Go to Making Light's front page.
Forward to next post: Open thread 134
Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)
All right, who did we loan our Firefly DVD set to? And can we get it back?
Feel free to use the thread to recall other strayed books, records, DVDs, and similar media.
I have little hope of recovering the half of my vinyl Beatles collection which disappeared during several moves 25 years ago, but hey! If you used to work for Mayflower or Bekins and handled my household goods once, I'll take 'em back, no questions asked!
The guy who dropped one of my Bose 501 speakers and smashed the woofer and the cabinet? You, you should be drawn and quartered.
My VHS copy of the Giorgio Moroder version of Metropolis.
OK. Fine. It was an illegal dupe from the videodisk. But it still major sucks to have lost it. (If there was a DVD version I'd buy it.)
My copy of Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, to a cow-orker.
My copy of Schizmatrix, to another cow-orker.
Looking at our DVD shelf the other day, neither my wife nor I can remember how many seasons of House we own. They keep passing around our friends too often. At least I can take solace in knowing all our (new) Doctor Who is currently on the shelf. We have also considered purchasing extra copies of Firefly (the collected TV series), just to give to friends.
My first edition of Neal Stephenson's The Big U.
My first edition of Samuel R. Delany's The Tides Of Lust.
I'd settle for the monetary value.
Richard @3 - When I moved in with my fiancee, we discovered that we had several DVDs in common (Firefly, Pi, Buckaroo Banzai...). It's become our unspoken policy to only loan out the duplicates.
My copy of Patricia Wrede's Book of Enchantments, hardcover, autographed. Loaned to someone in one of my social circles who wanted to try out the "Quick After-Battle Chocolate Cake" recipe.
Also loaned to someone(s): Scholastic paperbacks of Shirley Jackson's Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons. The former I would have bought from SBS in early grade school, the latter from a weird used-book store while I was doing my Ph.D.
My copies of Tom Lips' CDs. At least these are relatively easy to replace, since Tom lives in Ottawa and still has lots of them to sell. But for all that I like to support my favourite artists, this is not a time when I want to be forking out extra cash just because I was wrong to trust one of my friends with some of my stuff.
On the off chance that I lent it out to someone, I'd like my copy of the Tundra Press The Complete Bojeffries Saga back. Haven't seen it in over a decade. I fear the book midden ate it, or perhaps it spontaneously decomposed into fundamental particles.
Somehow I am unable to read this thread without my brain bouncing along to the Aquabats.
Meanwhile, if anyone comes across my complete DVD set of Monty Python episodes, it would be nice to have them back.
If I lent someone my From Evening to Evening in Gregorian Chant CD, instead of (as I actually think) leaving it in my desk in One World Trade Center on September 10, 2001, I'd like it back.
Actually I'd like it back anyway, but I'm not going to get it.
Is that "recall" as in get it back?
Or just "recall" as in remember?
If the person who borrowed my Lost Boys soundtrack in high school happens to wander through here, I still want it back...
(Though losing it is at least half my fault: I loaned it out while not wearing my glasses, and was ever afterwards embarrassed to admit that I couldn't remember which of two girls I'd loaned it two. And thus, fearful of asking the wrong person for it back, never asked either of them.)
(Stupid uncorrected vision issues.)
My copy of "With the Beatles", a present from a great aunt who lived next door to George Harrison's mother...
My sister's family still has my (pre-Newbery medal) copy of The Graveyard Book. On the other hand, they're still reading it -- they brought it with them on our train trip with weekend. And like a doofus, I just lent them another book. :-) (When I finished Zoe's Tale, I handed it right across the aisle to my nephew.)
Some of the items that I know I used to own and have no idea where they are now:
G.R.R. Martin's _Fevre Dream_.
Skipp & Spector's _The Light At The End_.
My 1st ed. hardcovers of Andrew Vachss' _Flood_ and _Strega_ (I still have the dustjackets).
David Drake's _From The Heart of Darkness_, _Lacey and His Friends_, and _Vettius and His Friends_.
The softcover "Reader's Copy" of the Hill House edition of Gaiman's _American Gods_ (I still have the hardcover.)
(insert Blade Runner lost like tears in rain speech here)
I seem to be missing a first edition Ben-Hur with a missing line on page 126.
Also Kushner's Swordspoint in the Mapback edition.
When I had almost everything moved out, the laminate put in, and almost everything moved back in, all the box numbers matched. It was more than a year later that I realized I'd lost a lot of YA SFF books.
I know who I lent it to, they lost it, and I have replaced it, but.. I really want MY copy back;
I'm bad enough with my stuff that I don't borrow stuff from other people generally, and when I do I'm extra careful, but I don't even know how much I've lent out, never to see it again. Dozens of books, at least. Only the one above bothers me, though.
When I was in high school, I found a "Joy of Sex"-type manual hidden at the back of a bookshelf at home and promptly brought it to class to show to the other kids.
One of the girls asked to borrow it for a couple of days and I [stupidly] agreed. When I asked for it back she denied all knowledge of the book.
Two months later she mysteriously disappeared from class and we were told she was ill. Turned out she was pregnant. I often wondered how much inspiration the book provided, and I still want it back.
The relativity book from my physics class, lent out, with my phone number written in, and a note that I wanted it back, so don't sell it ....
Other evil high school classmate, I'd rather you lost the book than give it back to me with dogear creases every 10 pages.
Recently I noticed that my copy of Tau Zero was missing. And there doesn't seem to be a DVD of the Peter Jackson The Two Towers in the house for some reason; we think there's supposed to be.
Pendrift @ #18, accessory before the fact, perhaps?
"There is a place where everything that's ever been lost can be found again. A place where lost hopes, lost dreams, lost chances wait for someone to reclaim them. But before you can find them, first you must become lost...in the Twilight Zone."
- from Wong's Lost & Found Emporium
I wonder if that's where my original copy of First Men in the Moon's DVD wound up.
the second book of aristotle's poetics.
