Monday, February 6, 2012

Destroyer of Books 2: The Next Chapter

Alternate Subtitle: I Really Should Stay Out of the New Releases Section

Way back in November 2011, I was persecuted by our local library staff for a very heinous and malicious bit of book destruction. The book has been sitting peacefully and in relative comfort on a bookshelf in our home.  No other books have been harmed by its existence and I have managed to keep all of my books clean and dry since that time. I have obviously reformed.

It is as if the creepy music from episode one has started playing in the background while I read before bed. A little Sleeping with the Enemy, only the enemy in this case is a book. Now I am reading a hardcover version of Before I Go To Sleep, also from the New Releases section, for book club. Yes, it has the very same book sticker marking it a New Release. And it appears pristine from the outside.

The trouble started a few nights ago when I noticed that the inside of the back cover, which is black, has been scribbled on with a dark pen. You can't actually SEE the pen, you can see the line where the pen wrote, if that makes sense. I showed it to Eric, because he knows I am still a freak about my last library book destruction experience.

But last night, things got serious. Seriously serious. And now I have a dilemma.

I am about halfway through the 350ish page book, reading away. I turn the page and find... A PAGE HAS BEEN TORN OUT!

I am going to give you a minute to collect yourself because I know you can't believe it either.

Page 146/147 is missing from my book, minus a tiny residual strip along the spine. The strip is large enough and inexact enough that the page was clearly there at some point. This isn't a printer mistake. Someone tore the page out of the book.

Do you see where I am going with this?

I did not tear the page out of the book, and didn't notice it until I actually got to the page last night. Meaning whoever thoroughly combs the New Release books looking to fine people/me missed this serious book destruction situation.

But I am faced with a decision. My first reaction was to finish the book, take it back to the desk when I return it, tell them that a page had been torn out when I got it, and hope that this nightmare will end without me being asked for $600 to replace the new, hardcover book. As I told Eric this morning, I know it is the "right" thing to do, but honestly, if they accuse me of damaging the book, I do not know what I will do. Other than freak out.

My other option is to quietly return the book and not say anything. But then if they notice the missing page, I will look guilty. Or if they don't notice but the person after me says something, again I might look guilty. (Unless they pin it on that sucker.)

Decisions, decisions....  The Sunday School class we are leading right now on "Fearless" by Max Lucado would encourage me to not "fret" about this, but rather act. So I am going to finish that book in a lightning quick manner so that I can do some kind of action. But what action? We shall see.

Do things like this happen to other people? I just have to know.

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