exceptions I lent novels, they ended up not returning to me. I don’t care. I just wish they took good care of them, and if they fancy, lend them to another person who would have fun reading them.


    1. Mati Serrano says:

      Thought as much.
      Hoarders – like me – have difficulty letting books go, specially those they love and like.
      Not that it is impossible.
      It’s just not easy.


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