Anatole France once said that it was not wise to lend books because no one ever returned them. He went on to say that the only books he had in his library were the books lent to him by others.
Well, I don’t know of any books in my personal library that belong to someone else. But, I can name about twenty specific titles of books that I have loaned to others that were never returned. And, I remember to whom I loaned them, but I would never consider asking for them back (hint, hint). I don’t consider the books stolen. I consider them lost. Seriously, any time you loan anyone anything I think you have to enter into it with the idea that you have given it away and consider it
luck a blessing if it is returned. A few of those folk who have possession of my books are theologians and preachers. But, I’m sure that they have just forgotten from where the books came, even though the books are clearly marked with my library stamp.
However, one religious person seems to have had a book problem that went far beyond forgetting to return what had been loaned to him. Giambattisti Pamfili was a biblioklept. As a middling prelate he “came to inspect a well endowed private library in Paris with a group assembled by one Cardinal Barberini, who had vouched for all of them. nevertheless, Pamfili tucked a history of the Council of Trent inside his robes. When the library’s owner realized a book was missing, Barberini shut the door and insisted thaty everyone undergo a search. Pamfili protested, a struggle too place and the volume dropped from his robes to the floor.” (from Casanova Was A Book Lover)
How embarassing! Maybe that is why he had to change his name. He became know as Pope Innocent X.