When I was in my teens I read a great series of books by Bodie Thoene called The Zion Chronicles. I also read the sister series, The Zion Covenant. I enjoyed these series because they were fictionalized stories about people living in pre- and post-World War II. I do enjoy reading about that era, I am not sure why.
I had borrowed these books from the church library at the church where I grew up to read them, so I didn’t own them. When I was in my early 20’s, living here in Dallas, one year my parents gave me the entire Zion Chronicles set for my birthday! I was so excited. I really wanted to re-read them all, now that I owned them!! It was a big deal to me that my parents had bought these for me, because they remembered how much I liked them and knew I couldn’t afford to buy them (the whole set is usually around $100).
I had a friend who was going through a hard time after a serious breakup and needed someone round about then, so she and I would hang out and email for support. We weren’t good friends before this but we had a good time, and I enjoyed her company while she was needing the company. We were talking about good books, and she lent me her copy of Redeeming Love (which I would also recommend). In turn, I loaned her all of my new copies of The Zion Chronicles. I thought, no big deal, I will get them right back. Next time I saw her, she was starting on a new relationship and all excited about it – I gave her back her copy of Redeeming Love but she didn’t have my books with her. She said they were at her parents’ house or something.
I started seeing less and less of her as she moved forward with the new relationship and up to North Dallas (big geographical and social difference than being in central Dallas, you know if you are from around here). After a while she changed phone numbers, I lost the new one, and we didn’t really talk on the phone. Sometimes we would email. I was moving toward getting married to Christian and it was harder and harder for me to locate or keep up with friends where were non-responsive, so we quit hanging out or really talking. But every few months, I would email her about these books. There was always some excuse. “I left them in another house”, “I keep forgetting to mail them”. Finally, some time after I got married (almost 4 years ago now), I actually mailed a package to her house with an empty box and the shipping pre-paid and pre-addressed to me. All she had to do was put the books in the box and drop it off at a post office, it was all paid for and addressed and everything. I never heard anything back from her, and she did not answer follow-up emails anymore.
So here I am, around 5 years later, ridiculously missing those books. I don’t know if it’s because I am in some weird hormonal stage of pregnancy, but I would really love to read those books again. I know I could possibly get them from the library, but I want that set my parents got me! Because they got it for me, and I never got to read the copies they got me. Also, with all the baby expenses, I find it really hard to justify spending $100 on another set right now. Even at that price, the entire set is very difficult to find. You can buy the books individually, but no longer the entire set very easily.
There is really no point to this post other than that I am sadly thinking of these books and how I never got to enjoy my birthday present. I have now lost touch with this person entirely, and I am assuming the books, too, are gone for good.
One thought on “And it still bugs me…”
Hi, Jen! Don’t feel bad at all. And I don’t think it’s your pregnancy hormones, either, because I’ve gone through this same experience many, many, many times. I’ve loaned precious books to people and have never gotten them back, no matter how much I’ve begged and pleaded.
I finally learned my lesson a long time ago and have instituted a hard-and-fast rule: if I really feel the urge to share one of my books with someone, I’ll just give it to them, with no expectation of ever seeing it again. if I really can’t part with it, I just tell them where they can get their own copy.
In their defense, I actually have done the same thing myself. I have borrowed books that I had every intention of returning, but, ah, whaddya know, they’re still on my bookshelf. I actually borrowed a book from an old college friend about a decade or so ago, and I’ve seen him twice since: once, in 2001, when I had a business trip to San Francisco (where he then lived), and again when I did a research trip to Singapore last fall (where he moved last summer). Did I remember to bring the book either time? Of course not, silly. It’s still on my blasted bookshelf.
I’m really, really sorry about your books. I know it’s especially hard that they were given by your parents, so they’re not just any books. I hate to say it, but you may have to accept the fact that you may never see them again, although you never know. Consider this a lesson learned, as I did.
My Inner French Girl
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