When I broke with my family many years ago I left my books behind. Those included a 90% complete set of Astounding / Analog from 1949 through 1964 and a copy of the 1946 hardcover Arkham House collection of Robert E. Howard's stories, "Skull-Face and Others". Every once in awhile I think about how the value of those might have helped make up for the effect on my retirement of the last two bubbles.
Just to demonstrate the fundamental balance of the universe, here are some things in my house that I have lost touch with the owner of, and will probably never return:
"Kris Kringle's Christmas Candy Cookbook"
Something or other by Jonathan Winters
DVDs of Sin City (legal) and Paranoia Agent (illegal)
I'm pretty sure kid bitzer wins this thread.
I'm seriously contemplating getting a couple of extra copies of Firefly, simply for signal-boosting purposes.
I lent Lesbian/Woman, by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, to a friend who never returned it and then moved without sending me her new address. Perhaps I should say "former friend", or "friend, suspended".
I lent The First Circle to a classmate who was then out sick for months, and forgot to get it back from her before I moved on.
And, while everyone is looking for these books, might I add a special plea for two sweaters my mother knitted? My brother lost the reindeer sweater out of his elementary school cloakroom, and there's a brown vest that disappeared somewhere.
My Dad's Gor novels are better off lost, though.
Would the friend who loaned me The Lord of the Rings trilogy back in 7th grade like it back now? Or would you prefer (instead of the well-read originals) new versions? kthxbai!
The 1940's era pattern drafting manual that belonged to my grandmother and which I lent to a high school friend. She denied having it. She also denied having the Epilady I'd lent to her, but it's the book that I could never replace and miss even more now that my grandmother has passed on.
Would the former-friend-of-a-friend who borrowed my (music) keyboard and then left town please return same?
Light Science and Magic -- Lent to friends who have decamped for Portland.
I'd mention a couple of books my sister has, but I have a couple of hers too.
Don Pedro: Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.
Beatrice: Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one: marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.
I seem to be missing a first edition Ben-Hur with a missing line on page 126.
I don't think that line works without a fedora, and a bottle of rye in your pocket.
Somebody borrowed a bunch of comics from me a while back. I recall a bunch of Denny O'Neil Questions, DC's Wasteland, Mark Evanier Crossfire, and a few other things.
I'm sure they've been lost in at least two moves of the lendee.
(And people wonder why I got into the e-book business...)
Mark @15, if I take off my glasses, can we pull the shades and talk about it?
Meanwhile, my old college roommate really should be done reading Rubyfruit Jungle by now.
I have a copy of a book that was lent to me nearly a decade ago. I will return it promptly upon seeing said friend at my house— I haven't had a visit in that long. (We did meet at a wedding of a mutual friend a few years back, but I hadn't thought to bring her book along.)
Oh, well, she's been busy getting her masters and doctorate in English. It's hard to visit when you're in the midst of that.
My paperback Complete Works of Lewis Carroll.
I would also really like to know what happened to my Illuminatus! trilogy. I don't remember loaning it out.
I can't really call back my 2nd Edition AD&D manuals, even though I had the Deities and Demigods with the Melnibonean and Lankhmar sections, because I gave them away fair and square, but I sorta miss them now. I wouldn't have gone seeking out Michael Moorcock or Fritz Leiber if it hadn't been for them.
"Nelson, we're talking about nuclear detonators here. You don't just 'lose' them and then 'find' them again. You lose your comb and then find it, but not nuclear detonators. I want to know when and where they were found. You get my drift?"
- 1981's Outland
The signed first UK paperback edition of Barryar could come back to me any time it liked.
I'm the one who tracked down the sister-in-law of the wife of the guy who lent us that travel book once, specifically to hand it off at a cafe, after all. The universe does owe me something.
I still miss my LP of Die Frau Ohne Schatten, bought in London, brought home to California with great reverence and rejoicing, lent out to another opera fan a few weeks later, and never ever seen again. Since 1984.
I was deeply, deeply tempted to keep my vocal score of Kuljeric(?)'s Croatian Mass, in which I'd scrawled scads of messy notes on interpretation. Alas, I had to return it to the choir library.
My paperback copy of The Three Musketeers, in the translation that Steve Brust liked so much and Tor reissued. Lent to help support a display in a dealer's room some years back.
My copy of The Standard Formulary, a book of recipes for pharmacists from the 1920s, last remembered being seen at a pre-hiatus Fourth Street Fantasy Convention, probably 1994. It may have made it home, but it's done a good disappearing act, if so.
More than 20 years after the fact, a high-school friend returned (through mutual friends) two Doc Smith books that had been inscribed to my mother (who had died in the interim). It helps to have the name in the books, dunnit!
After we moved in May it took awhile to get everything straight, but we eventually managed it -- and we discovered that my copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (U.S. edition, hardcover) is missing. It's the only book that went astray, and I don't remember seeing it when we were packing, so I think I may have loaned it to someone and never got it back...
Larry Brennan @ 5: We keep a duplicate set of the Vorkosigan books for lending purposes.
We keep meaning to make a list of the rest of the duplicates produced when we joined our book collections and offer same to family and friends by e-mail (as opposed to the present method of offering visiting friends & relatives a chance to rumage through the duplicates box and take any they want).
Loan oft loses both itself and friend, sure enough.
There's a great poem by (I think) Michael Rosen about a visit to the place where all your lost stuff goes, but I can't find it right now. (Ha!)
ajay @47: is it Red Ted and the Lost Things?
48: no, it's not that one. The narrator goes to this enormous building in which an elderly couple open a cupboard containing all the things he's ever lost in his life. It's rather melancholy and not really a kids' poem. ISTR it was in a book illustrated by Quentin Blake. Not even sure it's by Rosen, to be honest.
My copies of Ron Edward's Sorcerer and Sorcerer's Soul.
I thought my F-I-L had them, but he's just tidied his house, nothing...
I'm okay on books ... but I want my McElwaine t-shirt back, still. (Some of the other things I want back involve me going back in time and saying "Hey - don't do that" to myself at a certain point, which is different.)
