Today Jarad is sharing his thoughts on losing books. When's the last time you lost a book?
I recently lost a book. I don’t know if this happens to other people, but my particular brand of absent-mindedness means that I often set things down with reckless abandon and then promptly forget about them. I put my mom’s keys down on my desk and when she asked me where they were at, I had no idea. We spent 30 minutes tearing the house apart, but we both eventually located it.
Keys, glasses, articles of clothing, my phone, all of these I’m used to losing. But a book? No. I never lose books; I go out of my way to avoid that. So, it’s back to tearing the house apart, throwing open closet doors, rustling through bags, purses, totes from school. I even looked in the sock drawer (You might not do that, but I once found my sinus medication in the freezer, so it’s best to check every nook and cranny). Perhaps, I thought, I’ve left it outside. I checked under the apple trees, under the patio, and was tempted to check the crawl space under the house, but there are spiders down there. No thank you, but I will check the apple trees once more. Is it in my mom’s car? No. My makeup bag? No. Did I put it on the shelves by accident? Nope. The laundry basket? It had a book in it, but not the right one.
I sat down in frustration. The book is 500 pages long and has a bright blue cover; in other words, not bloody hard to find. And yet it eludes me still. In between frantic days full of plants and gardening, my mind keeps wandering back to the book I really wanted to read. Perhaps the book gods didn’t want me to read Virginia Woolf (sexist asses, the lot of them), but if that’s the case, you’d think they’d give proper notice instead of whisking it away without a word.
I wonder how many people lose books every year. Do they leave it in a coffee shop, the subway, a plane? I wonder what they were reading and if they repurchased the book to finish the story, or if they simply forgot about it, and moved onto something else. Does someone find the book, and do they read it? What about the books that no one finds? If there’s a book on a subway, for example, does it travel from seat to seat for a couple of months before it gets tossed away? These are the questions that I think about, and whilst I’ve been thinking about these things, I’ve forgotten that I was looking for the book itself. Oh well, it’ll show up soon enough. Have you ever lost a book, and did you find it? I’m holding out hope, but it seems to have eternally disappeared into the ether.
Note from Julie: I once put the TV remote in the refrigerator. The family reaction was divided between severe annoyance and whispered conversations about my mental state.
Note from Uncle Morty: Books have a mind of their own. I have both lost books and discovered them in odd places. I always read them as I believe they are a message from the universe. Perhaps someone else needed your book, perhaps you need to want it more before the universe will deliver it into your hands. At any rate, the book has set sail! Bon voyage to it. May it find its way into someone’s heart and mind.
P.S The general rule is you will find it by purchasing another. Then you must send the first book out into the world by giving it away.
Jarad is the co-administrator and writer for Sacred Chickens, attends college at MTSU, loves tea and coffee, and tries to spend every spare second reading. He recently developed an interest (some might say obsession) with gardening. Jarad is an English major with a concentration in literature. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!