Managing books is a reward-less job. You not only have to protect them from book worms and dust but also from book grabbers. You have to sacrifice a significant space to them in your house.
Very few books are re-read, most of them are read only once and stacked on the book shelf. These books ultimately burden your conscience. You don’t want to part with them; your family doesn’t want to read them and you want to donate them to a public library, but not in your life.
You become obsessive with your books. You don’t want to lend them to others. Some of my cousins started borrowing books from me. Those books were either never returned, or given to their friends who didn’t return, or were damaged by excessive dog earring or the loosing of binding.
I stopped giving my books to anyone. The study in my house was always locked. I was so irked by the damage to my books that I told my cousins to keep their hands off my books. Sometimes I would take an exception and lend my books to a friend or relative who didn’t damage the books. However, I rarely get any book from them. They had no libraries of their own. I always desired to give and take books from acquaintances, but the desire remained a desire for a long time. Until; I moved to Rawalpindi and set up office there. As the friends circle widened, I came across a very nice person with whom I have developed a give-and-take-books relation. His name is Mr. Malik Kabeer advocate. He is a veteran political activist who witnessed major political transitions in the country during the last four decades. We were discussing politics and society. The discussion ended into, “have your read that book?”. We two promised to give each other a book for reading. The books were exchanged, read and returned.
Today I got another book from him. “The best friendship is the one which involves the sharing of knowledge,” were Malik Kabeer’s words when he gave me the book.