The book was on my high school English teacher's loaner shelf, there for me to borrow, and then bring back, and I borrowed it, and I'm still borrowing it, and now I don't know where the teacher lives, so what can I do?
The reason I never returned the book was because in it I found an essay by Dylan Thomas that started like this:
"I was born in a large Welsh town at the beginning of the Great War---an ugly, lovely town (or so it was and is to me), crawling, sprawling by a long and splendid curving shore where truant boys and sandfield boys and old men from nowhere, beachcombed, idled and paddled, watched the dock-bound ships or the ships streaming away into wonder and India, magic and China, countries bright with oranges and loud with lions; threw stones into the sea for the barking outcast dogs; made castles and forts and harbours and race tracks in the sand; and on Saturday afternoons listened to the brass band, watched the Punch and Judy, or hung about on the fringes of the crowd to hear the fierce religious speakers who shouted at the sea, as though it were wicked and wrong to roll in and out like that, white-horsed and full of fishes."
This paragraph can explain so much, like why I never could stop wanting to write, and why I gather books just to have them (even if they don't belong to me), and why I tend to like parentheses, and why my sentences tend to run on for whole paragraphs.
Until I have to break them up.
I never returned the book because I could never let go of a line like, "streaming away into wonder and India, magic and China, countries bright with oranges and loud with lions."
Could you? Aha, I thought not.
So here's your assignment: Go to your shelves and pull down the library book you never returned. Find the line that made you keep it.
And tell us.
We love to read what you can't let go.