How do you ask someone to return a book you lent them literally years ago? Without making them feel awkward, especially if they haven’t read it yet? And if the reason you want it back is only because you don’t want to lose it, you just want to refill that gap in your shelf? Asking for a friend.
Maggie Davies said:
Eeek. It wasn’t me, was it, Edward?
No, my friend tells me that you’re blameless here. We’re talking plural lendees.
I have been known to rebuy the book for myself. I can’t bear to look at that gap!
I think you can’t. Tell your friend to write it off to experience. We are smarting because we (ie he) lent a gazebo that we had only used once and we (ie he) couldn’t remember to whom and it has never been returned, poignant this summer with the garden gatherings and sun protection needed. We bought another that will never be lent.
Years ago I lent my second favourite book with the original illustrations and the borrower denied having it. I bought a replacement and it was signed by the author.
Crystallised Ginger said:
I remember every single book I’ve lent that I didn’t get back, especially a brand new Philip Roth I loaned on the clear understanding that it was a INTERIM LEND while I finished a book club book. OTOH, I seem to have quite a lot of books hanging round of which I have a vague memory of people pressing them on me saying “You really have to read this.” Friends, I don’t remember what you gave me or if you wanted your book back. The moral is: buy on Kindle. [Christine]
Tanya van Hasselt said:
A social problems agony auntie might advise you to enlist a mutual friend X who should ring the offending hoarder Y apologising that they still haven’t returned a book lent to them by Y – ‘I know how annoying it is when books disappear!’ Y will then protest that they didn’t lend that particular book to X. The way is then open for a joking confession time between them about the shameful number of books lingering forgotten on their TBR shelves that need to be returned to rightful owners. Memory and conscience are in this way awakened and should prompt Y into action.
Maggie Davies said:
Years ago, when I was hard-up, I lent a hard cover biography to a friend (don’t see much of her these days, I wonder why…?) and received it back with an apology that the children had got hold of it. The cover was in tatters. Some of the pages ripped.
That lady was much better off than I was. Why the hell didn’t she simply replace the thing?
As they say in the more northerly regions: nowt so queer as folk.