Hillary in Kentucky

March 31, 2000

Post #1082 – 20000331

Dear Sir:

I am an enormous fan of your work, and have been since I read parents’ battered copy of “Hoboken Chicken Emergency” at seven, which both claim never to have seen before. (I’m 14 now.) My problem is this: I purchased a copy of 5 Novels last fall at my local mass conglomerate word peddler, and enjoyed it very much, especially Young Adult Novel. I lent it out to a friend who I believed would appreciate it as well. Fast forward to now: Friend still has book. However, recently discovered she has some very severe problems (familial, psychological, etc.) that any excess conversation I have with her worsens, i.e.she’s become very uncommunicative. (I should mention I’ve only known her this school year.) I asked her about it once, and she said she would bring it in, but since hasn’t, and I hate to keep reminding her. Do I keep harassing her with reckless disregard to fragile emotional state? Buy another copy? Be cheap and stay deprived? I’m suffering without my DP fix…Thank you.

Daniel replies:

It's your call. If you feel that speaking to your friend might send her off into the torments of madness, the potential unpleasantness outweighs the value of the cheaply printed, (but highly diverting), paperback. If you think it won't sink her mental health, you might consider one more gentle admonition, to the effect that she may keep the book as long as she needs it, but you look forward to having it back some day. Meanwhile, there are scads of copies of 5 NOVELS around, so there needn't be any rush to pick up another, possibly used, on sale, or one with toothmarks, (conceivably made by your friend), at a considerable discount....and in a couple of months, 4 FANTASTIC NOVELS, a similar paperback bind-up, which you haven't read, will be released. My only other suggestion is to borrow a copy of 5 NOVELS from someone else to tide you over. Nice writing, by the way.