Why I'll miss a world where books make the first move.

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July 30 2010 9:55 AM

Judging a Girl by Her Cover

Why I'll miss a world where books make the first move.

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Worse, they will no longer be that perfect lending object: inexpensive, plentiful, deeply felt. We'll look back fondly on a time when we had hundreds of these things, any one of which could, if she admired it, be stuffed in her backpack as she left. Or, if you weren't so generous, she could surreptitiously "borrow" it, then have an excuse to return it. Maybe she would give it back, maybe she wouldn't. Maybe she would find it a year later and have to hide it from another, newer arrival in her life. Maybe it would find its way back to you, left on your doorstep under cover of night, standing in for all the conversations that you and she were too cowardly to have.

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Mark Oppenheimer writes the Beliefs column for the New York Times. He can be found at markoppenheimer.com and followed on Twitter @markopp1.