My Complete Works of Shakespeare. I'd had this since 1971, but noticed recently that it was missing.
I grew up in a family with no sense of personal ownership of books. The idea of expecting the same book back when I loan one out is still a bit foreign to me.
I must have bought half-a-dozen copies of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in college.
Citizen of the Galaxy. Failing someone giving my copy back, I'd happily buy another copy, but not of the current version which has everything wrong with it -- stupid size and horrible cover.
Too funny... I **just** ransomed my Firefly DVD set back from my niece in exchange for a knitted Jayne Cobb hat.
55: she's taken that series far too much to heart. You're lucky she didn't just say "Auntie Diana, I never like giving away DVDs when I don't have to" and shoot you.
Steve Burnett @14 - I have a copy of Fevre Dream that I'm not too fussed about any more. You can probably get it for a penny on ebay, but hey, you can have mine if you like.
Peter F. - two books that I would like to see again are Ted Chiang's "Stories of Your Life & Others", and my copy of Hanegraaff & Bouthoorn's "Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447-1500): The Hermetic Writings and Related Documents". Academic study doesn't work out for everyone, but good books are sorely missed.
Jenny & Adam - did I give you back your Firefly DVD set? I think I did... but let me know if it's missing, ok?
Jo @54. I suppose there's not much chance you'll get your copy back. I have a copy of the US mass market paperback (3/91 14th printing of the 7/78 Ballentine edition) with this this cover that I'd be pleased to pass on to you to fill that gaping hole on your Heinlein shelf.
Every copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that I've ever owned has walked off. Four or five of them now, I think. I wouldn't mind having one of them back -- I'm not even picky which one!
The copy of the Illuminatus! trilogy I forgot in Japan can stay there, though. Call it a gesture of international goodwill. (Or maybe Rikibeth might want it? I'm pretty sure I remember where I left it.)
Someone still has my hardback book-club edition of Villains by Necessity, a clever little thing that's out of print and that I think of often. Somewhere in a series of moves it's run missing. Odds are also good that I won't ever get my copy of the Xenogears strategy guide returned to me, so I bought another one a while back.
Often I wish I had my original paperback copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the one that matches the parchment covers of rest of my series and was purchased from one of those Scholastic newsletter papers in middle school. Prior to owning my own set, I had borrowed my sister's copies. This was long before someone got the warped idea to rearrange the order of the books. But years ago I gave that copy to a boy for whom I carried a long-burning torch, though I doubt he read it and he never asked me out. Now in exchange for my youthful foolishness I have a misnumbered and mismatched LWW. Woe.
Margo Lanagan's Black Juice. I didn't loan it out. It just sort of disappeared.
My best explanation is that it fell out of my jacket during a weekend trip to NYC a couple years ago. That was the last time I saw the book. Then again, my copy of Glorifying Terrorism mysteriously reappeared last year, so I remain hopeful that maybe I just misplaced Black Juice.
I've more or less lost hope for my book of children's games (loaned out to a co-actor at the renaissance faire years ago and lost in her possession) and my inscribed-to-me copy of Unicorns in the Rain with a "merry [something] day of Christmas, [1990-or-so]" from my mother written in the front cover, as I couldn't convince the girls I lent it to that it wasn't the already returned copy of Beauty they were looking for. I might wish that the replacement copy I bought sight unseen off the internet did not smell quite so strongly of cigarettes, though...
But the one that irks me particularly is that somewhere there exists a box of books that I packed up when I hadn't shelf space for them and promptly lost. I know it contains my copies of The Merlin Conspiracy and Harry Potter 4, but what else is in there and where on earth it is I'd dearly like to know.
I'm pretty sure my brother has my Rupert the Bear 1968 & 1969 Annuals, but if any of you have seen them, I'd be glad to get them back.
In correspondence with an author, I told him that I had loaned my copy of his book so often that I had lost track of it. (Do authors appreciate that, or do they see it as lost sales?)
He promptly offered to send me a replacement. I was too embarassed to accept. It was all for the best: I found my copy in a box a few years later.
The fantasy novels I lent to a friend on Long Island after I moved away. I recovered some of them but had to replace others.
The copies of The Secret Country, The Hidden Land and various filk tapes that I lent to a classmate in college at Ohio State in the 90s who I subsequently lost track of.
The video cassette containing a variety of early Nickelodeon shows (The Third Eye, Into the Labyrinth and the complete The Witches and the Grinnygog) that I idiotically lent to someone on the internet, who never returned it.
I've since acquired duplicates of all of this, but still, it's the principle of the thing.
L. Baird @60: Often I wish I had my original paperback copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the one that matches the parchment covers of rest of my series and was purchased from one of those Scholastic newsletter papers in middle school.
I wish I still had my family's original set of the Chronicles of Narnia (the second Puffin paperback set from 1974), which was handed down from sibling to sibling. We each wrote our names on the books when it was our turn. Prince Caspian disappeared at one point, then when I went home one summer from university, the whole set was nowhere to be found.
Other things I want back:
The old high school US history textbook that I lent to a sophomore, for the memories. Our high school curriculum was drawn up during the last years of the US Commonwealth (1945-1946) and remained unchanged until the early 1990s. As a result, I studied the same textbooks my siblings had used over a decade earlier*, and I had my own copy of the 1964 economics textbook and the world history textbook from the 1970s that could no longer be found in bookstores. US History was the one that gave me nightmares, though, because we had to memorize all state capitals for the third quarter exam.
A clipping from the movies page with the poster of the film version of "A Handmaid's Tale", starring Elizabeth McGovern and Faye Dunaway, but retitled "SLAVE GIRLS" for the local market.
*age gap of 9 to 17 years, depending on sibling.
Oh, splendid. That's like those film trailers that are remixed to show "The Shining" as a heartwarming family comedy.
Zoe @57: That is nice of you to offer, and I would like to accept. Would you send me an email (on my website in my name link) whenever you have time and we can figure out how it gets here, and if I have anything here you'd like? No rush: I have, as I imagine we all do, towering stacks of to-reads. Thank you very much!
