Help! Help!!
They have been kidnapped!!
Somebody, please help! Will you??
Gosh! What do I do now??

Who have been kidnapped… you wonder!!

Nah, not any friends, nor any relatives…neither the neighbors nor any acquaintances!
(Please God, nobody should ever be kidnapped!! It’s the worst nightmare for the victim and his/her family!)

But still, some things have been kidnapped!

Well, they are BOOKS!
Prized possessions of every book lover.

The Fiction books, the Encyclopedias, the Cook books, the Non-Fiction books, the Health, Mind & Body books, Reference books, Management books, Children books…your best friends.

These are the books which you buy from the big book stores, the flea market, the discount sales, airports, railway stations, and sometimes from bus stands too.  Some you get as presents and some you order from the web or through VPP.

And over a period of time, you have a collection of which you are very proud of.

And when you neatly arrange them category wise in your cupboard, they become a source of envy for every person who sees them. So, suddenly the latent desire to read books emerges very strongly in them.

And being a good person that you are or you genuinely want them to enjoy the rewarding experience of reading a good book or you want to encourage reading among your colleagues and friends…You LEND your books.

This is your biggest mistake… You have willingly let your books to be kidnapped!
Yeah, kidnapped.

Chances are that…

  • You may never get them back.
  • You may have to put in a lot of efforts to get them back…repeated calls…SMSs…subtle hints…
  • These efforts could continue for months altogether.
  • You may not get them in the same condition… a tear here or a dog ear there, the worn or shabby look as the book is kept face-down on its open pages and the most outrageous and obnoxious part is underlining of interesting/important part with a pen!!

But why this happens??

  • Their interest (in reading the book, of course) wane and thus the book just occupies some space in a drawer or shelf for months together.
  • They are not ardent book lovers and that urge to read (and borrow your book) was just  a passing fancy.
  • They are apathetic to books…

So, do you ever learn?

Well, despite umpteen ‘learnings’ and ‘experiences’, you have still not mastered the fine art of saying “NO”.

And in the mean time, you wait with bated breath for your beloved kidnapped books to return back to their space in your cupboard!

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41 thoughts on “Kidnapped

  1. Ah!
    It’s always the same with books and DVD’s.
    I do lend books from my friends but I return them in one piece, but I guess not all will have that sense.

    Alas, I too ended up being a victim, stolen (or lost) books and scratched DVD’s 🙁

  2. I have been a victim too. So many times I had to ask over and over again to get my favorite books back.

    The pain of making sure they aren’t sitting hiding in my own home and searching for them all over makes it all a real trouble at times.

    Wonderful post Shilpa.

    Keep up the good work.


  3. Kidnapped is a mild way of putting it. I’d say stealing, daylight robbery..and so on.

    I mentioned in my last post that part of my task for this month is retrieval of my beloved books. It is an arduous task!

  4. Yeah, I have lost many good books like that! I lost a work by shakespeare and got scoldings from dad!
    So stopped lending books!! Ufff, why do people do like this?!

  5. Try E books. I store a lot of them in my pc. When someone wants a loan, you copy the said book on the person’s usb or simply zip and mail.

    Works wonderfully – but does not give the wonderful smell of printed paper and the sheer “feel” or reading a book.

  6. I have been quite generous in lending books in the past 🙂 Almost always, they are returned with greasy oil stains and tattered covers(and sometimes without cover) and sometimes they are not returned at all, and eventually, I forget abt that book!

    I am going to issue a fine hereafter! 😀 *Try that!*

  7. I got a big collection of fiction… But whenever anyone lays his/her greedy eyes upon them, I get alarmed and tell that they belong to my dad…

    Even if they press, I give only one book at a time….. Next book will be given on return of the first (in good condition)

  8. well…..i’ve learn’t my lesson….i simply don’t lend my books…..i tell everyone….that they are welcome to my place every single day…they can sit and read…..i’ll even make a nice hot cuppa but i love my babies uh books too much to let them out of my sight…..see…i’m obsessed the problem is not you the borrower…but me the lender….trust me it works 😉

  9. you can call them book snatchers…they will ask you for ur valuable possession and later will never return them…

    ‘It better to give the book than lending because you will get it back even you do the latter’…


  10. So very true!
    This is the case with anything I suppose…I lend patterns and drawings which ne’er comes back to me and some of my books too got ‘kidnapped’. I feel bereaved:(

    Nice Post!

