Jenny, my next door neighbor, has been borrowing my Jo Nesbø crime novels, even reading The Snowman which I have only in English. However, when she got to the ninth book in the Harry Hole series, Die Larve in German, she was suddenly reluctant to take it home with her. I had to tell her over and over again that it was all right for her to read it.
There is nothing special about this particular book. Sure it’s a nice hardcover whereas the others were all paperbacks, but it has not been handwritten by Nesbø – heck, it hasn’t even been signed by him, even though I went to the reading at the Hamburger Krimifestival in 2011 (fabulous!) because I didn’t want to wait in line with three hundred hysterically chattering women, or so it seemed to me at the time.
No, the only reason she did not want to take it, was because I said I hadn’t read it yet myself, and there she was, pushing it back into my hands saying “no, you should read it first!” I had to assure her repeatedly that it was quite all right and that the book would not lose anything if she read it before I did!
I thought this was an interesting phenomenon, not to mention kind of funny/cute and it has happened a few times with other people before as well. (I doubt that I would have such scruples were I to borrow an as-yet-unread-book from someone...)
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