My copy of Gatherer of Clouds that I lent back in the early 90s. I even know who I lent it to but haven't seen him since. The Kingdom of Summer I loaned out in the early 80s. I think the same person has some of the books of the Mary Stewart Arthurian series, but it could be someone else. Not sure why I've continued to haul around the remaining books in the intervening decades (and I've moved a lot) but I did. Hope springs eternal, I suppose.
Jo -- if you'd rather have the Ace edition of Citizen of the Galaxy, I'm pretty sure I've got a spare in one of my boxes. I could bring it to 4th Street for you, if you're coming.
A really nice pale blue/orange tonic Ben Sherman shirt, with the sewn back pleat and a proper button down collar (with button in the back). I took it off to change into a protest t-shirt for the 2000 national student demo and left it in the care of our then student union vice president for education and welfare. Never seen again.
I've acquired a replacement, but went for some time in pre-Internet days missing the copy of Star Well I loaned to my brother. The part I never understood (though I suppose I'm grateful) is that he never borrowed the others. How could you read one Villiers book and not want to read the others?
In high school in the early 1970s, I took in about 30-40 SFF paperbacks of my own to be part of a classroom lending library for a 6-week unit on science fiction. About 6 went missing, but since I hadn't taken anything with personal meaning, and I had the fun of roaming used bookstores looking for replacements with purchase funded by the teacher, I'll consider that one a fair trade.
And if I knew how to find my piano teacher from New Orleans in the early 80s, I'd return the book of easy classics she loaned me.
Deadwood DVDs, please come home--all is forgiven.
2nd season of Buffy DVDs
2nd season of Robin of Sherwood DVDs
We're so far behind (several years) in shelving and organizing our books that it's hard to tell which books might be missing and which may be sitting in a box waiting to be rediscovered.
There was also the housemate who seemed to feel that if she took a book of ours and put it on her own shelf in her own room, it somehow magically became "my own copy". (Are there "squatters' rights" for books? Some people seem to think so.)
And Teresa may remember, way back when, that Hilde and I would frequently host open parties for the local fan circle. We eventually stopped doing the open parties, after noticing one too many times that after a party there would be a new gap on the bookshelves that wasn't there before.
#36: Oh, and when I said "somebody borrowed a bunch of comics from me a while back", I meant somebody reading this thread. :)
I'm starting to think that there's a real market for friend-lend repo workers.
Nick O'Donohoe's Crossroads trilogy, lent to one of my partner's daughter's schoolmates who promptly lost them (or said she had). I have managed to replace The Healing of Crossroads, but am still missing The Magic and the Healing and Under the Healing Sign. *sigh* At least they weren't autographed.
Over the years, I've been about as bad with not returning things lent to me as not getting things back that I've lent to other people, so I can't really complain. I do sometimes wonder if that friend of a guy I went out with a few times, who I'd never met before and never saw again, pressed that Toad the Wet Sprocket CD on me as a way of getting it out of the house by giving it to someone who'd enjoy it.
I follow Polonius's advice and be neither a borrower nor a lender. I don't borrow, because I know I suck at returning. Attempts to loan me things are met with, "If you insist on lending this, you should consider it as given to me. The only way you'll get it back is if you happen to come over and remember to reclaim it."
I don't lend things, because I assume everyone else is just like me. At the very least, I won't remember to ask for things to be returned, so I would be depending on other people to be conscientious. That ain't gonna happen when dealing with humans.
That said, my CD of the soundtrack to Henry V keeps disappearing. I have to re-purchase that every couple of years, even though I don't lend it to anyone.
My grandmother borrowed my copy of The Blue Crown about 25 years ago.
I still have her copies of Mutiny on Board the Bounty, Moby Dick, and A Distant Mirror. I only wish she was here so I could return them.
I think the Borrowers in my house took my Brain in a Box CDs (but I still have the cool holographic box).
I got back my copy of Wizard of Earthsea ten years after leaving it at my grandmother's house.
My signed copy of Tim Powers' The drawing of the dark which I have no recollection of loaning out to anyone, volume 4 of Elfquest ditto, and the wife's first edition of Good Omens (rarer than most because it's unsigned by either Terry or Neil).
I want the copy of Pope's Iliad with the Greek on the facing pages that I left on a Greyhound bus somewhere between Northfield, Minnesota and Omaha, Nebraska. It never made it to a lost-and-found, and believe me, I called the lot of them. It was a library book and cost me a bundle, but more than that, I wasn't done with it.
My O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack and 1st edition, signed copy of Pat Conroy's My Losing Season, loaned to a former co-worker who frankly was a bit of a wanker.
Also my hardcover copy of Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Although I think that one went to the Friends of the Library sale accidently.
Fragano @ 52:
Nobody wants to borrow my complete Shakespeare: it's a single Folio volume, and you'd need a handtruck to get it out of the house without getting a hernia.
OtterB @ 72:
Which reminds me that the last time I looked I could only find "The Thurb Revolution"; the other two books have gone missing sometime in the last 35 years, 6 moves, and 4 states or so. And I've lost the link to the alternate universe in which "The Universal Pantograph" was published.
Someone somewhere has a book my grandather gave my parents, or was it my parents gave my grandparents, with such an inscription on the inside cover, which I'd like to read.
Unfortunately I've forgotten the book title and author. And everyone else who might know is dead.
So I think its a lost cause.
After a foul experience in college (dorm neighbor borrowed all my ":All things great and small" Herriott books plus a couple others and left town with them) and shortly after (someone borrowed the first volume of Nine Princes in Amber and it came back looking like someone sanded the covers), I pretty much quit loaning out my books.
I did recover some copies of my books from my Mom's last week. And an article for a Junior Achievement magazine that I forgot I wrote in high school. (Plus some crappy poetry in my HS literary magazine.)
heresiarch @76 I'm starting to think that there's a real market for friend-lend repo workers.
