Lending a book isn't a favour, it's an act of love

This most human of exchanges is pleasure shared, truth distributed, and the gifting of enlightenment

No friend requests the loan of your shoes, scrounges a curio from your house, regularly takes home a saucepan or begs for that flowered tablecloth. Of course not. But people often ask for something even more personal, which possibly may never be returned, and if so occasionally in worse shape than when taken, but you will nevertheless give it with a smile and a passing speech of encouragement.

Take another, we say.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 01, 2018, with the headline 'Lending a book isn't a favour, it's an act of love'. Print Edition | Subscribe