  11. @ pawan : Oh yes, DVDs too! Incidentally, we don’t have that big a DVD collection! Still they have been kidnapped too! Agree, wish all took care of your books the way you’d do…


    @ Shahid Mukadam : Bad scene for you too! 😀

    Ah, wish they get the hint 😉

    @ Chatterbox : Hi Chatterbox! Good to see you here!!

    Ah…searching the whole place for the book!! Gosh…that’s a BIG pain! 🙁

    Thank you! 🙂

    Cheers 🙂

  12. @ evanescentthoughts : I guess, the solution is in saying “NO!”

    Thanks 🙂

    @ vEnKy : Damn funny, but true… 😀

    @ lostworld : I agree…:)

    This thought was on my mind for a long time, but you mentioning the same as your agenda for the month, pushed me to put it in words and thus this post was born!

    I know, it is too tough a task…for 2 people I have followed up for my books for 4 and 6 months respectively!! :O

  13. @ Lakshmi Rajan : Lost Books!! Such painful words!!

    Hope the SMSs does the trick and your books are back on your shelf! 🙂

    @ Phoenixritu : Oh, I have lots of e-books, but don’t like reading them much. It’s not the same as reading from a book.

    That’s a cool idea…but for that I’ll have to get e-books for all the books which are there in my mini library! 😀

  14. @ Shruti: Shakespeare!! Oh…:(

    I have lost a Harry Potter and 2 Cookery books (including a Year Book), and some fiction novels! 🙁

    That’s the best policy…NO lending business! 🙂

    Anu : Oh, sadly I know that too well! 🙁

    But I don’t forget! 😀

    Fine is a good idea and the fine should be… replace the book! 😀

  15. Oh shilpa, I have given so many books to the kidnappers myself…u know, I had to bry Fountainhead book thrice! cos, somebody took it and never returned…n one personed returned but in such a condition, that I felt like wrapping it up and gift him back on his birthday! this is just one of the stories…I now never disclose only what all books I have…trust me, bolenge hi nai, to kisi ko pata hi nai chalega na..n no question of demanding/asking back 🙂

  16. @ Saurabh : I like that…a big collection of fiction!! Dont worry, I am not going to lay my greedy eyes on them!! 😀

    One at a time….Hmmm…good thought! 🙂

    @ aashi : That means you have mastered the art of saying NO!!

    Cool…I’ll try it…next time…hopefully! 🙂

  17. Oh Shilpa,not only the lending part but also that it disturbs the careful arrangement of the books,irks me a lot.The Sheldon in my book rack is not very comfortable with Archer once Ayn Rand leaves.

    I never say no but again never hesitate to ask back…as a rule i never ask books from others

    Nice post Shilpa….its like ghayal ki gati ghayal he jaane.

  18. I cant even start listing books that I have lost by lending them to people. Plus the books I left behind when I moved from home.

    Huge Loss !

    However, we used borrow books a lot when in school, and be good at returning them too ! That was a good way of increasing your book-reading.

  19. @ Roshmi Sinha : Great achievement, I must say!! 🙂

    I will master it soon too!! 😀

    @ Reema : Hmm…strict instructions…I’ll practice giving them! 😀

    @ pra : I know and I can understand! *Sigh*

  20. @ Neha : Fountainhead….THRICE!!! Amazingly sad! 🙁

    I know, that’s a good strategy too…don’t disclose!! 😀

    @ Miss-Nobody : That’s nothing and it’s my pleasure, girlie 🙂

    @ Reema : Thanks a ton, Reema!! I am touched and honored!! 🙂

  21. @ kavita : Ha Ha, that’s a good one. Liked your expression! …Sheldon in my book rack is not very comfortable with Archer once Ayn Rand leaves!!! 🙂 🙂

    Same here…Dont say No, and dont hesitate in asking back too…but still it takes ages to come back to me!! 🙁

    Thanks…I know, very rightly said!

    @ Miss-Nobody : Thank you sooooooo much, Sweta!! 🙂

  22. @ avdi : Hi!! So good to see you here! 🙂

    Agree completely, I mean one can’t buy all good books, so you pick from here and there to read them, but they should be returned back to the rightful owner on time!

    Alas, that rarely happens! 🙁

    @ Whats In A Name : Ahhh…the first culprit here!! 😀

    That’s like a good boy… “No dog ears, no tears and return back too!”

    **Said with a stern voice** (I am practicing…:P)

  23. Oh yes! Once you lend the are just lending a part of yourself.

    And the worst feeling is when you are shifting and there is no way you can carry the book. When I was moving here…I had to let go all my collections because of lack of space and weight issues. Even though I have given it to my frnd but I doubt it will be in the same condition when I will be back!

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