I've been reading the Retrieval Artist books (somehow missed them before now) and I'm imagining an alien species for whom failing to return a borrowed book is a capital offense. Of course, then the convicted offender Disappears with all of his/her borrowed books, so this is not a good thing.
Your solution is probably better. But now I'm picturing some small, stocky Fay with a bad Italian accent showing up to offer that you can return the book and keep your kneecaps.
OtterB @ 87... failing to return a borrowed book is a capital offense
May I recommend Stephen King's The Library Police?
I started keeping a note of who had what books a few years ago. I'd managed to lose a couple before then, although not ones that I couldn't replace.
Does anyone else have the desire to hoard books and own their own library, yet doesn't really feel it right to have so many books sitting doing nothing? So I lend them out to people I know, although not on a huge scale, and it lets me think I am doing some good. But obviously I don't want to lend too many too often, because then they'll get worn out or damaged or lost.
Bruce- library police, great. Where do I sign up?
Every copy of my spouse's books get stolen from the NYPL. I was informed of this from the very top.
We donate, but there's only so many copies one can donate.
I really wish the users who appropriated Cuba and Its Music (2004), The World That Made New Orleans (2008) and The Year Before the Flood (2009) would return them. The NYPL circulating branches just don't have much money for books any longer.
OTOH, we get reports all the time from book sellers of people coming in every day to their stores to read a chapter or two a day of the books. That the books matter so much matters more.
Serge @88 May I recommend Stephen King's The Library Police?
Oh dear. Stephen King is on my list of "people whose writing does an excellent job of making me feel ways I don't want to feel." I greatly enjoyed On Writing but don't read his fiction any more. For this I may have to make an exception, though.
As long as we're upping the stakes here, I sure wish somebody would return the Library of Alexandria that I loaned out, along with the complete works of Archilochus and Sappho.
I tend to lose books both by loaning them out to friends or moving; I don't have a top-of-mind list. Dredging my memory, I think the only book I have ever failed to return is a copy of Neveryon about 16 years ago which I still need to get back to my brother.
On the other hand, I'm worse with CDs: I have two Rap Replinger CDs (great Hawaiian comic) and the 'Secret Museum of Mankind' volume of Central Asian music, which I haven't returned to their respective owners because I've been too embarrassed about how long I've had them. I just might take advantage of the amnesty announcement to take care of that. And while I'm returning those, I would sure like to know what happened to the CD I so painstakingly recorded from my Orthotonics 'Luminous Bipeds' LP, because I really don't want to have to re-record it.
Clifton Royston @ 93: I would sure like to know what happened to the CD I so painstakingly recorded from my Orthotonics 'Luminous Bipeds' LP
Wake up you must remember.
Not lent out, but mislaid: either copy of the video cassette of my father's old home movies. I'd like to borrow one of them long enough to get it transferred to DVD ... with several additional copies. (I still have three of the film reels, but the fourth one, the longest and the only one in color, is now at the Air&Space Museum: a minute or so of the Flying Wing leaving Northrop Field for Edwards.)
Tim: The land of calamity, it has no horizon.
Wish I had that album in any form.
Pendrift, #18, I once had friends who were at the airport and had an international flight. They called me because one of them forgot their passport and I had the extra key to their house. They told me exactly where it was and when they got back, I teased them about hiding Joy of Sex in a hamper along with the passport.
Ibid, #66, when I was a minor, I thought I had to obey my parents and they made me go to the same religious school where they'd gone. The only class I couldn't comp out of was religion, because it was religion. I not only had the same professor my mother had, but he used the same book and emphasized the same things she left notes about in the book. Nothing like the same class 22 years later!
A positive note: more than a decade ago we had a guy chatting with us regularly on the SFF forum on OMNI on AOL. I mentioned that I had a copy of OSC's A Planet Called Treason and he said he really wanted to read it. I loaned it to him and soon he just sort of disappeared. I wasn't worried a lot, the book was rewritten, and I didn't think it was that good a book. A few years later, it came back in the mail, and Chris had had it signed by OSC, who noted that Chris had stood in line in the rain for three hours to get it signed. I'm not sure that's accurate, but it was interesting to get it back.
Oh. Uh. I was just looking at a copy of The Year Before the Flood at the bookstore today. The Barnes and Noble here in Metairie has it displayed prominently. I am trying not to read anything depressing at the moment though, as my post-partum depression has combined with winter sadness and political malaise to send me into a downward spiral. Now I feel like I should go back and get a copy to have on hand when I'm feeling a bit more up to it.
Come to think of it, I do have something to add - the video cassette of my own performance in Harry Chapin's Cotton Patch Gospel I loaned my dad lo these twenty years ago. It's got to be in his house somewhere. (How convenient I'm talking to him again now.)
I learned banjo in five weeks from a standing start to do that play, and it came out great (our fiddler had only played classical violin, and our bass player had never tried a fretless bass... and they say engineers can't do art).
I'd like the drawing I made of the Three Pigs' House, which my parents probably threw out when we moved in 1960. My hopes were briefly raised last fall when my mother pulled out of their attic several other drawings I'd made as a preschooler, but this oversize masterpiece was not among them.
An addendum thanks to following a discussion elsewhere and deciding to double-check the shelves: I bought Stephan Zielinski's _Bad Magic_ when it came out, thanks to mentions of it here on ML (search: Open Thread 32 in 2004). It's not here on my shelves any more and its departure isn't noted on my loan-out list. What really annoys me is I've seen it on used bookstore shelves in the last quarter and thought "Good book, but I have it and don't need to buy this copy" but was apparently wrong. Arrggghhh...
I had a friend a year behind me in high school. When he went off to college, he wound up needing the very same Physics 101 textbook that I had just finished with in my own Intro course. So I loaned him my copy.
Lost track of the guy. Life goes on.
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS LATER, my copy of "Halliday and Resnick" showed up in the mail, with a note of apology and a Barnes & Noble gift card.
