Being an avid reader, I tend to hang out with other avid readers. A series of understandable events occur when A.R.s get together. We talk about books, and we find out the person we are talking to has not read the very best and greatest book of its kind that the other person will simply adore.
That’s how it starts. Then some time later, I go looking for the book, and it’s not there. I lent it to someone, but for the life of me I can’t remember who. Whoever it is, I hope they are enjoying my book. They may have passed it on to another AR. Who knows?
Because the universe likes balance, I have borrowed books and have yet to return them. These are not technically lost volumes. I just haven’t finished reading them, and the owner hasn’t asked for them back. See previous paragraph.
I also have lent out books, and remembered to whom I lent the book. The person has had some drama in their life, and the book was put into storage. And the storage eventually could not be paid for. The book became the property of someone else.
For those of us with short term memory loss, Libraries were places that lent out books for a set period, and would charge you money if you were late returning the books. In the later years, they also lent DVDs and audio books, and there usually was a used book store that raised money for some special programs at the facility. However, their ability to enforce the penalties was limited to charging you the fine when you came back to the same library. So if you were moving away, you could easily go in and check out a dozen books, and never return them.
Libraries evolved into systems, in some cases, where a region had more than one branch and they shared a computer system that sent the same list of people who never returned books to all the libraries and sometimes even the post office. It could be a problem unless you moved to another state.
A nice feature of e-books is that you can share them with friends, as long as the friends has the same e-reader that you do. If you have a Nook and he has a Kindle, there will be trouble. Those mixed reading lists are really difficult to maintain. And if you can disable the DRM on those books, it’s just like not having to return them to a friend or library. http://lifehacker.com/5954466/how-do-i-get-rid-of-the-drm-on-my-ebooks-and-video
My “friend” Roxanna Haley has a book selling on Amazon, and participates in the Kindle Unlimited program. That’s where readers can read the e-book without buying it. It’s a virtual library, and while not as profitable to the author, she will still get a percentage of the price.
In conclusion, while books aren’t as good at dimension travel as socks in a dryer, they do tend to get around. As a reader, it’s all good, I’ll just go buy another copy of whatever book I am missing. As an author, it’s all good, the book will show up on someone’s book shelf, they will read it someday, like it, and go look for more by the same author. Can’t complain about that. I’ll be back on Thursday.