I have a confession to make. And I'm asking for your help in deciding what I should do.
Some time last year, I can't remember exactly when, I was in a book shop. That's not the confession by the way. I'm not confessing to being a "reader". Otherwise, it would be me and you both. No, I haven't got to the confession bit yet. Around that time I was going to quite a few book shops and buying books. Mainly these were secondhand book shops and charity shops (Cancer Research shops seem to have the best selection if you're interested).
This particular shop was neither a secondhand shop, nor a charity shop. It was a branch of The Works, a large chain of stores that sell reduced price books alongside toys and craft materials. At the back of this particular store were a selection of books in the area of 'mind, body, spirit'... you know, the usual stuff: astrology, dream interpretation, that kind of thing. The book that caught my attention was a book on "cosmic ordering" called The Complete Guide to Cosmic Ordering: Make Your Dreams Become Reality by A. Moore. Now I've been fascinated by this notion of placing orders with the cosmos to get what you want in life since I read Barbel Mohr's book, The Cosmic Ordering Service. In fact I had read Mohr's book just a few months earlier so the idea was still fairly new to me and why I guess Moore's book caught my eye. (A future post will deal with cosmic ordering in more depth, but for now you can click here to see what Wikipedia has to say about it.)
Anyway, I flicked through a few pages and thought it would be an easy read and at only £3, reduced from £7.99, it was a bit of a bargain (or as the sticker announced “fantastic value!”). I carried it with me as I browsed round the shop a little further.
And then, as I neared the shop entrance, something happened. I suddenly realized that it would be oh so very easy to just walk out with the book in my hand. That’s right, my friend, I entertained the possibility of walking out of the shop without paying for it! I believe the technical term is “shoplifting”. Then, before I knew it, I was over the threshold of the door and out into the rest of the shopping centre with the book (technical term “stolen goods”) still in my clammy hand. I kind of reasoned that if I were caught then I would look down at the book I was holding and suddenly “remember” I had it in my hands and that I must have absent-mindedly wandered out of the shop without paying for it. An honest mistake anyone could make. I would then simply pay the £3 (“fantastic value!”) and be on my way. As it turned out I didn’t get caught. I carried on walking through the shopping centre and I was soon out of sight of the shop (technical term “scene of the crime”).
And that is my confession. In short, last year I nicked a book. Now, almost a year has passed and I have still not yet read the book. I find it interesting that for some reason I haven’t got round to at least scanning this book that I thought would be an easy read. It has sat quietly minding its own business on the bookshelf in between Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (that would explain a lot!) and a book called Angels Do Exist (don't ask). It’s as though deep inside I realized that the book shouldn’t really be on that bookshelf. It wasn't mine to read. But every so often I have glanced up at it and thought to myself that I should at least read it, or take it back to the shop, or do something to appease my guilt. Perhaps I should add the book to those at our local Cancer Research shop or give the £3 I should have paid for the book to a suitable charity.
So here is where I need your help. What do you think I should do? Should I take the book back? Should I send The Works £3? Should I pass the book on to a charity? Or can you think of a more creative way of making good my misdemeanor? Please fellow “reader”, please help one of your own and post a comment to help me with my quandary! (It will also help me to see if anyone actually reads this stuff!) Thanks.