Missing: a copy of War for the Oaks (the new trade paper, we don't loan the first edition), inscribed "To Shweta's friends: I'm sure you are all wonderful people and would never *think* of walking off without returning this book, right? -- Emma Bull".
Does the thread amnesty work if the borrower rather than the lender posts? I have just unearthed a CD of Hindemith's Kleine Kammermusik that I borrowed at least five years ago...
I don't usually have a problem with getting things I loaned out back (although it often takes time), but I'd love to get back my father's copy of What is the Name of This Book?, especially since it seems to be the only one of Smullyan's books that's out of print.
I'd also love to return the textbook on Common Lisp I borrowed from a friend back in college, mostly because I haven't been in touch with said friend since.
On finding books once lost, Mister Bookseller (Gospodin Libar). (Warning for EClaire: it's wonderful and touching, but sad; bookmark it and come back later.)
Clifton Royston @ 96: I have the LP, but my turntable is currently tango uniform.
Since AKICIML, and in the spirit of the thread, a question of etiquette:
I recently purchased a copy of Story of Your Life and Others from Powell's that was previously the property of the Dayton Metro Library system. Am I under an obligation to find out if the book was appropiately paid for?
Scott Wyngarden @108, I'm also interested in the answer.
Many of the hardbacks I bought from a secondhand bookstore chain had a big Discarded stamp under the name of the library it once belonged to, but I assumed the libraries had been paid [a pittance] by the company who then shipped off the books to countries where they were resold*.
The same secondhand bookstore chain used to sell stripped books as well, back in the mid-90s, until publishers began printing warnings on the copyright page (which is how I found out what stripped books were).
*Discarded library books would also be put on sale once in a while in the bargain shelves of major local bookstores.
Scott @108, you don't have an obligation, but these days with online catalogs it's usually a fairly simple matter to check. But look at the barcode -- sometimes the only "discard" processing libraries do it to put a line through the barcode. I sometimes get questions about books folks have picked up at booksales that have our name in it, and it's nice to be asked.
No, no, no, no, no. The third, the third. The one with the erratum on page 116.
I'd love to see my first edition hardcover of Tim Powers' "On Stranger Tides". I let a friend borrow it, but when he and his wife divorced, he let her take all the books in the house. Including mine.
Janet @110 Thanks. The library's website doesn't reveal anything other than their patron's ability to request a copy of the book from another library system, and that such a request hasn't yet been made. The barcode is unblemished, as the book mostly is too*.
Checking into it a little bit late last night, similar copies of it are insanely priced on Amazon.
* A few dog-eared pages and some pencil.
#98 ::: EClaire
I guess you think it's depressing because you know how it turns out? [an expression of grim humor on my part, particularly today, with the catastrophe that is Haiti, and so many friends and dear ones in terrible terrible distress -- and knowing surely that many of their dear ones are severely hurt and dead.]
Though The Year Before the Flood is mostly about love, friendship, music and parties. Well, and crime. It's just how it ended ....
Addedum -- Spouse is being interviewed today re the Haitain catastrophe by several NO media.
Tim Walters @#107 and Clifton Royston @#96:
You may not need a record player anymore.
Digital Needle Implementation
That's from 2003, for a 78RPM SP album, scanner technology has gotten much better/cheaper, and computers are that much faster now so you might not need the DSP card anymore. I haven't found a more recent implementation yet, but using a scanner to copy an LP would be awesome.
Scott @113 -- Oh well -- not every library has really good public access to their catalog online. But they probably have someone you can email. If it's a big library, this sort of question should probably go to acquisitions, though pretty much any department could handle it. Just ask if this particular copy, with this barcode, was withdrawn or if they want it back.
I bought a first edition of a book by Mussolini, in Italian, that was from the library of a San Francisco Catholic college (with a nice vellum bining by a named bindery, a little gold tooling -- a good example of its style). I called them, and they said they had no record of it at all -- and that I was perfectly welcome to sell it if I wished. They seemed amused by the call.
My copy of Steal This Book is missing....
And Rikibeth, the reason you can't find where your copies of Illuminatus went is the same reason that it took me a long time to acquire the series back when I first read it - there's a Conspiracy that's keeping you from getting it back.
The lost item that annoys me the most is a set of SF/fantasy trivia questions that Nate Bucklin and I spent a lot of time coming up with. We used it for a trivia tournament at Minicon, but about half the questions never got asked. At the end of the convention, someone asked to borrow the questions, and like a fool, I said yes and handed them over -- and never saw them again. I had a contact name and address, but the person never responded to my queries.
A more minor (but Byzantine) thing happened recently. A couple of weeks ago, I bought books 2 and 3 of Steve Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time trilogy under the misapprehension that they were actually books 4 and 5 -- I already owned the original trilogy. (What can I say? They're guilty pleasures.) When I discovered they weren't (unfortunately by lugging them to Mexico with me as vacation books), I was seized with a great urge to reread the original trilogy. The first one was on the shelf, but I'd lent the others to Pat Wrede, I thought. Pat checked her shelf, and only found book 2. So I have book 3 in hand, but I know I'd already bought it previously, and had planned to exchange the duplicates. Maybe I'll just read book 3 carefully enough not to get eyetracks on it, and then exchange it. But probably inertia will win and I'll just keep it.
(At the same time Pat returned the Stirling book, she returned my copy of Stephen Gould's Blind Waves. Except that when I went to put the book on the shelf, I found I already had a copy there. Obviously I need to emulate Marissa and start a "books lent out" list.)
It suddenly occurs to me that Library Thing would allow a tag titled "Lent Out" (or, conversely, "Borrowed"). It also has space for comments which could be used to identify the individual to whom the item was lent or borrowed from.
You know who you are: if you return my copy of Gwyneth Jones's Bold As Love, I'll give you your Foundation And Empire back.
Failing that, I'd be happy just to hear from you. It's been a long two years.
I have three fields in my bookbase for loaning -- Who, When, and Returned.
