Theft is an offense – it’s been one since the start of time. When the early man would make a kill, sometimes another lumbering troglodyte would come along, club him on the head, and steal his hard-gotten food. Now that we’ve established the basic definition of stealing, let’s talk about how our laws don’t seem to apply to the snatching of books. 

It’s 2019, and it still appears to be fairly normal for people to take books and never return them. So listen up, you monumental dicks. Stop stealing my goddamn books!

I remember when I had like a mini library at home. There was a wall dedicated to the joy of reading, a comforting wall that was as informative as it was entertaining. It wasn’t just a collection of things I’d read, it was a point of pride. 

Now, that wall is more of a barren wasteland, containing a few paperbacks that I’ve managed to keep away from clawing hands. 

It’s my own fault as much as anybody else’s. Human beings can’t be trusted. Especially friends. 

I mean, I still love the assholes who ‘borrowed’ those books. They’re close friends. But they’re also total and complete buttheads. Like seriously, fuck them. You feel me?

I still think about my greatest loss with a mix of fondness and fury. It was a book called Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Her fantasy magnum opus set in Victorian England was an 800-page slow burn that just didn’t get the recognition it deserved. Anyway, I lent it to a friend 15 years ago. It’s still lying on his book shelf. Vikram, if you’re reading this – tu kutta hai.

But hey, what can you expect from people who have no respect for the sacred law of book barter.  

Don’t you thieves have a conscience? I never even dared to bend a page of a book I borrowed, let alone keep the book forever! 

If I believed in karma, I’d say these people would get what’s coming to ’em. But I don’t, so I’ll just say this – look both ways before you guys cross the street.

Anyway, that should satiate the pain for now. Remember people, if you value your books, just don’t give them to anyone – especially your friends!