Why I don’t lend out my books anymore

In March last year, a friend asked whether she could borrow my copies of The Hobbit, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes because mine are English-language versions.

Yesterday, I got them back.

I treat my books with respect. You can tell when my paperbacks are well read, through natural wear and tear, but I do not fold page corners to mark my place nor do I spill drinks over them or bend the cover or spine. In some books, I highlighted words I had to look up in order to improve my vocabulary, but I did so in the knowledge that they are my books and that this would ultimately simply show how far I’ve come as a reader and in learning foreign languages. I would never deface a book that is not my own.

My copy of The Hobbit is very precious to me (pun unintended, but quite fitting). It’s the very first book I read cover to cover in English. It’s the book I turn to for comfort. I read it once a year. It’s like a friend, sitting there on the shelf. The one that started my love for literature, that introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien and some of my all-time favourite characters.

This is the condition it was returned to me in:

Continue reading Why I don’t lend out my books anymore

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Character Inspiration: Gay Pride Punk & Kid

Here’s the story I found with this picture by M. Lambrechts:

This meeting happened at a Gay Pride event in Brussels, Belgium in 2009. The child is the son of a gay couple attending the event and he got curious about this punk’s spiked jacket. So he went over and asked whether he could touch the spikes as he wanted to check whether they’re sharp or not. To give him better access, the punker knelt down and talked to him, amused by the kid’s reactions. When the two dads called their son back to them, the boy gave the punk a little kiss before returning to his fathers.

Photo by M. Lambrechts, Brussels 2009
Photo by M. Lambrechts, Brussels 2009

Just one little picture doing away with a multitude of prejudices.