A few years ago I loaned my copy of Mastering Regular Expressions to a friend at work. Many months later, she apologized for losing it, and bought me another copy. Some years later, after she'd left the company, someone else returned the borrowed copy (which had my name in it). I tried to get in touch with the friend who'd borrowed it, lost it, and bought the extra copy, to give her back the extra, but without success.
I'm missing one volume of Spike Milligan's WWII memoirs. Since Volume One was never released in the US due to tie-in-with-movie contracts, the rest never showed up here and of course it's one of those. I'm going to have to figure out which one is gone and order from the UK. Which annoys me mightily.
Huh...I had no idea my copy of Stories of Your Life and Others was so valuable. Mine is inscribed; I wonder if that would make it worth more or less?
"Year's Best SF 18" edited by Gardner Dozois (an especially painful loss as it was a birthday present from my now wife), "Zodiac" by Neal Stephenson (which I tracked down after reading "Snow Crash") and "The Light Fantastic" by Terry Pratchett all went missing within months of each other which prompted the genesis of The Lending Book.
Somewhere, I've got the opposite -- a Concise Oxford Dictionary inscribed, "Lent to [someone], until such time as he shall return it and retrieve his pen and inkpot," or approximately that, and dated Oxford, 1943. It's my favorite dictionary, largely because of the inscription.
At one point, I did an offhand Google search for the owner, and found a notice of her obituary only a year or two before.
There's also the book I still feel guilty about: A 1800s book about cats, which I borrowed from the Berkeley university library via interlibrary loan. I gave it to my brother to return, because he attended Berkeley at the time, and then his backpack was stolen from his car, with the book in it. When I found out about it, a few weeks later, I checked with one of the local bookstores whose online catalog had a copy (list price: more than the $150 the library was charging me), but it wasn't the same one.
I never did figure out what happened to my first copy of A Clash of Kings. Since I don't lend books out (having no one to lend them to), it can't be that, and I don't think it managed to develop little paper feet and walk away. Eventually I just bought another copy, but I'd still like to know where the first one went.
I seem to have misplaced Michael Straczynski's Doctor Strange miniseries. I didn't care that much for the story, even though it had the Ancient One express a liking to Simon & Garfunkel, but the redesigned costumes looked neat.
I thought I'd left my copy of Canticle for Leibowitz at home but I couldn't find it last time I visited.
I was going through books that my brother brought home the other day and I found it, with a plane ticket stub from his roommate tucked inside as a bookmark. Honestly, I don't remember lending it to her at all and I already bought another copy so that my boyfriend could read it.
I once found a copy of a book (first edition hb of THE LAST UNICORN) that Peter Beagle had inscribed for me (not to me, unfortunately) in a Berkeley used bookstore.
They let me have it at what they'd paid for it, as they knew me rather well. I found out that one of my brothers' girlfriend had taken it to read, out of my parents' house, and ended up selling it.
I will say that that is the only time in my life that I've sat down from surprise, onto the floor, and I have an appreciation of T's cataplexy from that moment that is quite different from what I had before.
Mostly because I know how it ends, and I'm living down here now and thinking about the New Orleans I remembered from my childhood, and I'm wondering if the city will ever be the city it could have been. I am discouraged by the resignation I see everywhere, that things will never improve, that government will always be corrupt, and the poor will always be useless wastrels. Maybe it's just working in Metairie, no matter how I try to orient myself toward the city, I still get the impression that to many here, it is a scary place, only to be braved when absolutely necessary for drunken debauchery. I see flashes of hope in the way friends write about their love for the essence or ideal of New Orleans, but I don't see much change. Again, I don't know how much is my difficulty in seeing the good in the world right now. I just used to be far more blind to the distillation of the worst of racial, religious, and class discrimination that I see everywhere now.
A recent poster I know from somewhere else still owes me a couple of CDs of Brazilian music. I believe Os Mutantes was mentioned. No hard feelings over that--I know what happened.
As for the stuff that's gone missing, I'll limit it to the ones that really hurt:
My sax, my Farfisa, my first bass (okay, a Kent, but still), my only electric guitar, my only fretless bass, my Peavey five-input head, and my old analog reverb unit.
My signed copy of the first Modern Lovers album. My vinyl copies of the first three Camper Van Beethoven LPs. My CD of Negativeland's Dispepsia (or however they spelled it). My bootleg CD of that Frank Zappa Halloween show. My vinyl bootleg of Elvis Costello, Shaken, Not Stirred, with the great cover. My Minutemen EP with "The Red and the Black".
My signed copy of The Other Glass Teat*. My big box of graphic novels, alternative comics, and a few prime Kree-Skrull Avengers. My copy of Stuck Rubber Baby. My three missing copies of Rudin's Fundamentals of Mathematical Analysis. My hardcover of Radio Free Albemuth. My Golden Book of Chemistry. My copy of Gil Scott-Heron's The Vulture.
I keep a close damn watch on my copy of Steal This Book. If I didn't, maybe I wouldn't've lost all those other things. Perhaps there's a lesson in that.
*I am almost certain who stole that. I plan to outlive him, come to his viewing, and piss into his coffin. Not just for the book, though. I enabled that swine to do evil.
John A Arkansawyer @134:
Yeah, some acts just don't qualify for amnesty. Like my so-called friend, a professional photographer, who volunteered to photograph Eva's and my wedding. After weeks of not hearing anything, I asked to see whatever prints he had, and he sent me some contact sheets. When I asked to see the negatives he blew me off and I never heard from him again. A few years ago I scanned the contact sheets into my computer and did the best job of retouching I could with Photoshop, and those are the wedding pictures we have.
Oh, Bruce, you brought one more back:
My negatives from Cain's Ballroom the night Bonnie Raitt showed up to jam with Muddy Waters. I got great shots, printed one with his obituary, and now, that's what I have of it.
Well, and the memories. If I had to pick one or the other, I'd pick that, as I am a selfish git.
