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The replacable loss of a bound one August 17, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in CMU, humor.

Looks like I am having a problem having a problem that most people would rather not have. Yeah, read that again, I mean it. How else do you explain this –

I regularly visit 3 libraries – the main CMU library (HUNT libraray), CMU Engineering and Science Library and the Carnegie Public Library. I also borrow books, most of which I don’t read beyond random 20% of the pages. Occasionally I even mix up these books and return them to the wrong library. Often I renew the books online as many as times as I am allowed to and still return them books late. Now, these are all free services and somehow libraries, I think, are the non-existent god’s greatest gift to humankind. Hence I don’t mind paying fines and in fact, I consider them as personal donations ( thus making a virtue out of a necessity :-p ) and feel proud of these philanthrophic acts. Sometimes I even lose these books that I borrow.

Or do I ?

A month back I borrowed a book – Wikinomics. I barely read a page or two and it was time to return. I could not find the book and I went to the Carnegie Public Library and told them that I lost the book. They looked up their records and told me that I had not borrowed any such book because they have no such book in the library ! Reasoning that I must have borrowed them from the CMU library, I told them that I lost the book and asked them to quote a price so I can pay. Well, now they looked up their records and told me that they had the copy because I had returned it !

About an year ago, I borrowed a book “Curious Minds” to get one of my friends Sadiq to read. I think that its one of the best books out there, one I have read in full (yes, such books do exist) and truly inspiring as the book is, I wanted Sadiq to read that too. Sadiq was staying over at my place those days but was travelling a fair bit as well. It was then natural to conclude, when the book went unseen for weeks that the book was lost. I got a quote from the library and wrote them a check (about $24). A week later the librarian asked me to see her and collect the my refund – someone found the book and returned it.

One of the self-evident truths of life then is that all men are created unequal – honestly losing a book does not come easily to some.



1. Deepak S Krishnan - August 18, 2007

one of ur best articles 🙂

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