This week at Abidjan Lit Central, talks turned to books, of course, but really to lending books.
The magnanimous revealed themselves. Apparently. Because when we dug and dug, we got to the truth that always reddens the eyes but never blinds them. Even our magnanimous lend with a slight pinch to the heart. It is just because their desire to share their literary soul with others is stronger.
Hum, look at my face, as we will say in English. Because yes, for some among us, books are like husbands; you don’t lend them. Heck, they are more than that. And then, there is always this warning by Anatole France:
Never lend a book, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks lent me.
But do you know Abidjan Lit Collectif??? We are like a dog with a bone. Figuratively hein!
But what about sharing?
It is too much talking that brings a fight. We decided then to come out of the Central Tower to go on social media.
Off we posted.
We would like to chat with you about something #book #literature and… #lending! At #AbidjanLit, we have the nonchalant, the skittish, the meticulous, the ‘accountants’ who keep a tab and even, those who are totally against. “A book is like a husband…”! So over to you, #DoYouLendYourBooks ?
📚 On voulait parler de quelque chose avec vous #livre #litterature et… #prêt!
A #Abidjanlit, il y a les détachés, les frileux, les minutieux, les comptables qui tiennent un cahier et même, les anti: "un livre, c'est comme un mari…"!
➡ Et vous, #PretezVousVosLivres❓ pic.twitter.com/BJRq4q0vpk
— Abidjan Lit (@AbidjanLit) April 11, 2018
It wasn’t long before the responses/memories flooded our feed.
Gael, on Twitter said :
Once, I lent a book to a friend. I was in CM2 (Key Stage 2), so some 15 years ago now. She never returned it, and I still remind her to this day, to bring back the book. So, now I never lend
For Eve, the emotional angst is too much.
I rarely lend because I anguish at the thought of never seeing my book again. Those who borrow are not very kind. Not only do they not read the book which ends up getting dusty on their bedside table, or if they return it, the book is dirty or in a bad condition. Mdrrrr
— Abidjan Lit (@AbidjanLit) April 13, 2018
Literati got into the dance.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes who we love at Abidjan Lit for his Tail of the Blue Bird (Stay connected on our Facebook and Twitter pages this weekend because… …). Anyway, Nii, Head Judge of the Caine Prize 2017 tweeted this:
I lend when I have extra copies of the same book, but mainly as a personality test 😂
— Nii Ayikwei Parkes (@BlueBirdTail) April 11, 2018
As for the literary blogger and journalist James Murua, he is clear and straight down the line
Rarely. If I must, its a very trusted India and even then a picture of you holding up the book goes in my phone. Trying not returning said book.
— James Murua (@jamesmurua) April 12, 2018
The somewhat magnanimous 2016 laureate of the NLNG Nigerian Prize for Literature 2016 replied to our tweet with a diplomatic no. Let’s be honest.
If I have to I would rather give it away, except my darlings. And these darlings are many. 😁
— Abubakar A. Ibrahim (@Moonchild509) April 11, 2018
Where are we then with this thing about book lending?
And you who like Anatole France, fill your bookshelves with others’ books, come and confess your sins. It is because of you that people are filled with fear at this level.
Yesterday, I nearly grabbed The Life before Us by Romain Gary that I wanted to lend to a friend, but then I thought of the void it would leave in my library and in my life
#PretezVousvoslivres , hier j ai failli sortir "la vie devant soi" de R.Gary que je voulais prêter à une amie et puis j ai pensé au vide qu il allait laissé dans ma bibliothèque et dans ma vie. #Abidjanlit https://t.co/fitD3yE3P4
— Saraounia (@saraounia) April 13, 2018