And then there are the "loans" you don't want back. No, not just the books you don't like. The books that you love (and which are readily available, cheap) that you want everyone to read. I give away Wodehouse paperbacks all the time. It's tragic how many young people have never heard of Wodehouse!
janetl @ 137:
My problem with Wodehouse isn't that I haven't heard of him. My problem is that I don't know where to start!
KeithS (138): You can't go wrong with any of the Jeeves or Blandings Castle books. My personal favorite is Pigs Have Wings.
KeithS (138): All Wodehouse is good, and it can be read in any order. The main thing is to slow down. His prose is far too lovely to be gulped.
As to amnesties -- may I have one, please? This past weekend I launched myself into cataloging my books into LibraryThing. I'm up to 850 (only 2000 to go!), when I notice a Post-it note on the inside cover of Carol Shields' "Various Miracles". The note has a friend's name on it. That would be the friend that I borrowed it from, in about 1998, I'd guess.
KeithS @138: Yes, you can start anywhere. I think my first Wodehouse book was The Little Nugget, simply because it was the first one I grabbed off the shelf at home. Here, take your pick.
Pendrift, bless you! I've been dying to get my hands on some Wodehouse, and for some reason the libraries here only have one or two. I never thought to look at Project Gutenberg, I thought it wasn't public domain.
As for missing books--
Whatever goblin or vortex ate my partner's copy of Gurps: Russia, we would very much like it to spit it back out. We scarcely got to look it over before it vanished, and now we can neither find nor afford another copy.
At least I'm finally getting my copy of Melusine back today, after it's been lent out for over a year. Grump.
I wish my former Kindergarten teacher had returned my Margery Wise book, The Velveteen Rabbit. It was hard bound with glossy pages and the original illustrations! She borrowed it and then made one excuse after another not to return it. I also wish someone would return the Griffin and Sabine books stolen from their box which I kept in a relative's garage. Also, my book called Wonder of Wonders by Thomas Clement.
Someone also borrowed all my Loreena McKennit CDs and didn't return them.
And while we are on the topic of lost things---Someone in gradeschool bullied me and took my wristwatch--years later, in college, I met her and she was wearing MY watch! She pulled away, of course, after I asked her where she got it.
This thread is getting kind of painful.
What kind of kindergarten teacher doesn't return a book from one of her kindergarten students? The mind reels.
Also, it's reminding me of all the stuff I've lent people and never got back - stuff I'd long since forgotten, and better so.
#133 ::: EClaire
Many of us share your sense -- which also affects how we're feeling about a great deal, not only New Orleans.
Nevertheless, my own sense right now, is that NO is one of the most exciting places to be. Though for how long, with the pulling back of policing and the growth again of random thuggery everywhere? It remains an unattractive choice for people with families to bring up, which I really understand.
We're there a lot. We're heading down next month, first for a stop at Duke for the usual academic things, as well as a music performance by the Spouse, and then to NO for Mardi Gras, plus a conference at Tulane the following weekend.
@144 Yes, I'd rather not think too hard about lost things and why that teacher took that book. Maybe she thought the book was too good to entrust to a seven year old. No worries, I have a miniature copy to replace that old edition now.
After all, it's just stuff, and I'd like to think that in a parallel universe, I am enjoying everything I have ever lost, and then some.
As for lending amnesty, I need some myself, I think I have one book that I borrowed from this film director I met several years ago. I should locate the book, A Borges, and return it.
@pendrift---sorry to hear about your lost Narnia books. I don't own copies either. I read the copies that belonged to an aunt, who was able to reclaim them from my careful custody years and years later.
*facepalm and headdesk* and in such august company, too.
It's Margery Williams, not Wise Brown(confusing it with Goodnight Moon...)
Okay, back to the salt mines.
Michael, #144: The same kind of elementary-school teacher who promises a kitten that's already been taken home by one student to a different one, and then tricks the first student into bringing it back to school and gives it to the second. Don't EVEN get me started.
janetl @ 140 and Pendrift @ 141:
Thank you so much for the assurance that you can start anywhere! Now to start on them (not that I don't already have plenty of things to read...).
My ex got the Wodehouses in the divorce. I've only replaced two. (I got the Bujolds and the Lindsey Davises and the Flashman books, so I shouldn't complain too much. But you wanna talk about something at least as bad as lending and not getting back, it's dividing up a library in a divorce and wishing you'd stuck all the duplicates in a box somewhere all those years ago instead of giving them away.)
Through the good offices of Project Gutenberg, I have discovered that I like Wodehouse's "school" books better than I like the Jeeves books. Heresy, I know (because it's not that I love the school books so tremendously much).
I was lead in via Kipling's Stalky and Company which Anthony Price has David Audley talk about a lot.
Ah jeez, Lee, I'm getting a clear vibe you were student #1 in that cast of characters. What a nasty story. My sister always has lots of kittens (as we age, she's becoming the crazy cat lady of the family, although she at least runs an animal rescue operation as cover). Do you want one?
I like Wodehouse's Blandings Castle books best. But really, there is no such thing as bad Wodehouse.
Mary Aileen @ 153: But really, there is no such thing as bad Wodehouse.
The oft-seen cheap omnibus edition of stuff from the Fifties comes pretty close, though.
My personal favorites are The Mating Season and Leave It To Psmith (and The Clicking of Cuthbert, but I wouldn't want to defend that).
John A Arkansawyer @ 136:
Ouch! Losing those pictures would really hurt. At least Bonnie's still around to have her picture taken. I missed my chance by not taking my camera to a concert in Salem, OR (the original Omelas) when a few thousand of us sat in an open ampitheater in the afternoon sunlight listening to Bonnie Raitt as a thunderstorm cruised by about a mile away. The light was un-freaking-believable.
I don't care about the $20, having to replace my ID, or the purse, even though it was my favorite. But to the girl who stole it out of my locker in high school... I'd really like my photos back. Or the negatives that were with them. I'd borrowed the negatives to have prints made that day, and losing those memories still hurts.
If you are a spammer, your fate is in the hands of Jim Macdonald, and your foot shall slide in due time.
Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.
You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.
(You must preview before posting.)