For many years, I have leaned toward literature where food is the supporting act. Not cookery books per se; but novels with an underlying thread of the everyday preparation of meals and larder stockers. Books like Zuretha Roos’s The Saffron Pear Tree and Marcel Proust’s Remembrance Of Things Past; which I first read as a library books and so loved that I had to buy my own copies, to dip into over and again.

Ever the fool, I lent three of my favourites; Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and Annie Hawes Extra Virgin and Ripe For The Picking to an acquaintance, more than a year ago. About three months ago, I made a timid request: could I have them back so that I could do a book review on them for my club. I am still waiting and am too embarrassed to ask again!

The second Annie Hawes book is a particularly beloved one; it gave me a recipe that has become a regular star at our table. Essentially a stand-alone, cold lunch for labourers in the olive groves of Liguria, it comprises equal volumes of roughly chopped potato and parsley (yes; a lot of parsley, but it works) with two large tins of anchovies (the oil is used for dressing) and a grind of pepper. As simple as it is, there is no better accompaniment for roast beef and we enjoy this meal very often, but I have to drown my curses about my missing books with a large glug of Merlot.

Telling this story to a foodie friend on the telephone sometime ago, it seems that I am not alone. Blatant book thievery abounds and complete lack of conscience is not a rare thing at all.

Perhaps I should invite myself over and piddle in someone’s veggie patch?


16 Comments Add yours

  1. Supa says:

    Sorry but I would be blunt and ask again, phone her and ask when would be a good time for you to pop round for your books as you need them. This is why I hate lending my books to people.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s actually an archived post, I have the books back now 🙂

  2. Lyndatjie says:

    This happens to me a lot and I’ve never been a stingy person but now I think twice before giving my precious books to anybody… 😦

  3. I finally had to stop lending out books at all. I ended up buying so many replacements that it just got too expensive.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Books are expensive indeed.

  4. Madmom says:

    She is the one that should be embarassed for being negligent. Ask her again. It’s worth getting your books back.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Sorry Nancy, I was remiss in not stating that this was an archived post.

  5. nrhatch says:

    If you are too embarrassed to ask for them back . . . don’t ask.


    “Oh, good. You’re home. I’m here to collect the books you borrowed last year . . . I’ve missed them terribly.”

    Good luck!

  6. opoetoo says:


    1 Prepare some of the food from the books and take it to the cruel borrower . Trade it for the books.
    2 Buy some new books.
    3 Burn the books in effigy.
    4 Burn the hoarder in effigy.
    5 Write a novel about a person who tracks down book hoarders , kills them and returns the books. He moves from town to town joining up in book clubs and feeling out the situation.When he gets caught all the people he helped get together and buy him out of it . Since his ulitimate desire was to sell the rights to his story from prison for millions of dollars and then donate the money to the library from his hometown he is enraged by their generousity . You will have to finish it……… Then slide it under the hoarders door.

    6 memorize this backwards:

    the thief is you
    you robbed yourself
    you took your book
    off of your shelf
    you placed it in a hand so slack
    you can’t just go
    and ask it back
    it might be lost
    and then what pain
    it could be weathered
    soaked with rain
    better to keep this angst within
    than lend it to this special friend

    I am the same way 🙂 .

    1. theonlycin says:

      Great comment opoetoo!

  7. adeeyoyo says:

    Oh how I sympathise! If you feel embarrassed asking, then she must feel doubly embarrassed – ask again and don’t get sidetracked until you get them this time. Does she have a veggie patch?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes she does 🙂

  8. Gerhard says:

    Supa sent me this link to where you’re lurking now. Is this much better? I haven’t posted since Supa and then you left, you hussies, I was so depressed.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hello Gerhard
      So nice to have you visit. As far as I know Supa has no intention of leaving, do you mean granny1947?
      I can only speak for myself, I’ve found this a marvellous blog platform and am really enjoying the experience here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s