By Lindsay Buroker
It's no secret. Those of us who are passionate about reading
are passionate about our reading-related belongings, more specifically,
our books. I like to share good books with my friends, but occasionally
these books have been returned to me in less than satisfactory condition.
This has prompted me to put together a short list of rules, commandments
if you will. I now tuck a copy of the list inside any books I loan
out. A tad obsessive? Or a good precaution? You decide.
1. Thou shalt not mash the book into a backpack, book bag, purse,
or other storage area where it is likely to be crumpled, crushed,
maimed, or otherwise mutilated in any way.
2. Thou shalt not loan the book to anyone else, especially those
with dirty hands.
3. Thou shalt not eat while reading the book (the chocolate smooshed
in the crack gave you away last time).
4. Thou shalt not stuff the book under a wobbly table leg to
fix the table.
5. Thou shalt not use the book as a coaster.
6. Thou shalt not keep the book for more than a month lest I
start charging late fees (and I'm not talking about the library's
$0.05 a day late fee--we're talking Blockbuster here, baby).
7. Thou shalt not leave anything between the pages of the book
8. Thou shalt not write in the book.
9. Thou shalt not leave the book where it can be rained on, snowed
on, or sunned on (the latter being identifiable by the pages falling
out of the melty glue faster than leaves from an autumm tree).
10. Thou shalt not let your pet chew, nibble, or shed on the
Feel free to print this list to include with the books you loan
out, too. We're not obsessive. Well, we're not. Really.
Lindsay Buroker is a veteran of the US Army and a student
at the University of Washington. She writes whenever she has
time and gets twitchy if she isn't working on atleast three
projects at once.