Friday, January 7, 2011

These Books Are Mine - Get Your Own

I just finished an amazing book that brought me to tears -  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  This book is being added to my collection of 'Books I Won't Lend You But I Will Buy You Your Own Copy.'

Yes, I really have such a list.

I'm a little weird about my books. It's very hard for me to give them away. And I actually feel anxious if I do lend a book to someone. I'll let you borrow my clothes, jewelry, household items. Just not my books. In fact, it's been 20 years I still know the name of the person who borrowed my hardback copy of The Hunt For Red October. (Mark Butler if you are out there I still want it back).

After Hurricane Katrina hit and we lost most of our household possessions, I was most upset about the floor to ceiling bookshelf full of books I'd collected over the years that was destroyed. I realize a book can be replaced. But that specific book, which meant something to me at that specific time, can never be replaced.

Sometimes I'll write in the edges of the book or highlight meaningful passages, but never ever dog ear a book. It's disrespectful and an affront to the integrity of the page.

And, with apologies to the authors this will offend, some books just should not be made into movies. Very rarely does Hollywood capture the magic of the book. Eat, Pray, Love is the perfect example of an amazing book that should never have been made into a movie.

I can't give a concrete reason a book will make my Do Not Lend list. It's arbitrary. There are books that were so good I cried that I'll gladly pass along to you (South of Broad by Pat Conroy). There are books that have changed my thinking that I practically force into other peoples hands (Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer). For a book to make the list, it has to have that "it" factor. It has to affect my soul.

A short list of the books I will not lend you, but will buy you your own copy, in hopes they too affect your soul:

1 - The Art of Racing in the Rain  -  Garth Stein
2 - The Alchemist  -  Paulo Coelho
3 - Happy Yoga  - Steve Ross
4 - Something More  - Sarah Ban Breathnach
5 - Eat, Pray, Love -  Elizabeth Gilbert
6 - When Everything Changed - Gail Collins
7 - The Shack - Wm. Paul Young
8 - Columbine - Dave Cullen
9 - Buddha - Deepak Chopra
10 - The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
11 - She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
12 - Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows - Melanie Joy


  1. Hi Jennifer!

    I like your awesome blog and hope that it´s ok that I put it on my favourites.

    And books, something I also love.I´m about to finish my EAT, PRAY, LOVE. Thanks for the other book suggestions.

  2. I'm honored to be on your favorites. Thank you!

  3. I get the shakes when someone wants to borrow a book. If I lend you a book it's because I really really love you.